Igniting community generosity, one firewood permit at a time

Jayne Ingram with the Lake Cowichan Fire Department. The TimberWest U-Cut firewood program supports the Fire Department’s annual Toy Drive. 2017. (submitted)
The 1st Lake Cowichan Scouts at the 2016 TimberWest Day of Giving. (submitted)
Chelsey Toth with TimberWest passing along some holiday cheer during the annual TimberWest Day of Giving with Carol Blatchford and Sherry Sohye with the Cowichan Lake Community Service 2018. (submitted)
Jayne Ingram with teacher Kevin Smith from the Lake Cowichan School. Kevin is responsible for the school’s Meals on Wheels program. 2017. (submitted)
Jayne Ingram passing along some holiday cheer during the annual TimberWest Day of Giving with Ginny Saboe with the Lake Cowichan Seniors Centre. 2018. (submitted)
TimberWest with the Lake Cowichan Fire Department at their annual Toy Drive. 2016. (submitted)

Submitted by Timberwest

Every year in early December, TimberWest gets the opportunity to recognize important local community groups in the Lake Cowichan area thanks to the hard work of Jayne Ingram, co-owner of BRI Security, and retired town councilor.

Over the past several years, Ingram has coordinated the TimberWest U-Cut firewood lots in Lake Cowichan, and developed the giving back culture strongly associated with the permit sales, where 100 per cent of the funds collected are donated back into the community to worthy organizations during TimberWest’s annual Day of Giving in December.

So far the program has generated more than $45,000 with all proceeds directly supporting important local organizations.

“It’s amazing how the whole program, which benefits so many different community groups, has evolved over the years,” Ingram reminisces. “It had such a simple start too — with just a coffee and a muffin, and a conversation with TimberWest.”

Some of the community groups who have benefitted from the TimberWest program include the 1st Lake Cowichan Scouts, Cowichan Lake Food Bank, Lake Cowichan Fire Department annual Toy Drive, Cowichan Lake Community Services, Cowichan Lake Community Garden, Palsson Elementary School, Lake Cowichan’s Seniors Centre and the Lake Cowichan School.

Ingram is enthusiastic about all of the groups and the volunteers who run the organizations, and says the entire community consists of compassionate individuals who are only too willing to give their time for a worthy cause.

“We are a community rich with volunteers,” says Ingram.

Cowichan Lake Community Services executive director Carol Blatchford says the TimberWest firewood program has been a much-appreciated funding source for them over the years.

She explains the funding her organization receives is used for their many children and youth programs that includes what Blatchford refers to as one of her favourites, “the YLT program otherwise known as Youth Leaders in Training.”

Youths who work for the YLT program are responsible for younger children who register for the activities the YLT program provides. Those activities include trips to fun destinations such as the Escape Room in Nanaimo.

“Without donations from companies like TimberWest, we wouldn’t be able to provide those kind of organized activities that are so well attended and appreciated as the majority of kids who take part in our programs would not otherwise be able to afford the activities our programs offer.”

Another popular program Cowichan Lake Community Services offers is Girls Troop. Blatchford explains those registered with Girls Troop learn about self-esteem and life skills with a strong focus on cooking.

“With the donation money from TimberWest, we are able to buy supplies needed to run the program,” explains Blatchford. The food Girls Troop members prepare is then shared with their families as well as any community members who show up at Community Services in need of a meal.

Lake Cowichan School’s resources teacher Kevin Smith is responsible for the school’s Meals on Wheels program that involves students with developmental disabilities who are given the opportunity to learn food preparation skills and the importance of giving back to the community.

Smith explains the community firewood program provides enough funding each to make the program sustainable.

“We can run the program and not have issues with things like buying groceries and we can even spruce up some of the recipes.”

The program involves approximately a dozen students between Grades 4 to 12. Smith explains his Meals on Wheels group is broken into two groups who prep and package the meals so they can transport them once a week to those most in need.

“We take the meals to people in our community and some of the outlying communities. It’s an important service as there’s no ministry services for this sort of thing,” says Smith.

TimberWest’s Chief Forester and VP of Sustainability Domenico Iannidinardo says the company has been honoured to be in a position to support Island community groups and the important work that they do.

“The Lake Cowichan firewood permit program is a great example of how a small idea can lead to big results and have a growing impact on making the community a better place,” he explains. “Thank you Jayne for running such a successful program and to everyone who buys a firewood permit; your contribution makes an impact where you live.”

For more information on the TimberWest firewood permit program please visit https://www.timberwest.com/our-neighbours-and-communities/

To learn more about how to give to the local community groups, please visit their websites.

Cowichan Lake Community Services https://www.comserv.org/

Lake Cowichan School Meals on Wheels program: http://lcss.sd79.bc.ca/

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Celtic Connections’ show in Duncan features Vancouver Orpheus Male Choir

They’ll be joined by their hosts, Concenti Women and Acafellas choirs from Cowichan

Lexi Bainas column: Dance, dance, dance your way to the nearest theatre to celebrate Valley’s young talent

With every studio winding up its year soon, look for a tasty menu of great performances

Cowichan Rats fall to Victoria Blazers

Rematch set for Saturday at Cowichan Arena

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

Shamrocks take battle of Island lacrosse rivals

Nanaimo will host Langley this Saturday afternoon

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Most Read