Locals take to woods to help those in need of winter heat

Volunteers unload firewood during the Sept. 24 Firewood Drive.

Volunteers unload firewood during the Sept. 24 Firewood Drive.

— Eric Klotzko grabs his chain saw each Saturday on a mission to cut down firewood and help those in need.

For the past several weeks, Klotzko has been organizing firewood drive for flood victims in the Jay and Keene areas.

“The more people that help, the easier it gets,” Klotzko said. “Right now, it is a little disorganized, but the idea has been to go out every week and get firewood for people who lost their woodpiles or need more wood for the winter due to the storm.”

Klotzko said that, so far, he and those who have helped have been able to deliver wood to about eight homes in the areas most affected by the flooding and damage associated with Tropical Storm Irene.

“Many lost some or all of their firewood that they had prepared for winter, which is inching closer quickly,” he said. “We have gotten help to cut wood and a lot of generous donations from the small sedan driving up with a dozen pieces of wood to Paul Smith’s College brining a truck load of cut, dried firewood.”

Klotzko said that he wanted to do something to help people with winter approaching.

“When this first happened, there were a lot of great people concentrating on the immediate impact needs and providing a emergency place for food and other vital needs,” Klotzko said. “You also had the plans kicking in for the long-term, government-involved efforts. I started thinking about what was going to be happening in the relatively near future, and winter and firewood was the first thing that came to my mind.”

Klotzko said that there has been a good response to the firewood drive, one of which was most recently held on Saturday, Sept. 24.

“There are a lot of generous people out there who know how to use a chain saw and can do some cutting,” he said. “Robbie Lincoln has been kind enough to lend a wood splitter to our efforts — but we’ll need wood to cut and split. We need people who are comfortable with a chain saw or splitter and we also need people to help stage wood and stack split wood.”

If you are interested in helping with the wood drive or helping to coordinate the firewood drive, please contact Eric Klotzko at eric@klotnet.com or (518) 946-7655.

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