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Salvation Army Case Manager Volunteers with Project W.A.R.M.

On February 27, a Salvation Army Case Manager, Yasmir Hall, volunteered with the team of volunteers from Project W.A.R.M.. A service that provides firewood to households in the Richmond area who heat their houses with wood burning stoves. Hall visited the woodlot in the northside area of Richmond near John Marshall High School. When he arrived the volunteers had already split the wood necessary to deliver to the houses on that day’s deliver list. Hall rode with volunteers to deliver the wood, greeted families and assisted in carrying wood into the homes. During the deliveries he saw on recipient who had been into The Salvation Army earlier in the week for assistance with her electric bill. Hall, who will be moving back to New Jersey at the end of March, said he’d been working with the Project W.A.R.M. team for two years and wanted to experience it before leaving.

Project W.A.R.M. Team

Salvation Army Case Manager, Yasmir Hall, volunteers with the Project W.A.R.M. team in the winter of 2016.

The process works by Yasmir qualifying the families who call into The Salvation Army seeking assistance to heat their homes, he completes an application with them to confirm eligibility and then sends the list of qualified families for the week over to the Project W.A.R.M. team who will then chop and cut the wood on Saturdays and deliver to the families on the list in the afternoon.

Below is a letter from Mary Ann Wilson (pictured in red jacket), wife of the program’s late founder, Lou Wilson. Ms. Wilson is also an Advisory Board Member with The Salvation Army:

“I thought I’d share this photo taken recently at the woodlot. We were thrilled that Yasmir joined us – literally got his hands (and nice coat) dirty from such good work 🙂 So sorry to see him go as I know you are – some people are truly a genuine loss and I count him among them…He was dependable and accurate and a huge help in fielding requests and providing the weekly list of our wood recipients. We are much grateful for his “faith-full” and prompt service so that we could manage to keep many people warm with our simple yet effective means. One of the beautiful outcomes of Project W.A.R.M. is the exposure it has to the young people who join us every week to help as best they can – from toddlers to teens they’re getting a birds-eye view of not only the needs of others but how caring people try to meet those needs without passing judgement.

Thank you all for your ongoing support – we truly couldn’t survive without your being there. The best to you as you continue life’s journey, Yasmir. As Lou would say: “You’re a good man – not too many of us left” :)”

God bless,

Mary Ann

Project WARM Volunteers Remember Program Founder & Celebrate Success

Each winter, The Salvation Army works with volunteers from a program called Project WARM (Wood Association of Richmond Metro) which provides quality firewood to families and households who heat their homes with wood burning stoves. The founder of the program, Lou Wilson, recently passed away at the age of 84. Mr. Wilson began the program in 1976 and was a great friend of The Salvation Army.

In 1976 Lou Wilson saw a news segment of a single mother who was taking apart furniture and burning clothes to keep her children warm with their wood burning fireplace. A believer that service to humanity is the best work in life, Wilson began cutting, splitting and delivering firewood to households in similar situations. As awareness of his efforts grew, so did the demand for firewood but his volunteer base grew as well. And soon Project WARM, had partners like the City of Richmond and The Salvation Army, in 1989 the Richmond and Tuckahoe Jaycees joined the effort and that’s when George, Kay and Steve came to know Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson’s son Marc and grandson Jonathan run the Project WARM program in the Roanoke/Salem, Virginia area.

Also, The Salvation Army’s Social Services Manager loves the Project WARM program and volunteers for their passion to serve and the compassion they show when delivering the firewood to the families identified by The Salvation Army. Project WARM volunteers log some 700+ volunteer hours a year and deliver firewood in their own vehicles on their own gas.

Before his work with Project WARM, Mr Wilson had served in the United States Navy and retired in 1966 as Chief Petty Officer after 29 years of service. Lou and his wife Mary Ann were married 39 years and Mary Ann is active member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board. The Wilson family asks that gifts in his memory be made to either the Virginia War Memorial Education Fund or The Salvation Army.

To learn more about Project WARM or other Salvation Army programs and services please visit us at SalvationArmyCentralVA.org.