Stockton Farmer is Searching for Families in Need of Free Firewood

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STOCKTON-

A Stockton man is looking for families in need of wood to heat their homes this winter.

"It's a real simple idea that can go a long ways for a lot of people," said John Cummings.

Cummings was chopping down an acre of his own walnut trees when he thought of donating the wood to needy families. He split, sorted and corded his own supply, then asked local farmers to donate to the cause.

"Everybody I talk to wants to donate wood and thats what I need," said Cummings.

Cummings is starting a non-profit called Warm a Hearth, Warm a Heart. It aims to pay for fireplace inspections in low income households, and give free wood to those with passing grades. It also aims to help fix fireplaces in need of repair.

So far, his work for a good cause hasn't caught on. San Joaquin County strongly discourages burning in older wood stoves. It offers low income families incentives of up to $2,500 if they upgrade to newer stoves with lower emissions.

"If they don't have money, they're gonna burn anyway. It don't matter. They're gonna burn what they've got," said Cummings.

Finding families that need the firewood has been Cummings biggest hurdle.

"Getting donations...sorting and splitting the wood. That's easy. Finding the people that need it, the low income families. That's the hardest," said Cummings.

Warm a Hearth, Warm a Heart is looking for low income families in the Linden and Escalon School Districts who need firewood.

If you would like to participate in the program, contact John Cummings by email at:

warmahearthwarmaheart@yahoo.com

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