Holiday Help

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Wood-cutting deputy warms up holidays for needy local elders

By Billy Davis

With winter’s arrival today, Panola County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Earl Burdette is looking for a few good trees to cut. The deputy is continuing his “Heat for Seniors” program that provides assistance for elderly Panola Countians.

Burdette has been operating a chainsaw himself and enlisting the help of inmates at the county jail to cut donated firewood. Seven local senior citizens have received wood to burn in recent weeks.

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A cord of wood costs anywhere from $130 to $150, Burdette said, noting that the cost is prohibitive for some on fixed incomes.

Burdette is raising funds to help with other heating bills, too. His goal is to raise $5,000 to assist seniors who are unable to help themselves. He estimates that for every $1,000 he can help heat three homes this winter.

Landowners who have downed trees to donate to the project, or anyone who wants to donate funds, can call the sheriff’s department at 563-6230.