Monroe County inmates help elderly by chopping, storing wood

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MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Monroe County Sheriff's Office helped elderly and people less fortunate prepare for winter.

A relatively new program there allows inmates to chop firewood in case any home heaters go out this winter.

Sheriff Tommy Jones said the program came as a lesson learned.

"When I first took office, we had an ice storm that knocked a lot of our residents out of electricity. We had a lot of calls, people needing alternative heating sources, kerosene, propane and wood," said Sheriff Jones.

The people who have been doing the work, Monroe County Jail trustees like Brian Best, have also been learning from the past.

"Helping people out, stacking this wood up, getting it when they come in, they'll back in, we'll load it up, split it just to help the community," said Best.

Last year, the program helped 70 families.

"We only provide this firewood to the underprivileged, to people who can't afford firewood to go out and purchase firewood their self," Jones explained.

The program has also helped Best. He's been repurposing the old donated wood to keep people less fortunate warm. In turn, it has given him purpose and something to look forward to.

People who need the wood are welcome to come pick it up or if you need help, you can give the sheriff's office a call at (423) 442-3911.

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