Many of us sit beside our heaters and sometimes fires, warm and safe during the cold months. Yet, a lot of people are out there, freezing to death. One man was determined to change this sad reality.
In 2019, it was reported that a study by the American Journal of Public Health made a tragic discovery. During the colder months, the journal said many disadvantaged families struggled to buy as much food as usual.
This sad state of affairs is a consequence of needing more heat. Therefore, they have to spend more money on this necessity.
Shane McDaniel and his twin sons Henry and Harrison.┃Source: facebook.com/shane.mcdaniel.14
A FAMILY TRADITION
In March 2018, 47-year-old business owner Shane McDaniel from Lake Stevens in Washington began cutting wood. He took this project on to feel closer to his late father.
When he was younger, the two would engage in this bonding activity together. His twin sons, then-21-year-olds Henry and Harrison, joined in.
The trio became serious about their wood chopping as the pile grew unbelievably high. By November, they had cut enough firewood to fill 80 trucks. People walking past would ask how much it costs.
IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY
They were taken aback when told it was not for sale because, at the time, the available amount that the bulk of wood could have been sold for was around $10,000.00. The father remembered:
"We politely told them none of it was for sale, and they'd look at us like we were crazy."
Rather, instead of making money, he chose to take a more generous route. This apparent detour ended up spreading like wildfire.
FOR THE COMMUNITY
McDaniel took to Facebook and offered to give the wood away to those in his area who needed heating. Thinking back to when he made this decision, McDaniel said:
"Once it got to be such an amount of wood, we decided we could do something better with it."
This kind man was unaware of the storm coming his way and the vast impact it would have once this post started to circulate online.
A WARMER WINTER
This post had not just reached his community but spread throughout America and the rest of the world. An uncountable number of people were offering donations and asking for help.
It was also how he managed to connect and help people in the West of Washington who needed his assistance. Many of these individuals only use wood to heat their homes.
REMEMBERING TO BE KIND
He did not stop there, choosing to do the same thing next season, with many volunteering to make a broader impact. For McDaniel, he is simply passionate about empowering others. As he said:
"I love helping people. It's the strangers that you've helped."
When was the last time you did something, big or small, to help a loved one or even a stranger? With the busyness of life, we sometimes forget. This is our reminder.