Anyone who knows me is well is aware of my love for the outdoors and putting in a good day's work.

Chopping wood has always been my go-to for a good de-stress/workout. With the help of my handy ax and a pile of pine, I can turn a heap of logs into a stack of firewood almost instantly. It's the satisfaction of good manual labor that does it for me and I wouldn't want to live life any other way.

That being said, I discovered something awesome out of South Dartmouth: there's a young man by the name of Spencer Vieira who not only works hard for his money but actually enjoys doing it.

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For the past seven or eight months, 10-year old Spenser has been chopping wood by hand and selling it as firewood over in the area of Windy Hill Lane and Slades Corner Road. Since the first day he picked up his six-pound maul, he has cut about three cords of wood and made $760, every dollar of it hard-earned.

Now, this is a kid who not only enjoys being outside over his Nintendo Switch but enjoys spending time with his father, Eric Vieira, who has taught Spencer everything he knows when it comes to the wood cutting business.

The wood is sold for $5 and $10 per bundle, depending on the size, and is kept dry in a homemade hut that houses the split red oak (his preference) that was built and paid for with his own earnings. He took $150 of his own money for material and made sure it had a waterproof roof to keep the weather out.

Courtesy of Stephanie Vieira
Courtesy of Stephanie Vieira

"I just enjoy doing it, it doesn't feel like a chore to me," Spenser said.

Spenser uses an honor system where people can leave the money and take the wood. His grandfather looks after it whenever Spenser is away and if it's low, he helps restock the bins. Other than that, every log that is stacked for sale is chopped by Spenser and taken care of efficiently.

"For the big pieces, my dad splits it in half and then I'll split them again," Spenser said. "We have a splitter, but I think it's better to use the ax. I'll cut with it until the handle falls off. I'd rather chop it by hand."

As far as what exactly Spenser will be purchasing with the money he made, he tells me that there are no set plans quite yet, but does have his eye on a toy.

"I would love to maybe get a small quad with a plow, that would be awesome," Spenser said. "I got a lot more splitting to do."

Not only does cutting and stacking the wood help Spenser earn money, but it also boosts his confidence.

"This is huge for him," his mom, Stephanie Vieira, said. "He's the little survivor friend that everyone wants around who can keep them safe and knows how to make a fire if they ever got lost in the woods like a survival guide.

Courtesy of Stephanie Vieira
Courtesy of Stephanie Vieira

I honestly love stories like Spenser's, and at such a young age, I'm very impressed with his work ethic. If anyone's looking to stock up on firewood, Spenser is your guy, but keep in mind that he only sells bundle wood for campfires and not by the cord.

in the meantime, keep chopping that wood, little man, for hard work is the key to a successful and meaningful life.

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