On Wednesday, September 1, 2021, the Wood Angels discovered they had been burglarized as someone had helped themselves to the Wood Angels storage shed by prying open the doors and stealing all of the organizations chainsaws.
Wood Angels often struggles to raise money to stay afloat to ensure they can give over 300 cords of wood to those in need each winter. Without chainsaws and winter fast approaching, the devastating blow to the local organization and the community, looked as if it would end the non profit.
“The overwhelming support of the community including people from around the state has put us in a better place than we were before the burglary,” said Ryan Gillaspie, President of the Wood Angels. “For the first time since we opened the doors in 2007, we will be operating in the black. We are in the process of buying a shipping container, security cameras, and a secure gate for the entrance. The community flooded into Guys Saw Shop and almost bought them out of saws.”
Motivated and back on schedule to heat Amador County this winter, Wood Angels hopes this will be their biggest production year and that no qualified person will go without firewood.
“The one thing money can’t buy is volunteers, this comes from your heart,” said Gillaspie. “We have a winning team and encourage people to join Wood Angels.”
Numerous individuals and groups came together to fund the Wood Angels. Spinetta Winery, Stan Lukowicz, and Pat Crew combined forces to donate $6,000. Joe Dirickx and Sheriff Gary Redman presented a check for $3,000 from funds raised at Top Cop. New and gently used chainsaws were donated from numerous citizens to turn a crippling hardship into an amazing act of humanity for the Wood Angels. Monetary donations, some large, some small, found their way to the Wood Angels and continue to generate funds that will be used to ensure the volunteer service organization can provide and deliver over 300 cords of firewood to seniors, veterans, low income, and disabled residents that are in need and struggle to stay warm in the winter.
“Watching the community come together and fight the heartless theft, to overcome what seemed impossible — well it’s been a humbling and emotional experience for our organization,” said Gillaspie.
Donations can be made through the Wood Angels website (www.woodangels.org), Guys Saw Shop in Pine Grove or at American River Bank in Jackson. Wood Angels may be reached by calling (209) 257-9667.
Click the additional links attached in this story to see more photos and video of the donations and presentations to the Wood Angels from the public — the angels that saved the Wood Angels.