Do you know how to chop wood? Do you know how to chop wood well enough to fill several trucks’ worth of firewood, just to be nice? If not, then prepare to be amazed by this noble Pacific Northwest family.
Shane McDaniel, 47, first began cutting firewood back in March 2018. Shane was inspired by his late father, who’d often cut wood with him when he was a child.
After Shane had two sons of his own, he continued the family tradition. Shane and his 21-year-old twins, Henry and Harrison, began cutting trees on their property into firewood. But they had much more than they could use.
“I had a lot of wood I had to cut because of storm damage and trees that were taken down. It just kept piling up and piling up,” Shane told People.
Eventually, people started to ask the family to buy their wood. That’s when they came up with an even better idea: They’d give it away. They’ve now cut enough firewood to fill 80 trucks, and all of it goes to needy families.
Shane McDaniel lives in Lake Stevens, Washington. He grew up chopping firewood with his father.
In March 2018, he took up the practice to feel connected to his father, who had since died.
He enlisted his sons, Henry and Harrison, to help him, continuing the family tradition.
They never thought, though, that they’d end up giving so much of it away.
“The Pacific Northwest is a pretty rugged area, it’s cold and wet,” Shane told People. “Once I started, I saw the need and my eyes were opened up. So many people were stopping and asking to buy it and we just started giving it away.”
Shane says he had a lot of wood on his property that needed to be cut.
He explained, “I had a lot of wood I had to cut because of storm damage and trees that were taken down. It just kept piling up and piling up.”
“Once it got to be such an amount of wood we decided we could do something better with it,” he continued.
They gave the firewood away to local families who needed heat in their houses.
By October, the family had cut enough firewood to fill 80 trucks — much more than they knew what to do with. They turned to social media to find more families in need of firewood.
Shane created a Facebook account just for the good deed.
“If you know someone who BURNS WOOD, and [they’re] looking at a cold house this holiday season; maybe someone elderly or with small children in the house…then please help us help them,” he wrote.
He continued, “My boys and I have cut & split nearly 40 cords of firewood this summer. It is seasoned and ready to warm homes where it is truly needed. It is more firewood than most people have ever seen, as I’m sure anyone who has driven past my house has noticed.”
He then urged people not to offer any money for the firewood — it’s donation only.
The post got a much more overwhelming response than the McDaniel family expected.
It was shared over 9,000 times. People from near and far commented to thank Shane, Henry, and Harrison for their generosity.
And the family assembled “a network of volunteers and community members” to distribute the firewood to needy families. Others donated their own extra firewood to add to the pile.
The crew is still at it today, several months later.
Shane — who also has four other children — says that he’s lost count of how many homes the family has delivered firewood to at this point.
He says the process has absolutely changed his sons for the better.
“It’s a pretty wonderful thing to see. You can just see this feeling of pride and sharing that I don’t think they had before,” he said.
As for Shane, he has especially loved the “little connections” that he’s made with people through the project.
“When you do good things for people, they don’t forget,” he said. “I love helping people. It’s the strangers that you’ve helped.”
Next year, Shane will do the same thing all over again. Henry and Harrison, of course, will be right by his side.