Rayna Gaillardet (left) and Shane McDaniel unload a donation of wood at his Lake Stevens home. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Rayna Gaillardet (left) and Shane McDaniel unload a donation of wood at his Lake Stevens home. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Giving away firewood put these guys in the global spotlight

Shane McDaniel and his twin sons of Lake Stevens split 40 cords for the needy. It led to fame.

Shane McDaniel used to be known around town for his impressive selection of beer.

Now he’s that guy with the bulging biceps and big ax in this week’s People magazine.

Nicole Kidman is on the cover and he’s on page 36.

What’s up with that?

Unlike Kidman, his People pizzazz is giving away firewood.

Social media ignited his fame as a hotshot do-gooder. The November Facebook post of him with 21-year-old twin sons, Henry and Harrison, in muscle shirts in front of their fortress of firewood got thousands of views and comments about their generosity — and physiques.

The three single guys have a global following.

McDaniel, 47, owner of Norm’s Market-Keg & Bottleshop in Lake Stevens, was featured in a Nov. 14 story in The Daily Herald about free firewood for those in need. It told how he and the twins spent eight months slinging axes, splitting 40 cords of wood, enough to fill about 80 pickup trucks.

Well, we can say we knew him when.

The story of the McDaniel men in People also was in The Washington Post and numerous papers worldwide in languages he can’t read, such as one in Hindi from India.

Shane McDaniel strong-arms a hunk of wood at his home in Lake Stevens. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shane McDaniel strong-arms a hunk of wood at his home in Lake Stevens. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

McDaniel said “The Today Show” is coming to his home this week and that daytime TV host Steve Harvey’s people asked him to be on a show with a dating theme where his sons pick the winner.

Not only that, he was recruited to be on a bag of potato chips for the “Smile with Lay’s” campaign. That’s how you really know you’ve made it, for more than your muscles.

“I don’t even eat potato chips,” he said.

For real, this guy has no body fat whatsoever.

“It was never meant to be this big,” McDaniel said. “It is amazing how it has spread. People see a ball rolling that’s doing some good and they continue to roll it. It has consumed me.”

He has branched out from wood to giving away electric mobility scooters to people in need. He has one refurbished scooter ready and three in the works, with plans to add more and make it an ongoing mission.

“Giving people firewood pales in comparison,” he said.

McDaniel also used his social media platform to post about being unpopular and picked on when he was a skinny kid with Coke-bottle glasses and braces.

“Little Shane didn’t have too many friends. Notice I never had to cut out the ‘wallet size’ … no one ever wanted one,” he wrote on Facebook, with school pictures of him then.

Two years before all this recent attention, he made The Herald when three teens in clown masks attempted to rob his store using baseball bats. McDaniel chased them down.

The market with kegs in front and hundreds of varieties of beer on the wall is now a place where volunteers armed with power tools gather for weekend work parties to split logs.

“I just bought a new chain saw. A Stihl 661 Magnum Pro. A mammoth thing,” McDaniel said.

Wood also is stacked at his nearby lakefront home, the bachelor pad where he and the twins live.

The house has a bike jump on the dock, three pool tables, two 70-inch TVs, a gym and a boxing ring, five Xboxes, a goldendoodle and a 250-pound English mastiff.

McDaniel grew up in the home that he took over last year after his mom, Arlene, moved into an apartment. He used to chop wood with his dad, Gary, a PUD retiree who died of cancer in 2013. On a small scale, his dad would take extras to townspeople in need after cutting enough for the home’s wood stove and fireplace.

McDaniel, who has six kids, wanted to share that experience with his two oldest boys. They went big, cutting about 40 cords, valued around $10,000.

“It is shocking to see what kind of living situations people have and how this affects them,” said his son Harrison. “We want this to be bigger someday. It is important to get more people taken care of.”

Brother Henry added: “It feels good to get out there and give back in the heart of it, where people really need it.”

Shane McDaniel dumps a load of donated logs at his home in Lake Stevens. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shane McDaniel dumps a load of donated logs at his home in Lake Stevens. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Most of the original wood has been given away. They’re stocking up again.

“People just bring it in and dump it,” McDaniel said. “Some goes straight out for delivery.”

He’ll fetch downed trees in many forms.

“Twice I’ve gone to pick up a truckload of Duraflame logs,” he said.

Requests outnumber supply.

Anne Anderson, director of the Lake Stevens Community Food Bank, is a volunteer who helps McDaniel screen applicants.

She said they try to give to the neediest.

“The ones that tug the hardest, elderly people with no family who can’t go gather wood or split wood. A parent taking care of a disabled child,” Anderson said. “There was a lady who lived quite a ways out who was living in a bus and she needed a fire to boil water.”

She hopes it inspires people to start firewood giveaways in their communities.

“There are programs to help people pay their electric bills, but what happens if they don’t have electric heat?” she said.

Much of the work now is preparing for next year.

“We need people with lots of muscles and big trucks and chain saws,” Anderson said.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Got firewood or muscles?

Visit Norm’s Market-Keg & Bottleshop at 10027 Lundeen Parkway in Lake Stevens or call 425-334-4646.

Talk to us

More in Local News

In this May 2020 photo, garbage cans line a residential street on trash pickup day in Mukilteo. In November, voters will weigh in on whether the city should encourage more high density housing. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Mukilteo asks for input on housing density, and it’s complicated

Here’s a guide to what voters should know about the advisory ballot measure. What does it actually do?

Community Transit is preparing to shift commuter buses that go to the University of Washington in Seattle to connect with Link light rail in Northgate next year. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Union: Community Transit vaccine mandate puts jobs in ‘jeopardy’

Meanwhile, at King County Metro, a similar mandate has significantly boosted vaccination rates.

Deena Jones gets a physical by Briana Brewer during one of her twice weekly checkups Thursday morning at UW Medicine in Seattle on September 30, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Her brother offered a kidney, and she got one, with a twist

Deena Jones’ nephew died in a random knife attack. His death could keep the Arlington pastor alive for decades.

Man injured in Marysville gas station shooting

People in two vehicles reportedly opened fire Monday morning. Detectives were seeking suspect information.

The concrete wall of the tennis courts at Clark Park in Everett was painted into a bright mural by people over two weekends. (Jay Austria)
Neighbors brighten Clark Park wall in Everett

People grabbed brushes and painted the concrete tennis court wall over two… Continue reading

An emergency responder uses a line to navigate the steep slope along a Forest Service road where seven people were injured Saturday when a vehicle went off the road near the Boulder River trailhead west of Darrington. (Darrington Fire District)
7 hurt in crash off cliff west of Darrington; 1 airlfited

A vehicle crashed on a forest service road near Boulder River, leading to a major rescue operation.

The aftermath of a fire that damaged a unit at the Villas at Lakewood apartment complex in Marysville on Saturday. (Marysville Fire District)
2 families displaced by Marysville apartment fire

Nobody was injured when the fire broke out Saturday morning on 27th Avenue NE.

Kevin Gallagher (from the Snohomish County Official Local Voters’ Pamphlet November 2, 2021 General Election)
Kevin Gallagher, a Marysville City Council candidate, dies

Kevin Gallagher, 52, died at home of natural causes. He was challenging incumbent Councilmember Tom King.

Clouds hover over the waters off Everett's western edge Monday morning. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Get ready for La Niña and a soggy winter in Snohomish County

After a hot, dry summer, Washington feels like Washington again. Damp. Gray. Normal.

Most Read