We're in the middle of January and there's still plenty of winter left. That means lots of cold weather and a need for firewood.
We met a group of retirees who cut firewood and then give it away.
For 10 years now, a group of guys have been splitting, stacking, and delivering firewood around Blacksburg as part of a personal mission. Mike Harvey stood in front of a busy five member crew.
"Officially we're with Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, we're the 'firewood for the poor ministry.' Unofficially? We're the woodchucks," Harvey said.
All six volunteers, between 60 and 81, stood in front one of four pickup trucks for a group picture and one by one, they said their names; "Charlie, Dick, Dave, Mike, Tom, Dave, Tom."
Standing side-by-side, it looked like a police lineup on a farm. For several hours Thursday, these guys, all retired and not from the same church, got dirty -- including 81-year-old Dick Wadley.
"I got involved because my partner at the time knew somebody who was in the woodchucks group or the wife of, and said 'you're going to go down and join and help," Wadley said.
Some folks travel to the other side of the world on mission trips. These guys stay in their own neighborhoods and look for dead trees, which they turn into firewood. Then they give it away.
The last few years, the woodchucks have delivered more than 100 truck loads of firewood to families around town.
Harvey stood next to me and remembered quietly a little girl who was cold.
"I went on one delivery ... a little 5-year-old girl on a couch in a home that had no firewood. She was cold and we brought firewood. That does something to you."
John White lives in Preston Forest way deep in Montgomery County. He watched as the woodchucks made fast work of a dead tree in his yard.
"I think it's terrific what [the woodchucks] do. In fact, I've donated several trees before this year," White said. "Every time one dies on the edge of my yard, I call and tell them to come and cut it down."
The woodchucks cut firewood all year long and use their own tools, fuel and muscle. And they feel it. They're always looking for dead trees and super dry wood that families can burn right away.
If you need more information about the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church and its "Firewood for the poor" ministry, call the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program at 540-381-1561.