Firewood for needy

Five years ago, Margo Yaschuk’s husband Paul was involved in a motorcycle accident with a deer which landed him reliant on a wheelchair.

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

Five years ago, Margo Yaschuk’s husband Paul was involved in a motorcycle accident with a deer which landed him a quadriplegic reliant on a wheelchair.

“We were talked into bringing him home, saving the government money. They said there were good services here to support him so that’s what we did,” Yaschuk said. Life hasn’t been easy for the Yaschuks.

“It’s been a rough year,” she admits, “I didn’t have enough money to pay for a full five cords of firewood. I phoned social services for help. They turned me down — the reason being it was not a crisis to our health. What about the house freezing up? It’s about my husband.”

Paul Yaschuk was a carpenter prior to the accident. He renovated the credit union in Nakusp. His business had just started booming and he had plenty of work lined up. Now they struggle to keep their home, grapple with adequate home care for Paul’s physical therapy and daily needs. The last thing that Margo wanted to worry about was heating their Burton residence.

“I got crying to my dear friend Denise Douglas, and then the next thing I knew Fay Mys was arranging things,” Yaschuk stated.

Mys is a long time resident of the area, and started reaching out to people to help organize the details. Pastor Dan Freeman also stepped up to lend a hand and Ray Hascarl came forward with a logging truckload of wood.

“Ray said he wanted absolutely nothing for the wood, he just wanted to be a part of it,” Mys said in a telephone interview.

Freeman said, “It all kind of fell into place. We put a work party together, and many hands made light work. The community pulled together.”

“It was wonderful- everybody chopping, stacking and delivering. I was quite surprised to find that there wasn’t something set up like that. I hope this continues,” Yaschuk said, “I don’t know what I would have done. Our family is out of town- the government suggests going to friends and family for help and it’s so humbling. It is hard to reach out and ask people for help. We have always gotten along on our own. We were always the people helping.”Two other families also received firewood to assist during the cold winter months and two more have been identified.


“We found a need and we made it happen. It’s been quite beautiful,” Mys said of the one time event.



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