By Josh LaBella
When a West Haven resident has a fallen tree in their backyard, Scott Silver said they should do the natural thing: call their pharmacists so he can chop it up and sell the wood to raise money for charity.
Silver, who has lived in the city since 1989 but grew up working here in his family’s landmark drug store, said he has been cutting, splitting and delivering cords of wood for several years in order to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“They do something called the Trailblaze Challenge,” said Silver. “You hike a marathon at Bear Mountain in New York. It’s a 26-mile trail. To participate you have to agree to raise $2,500.”
Silver said participants in this year’s Trailblaze Challenge have raised almost $90,000 so far and added that a lot of money “pours in at the end.”
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit which raises money in order to grant children with critical illnesses a “wish.” Wishes granted cost thousands of dollars and can range from a family trip to Disney World to being an airline pilot. According to their website, Make-A-Wish grants a child’s wish in the United States and its territories every 34 minutes.
Silver said seeing what the organization does for the children and their families is amazing. He said it’s one good story after another. Raising the money is only part of the goal for Silver.
“I can afford [to write a check] but you want to get involved in it,” said Silver. “You want come up with a creative way to fund raise. So, I created Wood for Wishes.”
According to Scott, he is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys the solitude and exercise that comes from splitting wood. He said people who need firewood will call him and he will stack a half a cord of wood in his Ford F150 and deliver it to them.
“People ask how much it costs and I tell them there is no price,” said Silver. “It goes by donations. I ask for roughly $75 to $100 for half a cord of wood. If you were to buy a cord it would cost you between $180 and $250.”
Silver said he has raised almost $3,000 so far by making one delivery at a time. He said people know to call him if they have a tree down on their property so he can continue to fund raise. Silver uses word of mouth and social media to get the word out about it.
Silver said he meets people all the time who have had their lives touched by Make-A-Wish. He said all the charity does is bring smiles to children’s faces. He said he has a lot of respect for the families and what they go through.
“It humbles you,” said Silver. “Life is very fragile and you should enjoy every moment.”
Silver said he likes being involved in the community and helping other people. He said it gives him personal satisfaction.
“I was always brought up to help others,” said Silver. “That’s what life is all about.”