Tauranga City Sunrise Lions Club is calling on Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty district landowners to donate fallen trees and unwanted wood from their properties.
This Lions Club’s mission is to make the most of natural resources while supporting charities around the BOP and providing a low-cost firewood option to the community.
“We have about 22 club members in our chapter aged from 70 to around 90 and they work hard to pick up the wood, chop it up and then deliver it around Tauranga.
"I’m very proud of our guys,” says Ken Evans, who organises the club’s firewood operation from a property nudging the city’s edge that is offered by generous landowners.
Ken says the Lions pick up wood from around the district, then spend hours splitting it into firewood before selling it at a fair rate to the community.
The initiative raised around $30,000 last year with funds generated then donated by the Lions to organisations like surf lifesavers, the coastguard, rescue helicopter and Homes for Hope.
“We operate one day a week at our depot from 7.30am-1pm with members putting in around 60 hours of voluntary work collectively chopping and stacking wood into drying crates.
"We also work Saturdays collecting the wood that’s been cut into manageable pieces,” says Ken.
Their efforts have already seen 40 loads of firewood delivered to customers since Christmas – and there’s already a wait list of locals wanting wood ahead of winter.
“It’s a good project to be part of and the guys love the regular operation.
"One of the big benefits is for our members to get physical and mental stimulation.
"On a social interaction level, we get so much energy from what we do.”
The firewood costs $260 for two cubic metres delivered within city limits.
“It’s a really good deal.
"I don’t think you’d find cheaper and the money goes straight back to great community organisations.”
So Ken encourages those who are felling trees on their properties to consider donating the wood for the good of the community.
For more information, call 0800 546 679 or visit: sunriselions.co.nz