“Heating prices this year are more than double the cost of recent years,” says Newcastle Fire Captain Jake Abbott. “We know this poses a real hardship to families in our community and want to help.” Newcastle Fire Company is working with CHiP to deliver firewood to households in the town of Newcastle. Firewood recipients are part of CHiP’s annual Home Heating Assistance Program which provides one cord of firewood, up to 100 gallons of fuel, or assistance paying electric heating bills to people in Central and Eastern Lincoln County. Requests can be made through CHIP which contacts a team of volunteers for delivery, including the Newcastle Fire Company for residents of Newcastle.
On Friday, November 25th, Abbott led the first of what he hopes will be many deliveries of donated firewood to community members who need some extra help this winter. Abbott, who also works at Lincoln Academy, recruited eight students and staff to help load and deliver wood. “This is a great opportunity for students to work alongside our fire department team and help their community in a very hands-on way,” said Abbott.
“Students loaded and unloaded a half-cord of dried wood for a Newcastle family. The approach of ‘many hands make light work’ really paid off here. This group had the truck loaded in ten minutes and then unloaded in about 5. The driving took up most of our time, but the students were thrilled to help out and support and even got to meet some friendly pets along the way! Helping like this is a really important way to learn more about your neighbors and community while seeing firsthand the impact of just a few minutes of your time in helping out” said Abbott.
CHiP Project Manager Brittany Gill was equally pleased with the partnership. “When I first spoke with Jake, he said the Newcastle Fire Company wanted to help make firewood deliveries for CHIP. I didn’t realize that he was going to wrangle some teenagers into helping! I love engaging different groups of people. It’s really valuable for everyone involved. I’m pleased too, to develop a relationship with a fire department, because with wood deliveries safety can be a real issue.”
To volunteer with CHIP or request assistance call 677-3450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations are welcome and can be sent to PO Box 6, Newcastle ME 04553. For same-day heating emergencies, go to your town office or call 2-1-1.