Gold Country Community Services receives tools from Ready Nevada County to create defensible space, gift firewood
The nonprofit started with five seniors.
Now, it delivers wood to 160.
For the last 40 years, the Gold Country Community Services Senior Firewood Program has sent volunteers to cut down trees, collect firewood and then distribute that wood to others who need it so they can stay warm during the winter.
In recent years, executive director of the nonprofit Janeth Marroletti said there’s been a sharp rise in low-income seniors living in rural areas who need firewood during California’s colder months.
“It really makes your realize there are so many seniors that are isolated and need help,” said Marroletti.
As the volunteers have been serving more people – there are now seniors sitting on the nonprofit’s waiting list in order to have trees removed from their yards – their tools have started to atrophy.
“They had wheelbarrows that had holes in it that the volunteers were using to move this wood,” said Sheila Cameron, communications contractor for the county’s Office of Emergency Services.
Last week the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved $2,800 for the purchase of tools, including chainsaws, wheelbarrows, gloves, tarps and fuel containers, and had Ready Nevada County deliver the equipment to Gold Country volunteers.
It was the first time Ready Nevada County partnered with the nonprofit of 15 volunteers, many of whom are in their 70s.
“It’s huge because we haven’t had safety equipment,” said Marroletti.
Although the nonprofit delivers firewood year-round, it hosts three community events in September, October and November, attracting local high schools and clubs to help split trees, chop wood and make deliveries.
Cameron was excited the county was be able to help the nonprofit on a day outside of these events, particularly as its goals align directly with Ready Nevada County’s attempts to make homes fire safe.
“We’re really focused on collaborative efforts that is a win-win-win for everyone,” said Cameron.
The communications contractor noted that the county hopes to continue partnering with the nonprofit, especially in an attempt to decrease isolation, which can become particularly deadly during emergencies.
Now, the nonprofit is trying to get a documentary on their work shown at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
And although the donation was generous, said Marroletti, Gold Country is still looking to acquire new equipment, including a splitter and a dump truck.
Contact Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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