Feel that chill in the air? The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment in Homer has just the solution for warming the body and the spirit: firewood split, delivered and sold by the truckload to benefit Share the Spirit’s holiday effort to provide food and gifts to families in need of help.
“We have collected between eight to 10 cords of wood and have split a good chunk of it,” said David Simonds, marine science technician first class, of work done by a team that also includes personnel from the USCG cutters Roanoke and Hickory.
The wood is currently piled up behind Coast Guard housing off Svedlund Street, a handy location offering Simonds and others a break from work duties and a chance for a little workout, especially considering some of the unsplit rounds weigh as much as 100 pounds.
About half of the pile has been split and is ready to be loaded into a truck and delivered. It sells for $125 a cord. The goal is to sell 20 cords.
“They’ve been doing this for years and have been quite successful at it,” said Share the Spirit’s Shari Daugherty.
In past years the proceeds have been used to either purchase food for baskets the nonprofit provides or for Coast Guard personnel to purchase gifts and food in Share the Spirit’s adopt-a-family program. This year’s effort will go toward the purchase of food.
In addition to gathering and splitting the wood, the Coast Guard also will deliver it anywhere in Homer, out East End Road, as far north as Anchor Point and anywhere between here and Anchor Point, according to Simonds.
“It’s a little less than half a cord. We fill up the back of the truck with as much wood as we can get in there and safely drive down the road,” he said. “We just need a name and address and we’ll show up at the door, unload it and either stack it or just drop it off as it is, either way,”
Also needed is a check for $125, made out to “Share the Spirit.”
“We don’t take credit cards or cash. Only checks so it can be made out to ‘Share the Spirit.’ It just makes the whole process easier,” said Simonds.
Several orders already have been received and more are hoped for. More sources for wood also is hoped for. What is currently available was donated by a local resident.
Downed trees. Scraps from wood shops. You name it, “we have the manpower and we have the equipment to get that stuff out,” said Simonds.
To donate or to order wood, call Aleksander Kay, the Coast Guard housing representative, at 299-1077.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com.