Project W.A.R.M helps heat area homes

RICHMOND, Va., (WRIC) –  With bitterly cold temperatures expected the rest of this weekend, Project W.A.R.M. plays an important role for those in the area who rely on wood to heat their homes.

8 News had a chance to catch up with volunteers as they made deliveries and learn more about the heart of the organization.

“Never missed a weekend of delivery,” said Project W.A.R.M. co-founder Mary Ann Wilson.

Since 1976, Project W.A.R.M or Wood Association of Richmond Metro has delivered wood to those who need it to heat their home.

“Warms the cockles of your heart to be out here,” said Wilson. “I think we are the only one of its kind in Richmond.”

The project started after Mary Wilson and her husband Lou saw a news segment featuring a single mother burning her clothes to keep her kids warm.

Lou contacted the city of Richmond for help. The Salvation Army also stepped in.

“The city actually donates the space the lot here that we’re on this morning,” said Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Commander Donald Dohmann.  “And also throughout the community whenever there’s a storm all year long if there is downed trees..they bring that wood here.”

Dozens of volunteers brave the cold to cut, split, and deliver the wood to those in need.

“Our recipients of the wood are almost like extended family and they are just so appreciative of what we do,” said Wilson.

Recipients like Carol Cozart.

“It’s wonderful,” said Cozart.  “They bring me wood and I can keep my house warm.”

For the past three years, Cozart calls the Salvation Army weekly to place an order of wood to heat her home.

“Everybody is very polite and good-natured,” said Cozart. “They keep telling me I don’t need to come out and help them but I figure if they are going to bring me wood I can help bring it up.”

As temperatures dip into single digits, Cozart is grateful for the service.

“Feel blessed and I am happy they do it and I’m happy they have such a good attitude,” said Cozart.  “It’s a fun thing, not a work thing.”

Project W.A.R.M. now has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectWARMRichmond/

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