This winter has been brutally cold, causing heating bills to go through the roof. For those that are already living paycheck to paycheck, this burden can be a huge additional stress. In particularly rough situations, some may even have to choose to go without something that most of us take for granted. Shane McDaniel is a small business owner and father from Washington.
When local storms knocked down some trees in the area last year, he began chopping up the wood and stacking it in his yard. Before long, he had more wood than he knew what to do with. He began to wonder if there was something he could do to help families in need in his own community, according to Today.
McDaniel knew that there were plenty of families near him that were just making ends meet. He decided to begin delivering his firewood to neighbors in hopes that it would help bring down their electric bills. When he saw how much the gesture was appreciated, he shared his mission on social media in hopes of locating others that could use a helping hand. The response he got was shocking.
“I wanted to give all this firewood away. And a lot of people said, ‘Well, who burns firewood anymore? No one’s gonna want it.’ But I can assure you that the neediest people definitely burn firewood still. I had 10,000 messages the first week.”
McDaniel enlisted his sons and their friends to help out. As a team, they spent hours chopping up firewood and personally delivering it to members of their community. They drove all over town to ensure no family had to decide between heat or food for their children. Before long, their stash began to run out. When neighbors noticed this, they started chopping up their own firewood and dropping it off to help him out.
When storms knocked down dozens of trees around Shane McDaniel’s house in Washington State, he decided to chop them into firewood for the less fortunate. @HarrySmith has this inspiring story in our Sunday Closer. https://t.co/blMp1iZCJZ— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 17, 2019
For many, this seemingly simple gesture from the heart was life-changing. It alleviated both financial and emotional stress. Although McDaniel is glad his initiative has helped so many, he does have one regret. He wishes he’d started sooner. Like many Americans, he had no idea that so many were suffering so greatly all around him.
During some deliveries he is brought to tears over the severity of the situation. Our nation is often caught up in greed, fueled by a society that convinces us we must always have more. All the while, some are simply trying to keep the lights on and the house warm for their children.
“If you’re a glutton for the truth, the truth hurts,” McDaniel stated.