Meet Don & Shirl !
Without sounding biased, I would like to share the tireless, but meaningful work these two faithful people do !
Yes biased, because Don is my brother with my sister-in-law, Shirley, but deserving.
Why do I want to share this – because I think it is time this was recognized!
For 17 years now Don & Shirl have been travelling many parts of Australia volunteering their much appreciated work to help people, churches & communities better their lives. From many kitchens, stairwells, sound desks, cupboards galore, bookcases, extensions etc to mowing lawns, maintaining properties & just helping out generally, Don & Shirl work together as a well conditioned machine. They know what each other has to do, and they organize all details, and virtually just get the job done. On a business trip to Tasmania this past weeks, Steve & I have been privileged to travel with them, and experience a snippet of the life they have lived by faith for so many years.
First after meeting us off the boat in Devonport & then helping us set up & run the Sandi Hands Sanding Glove Store for 4 days that we held at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart, we headed off to meet a few of our new Stockists & then north to the Bass Strait coastline with Don & Shirl enlightening us of the local area, they now call home for at least 3 months every year. During that time they spend travelling from one job to the next – motorhome & trailer in tow. Even the caravan park managers/owners know them by first names & speak highly of them along the way. Thanks to Don & Shirl, we have come to know a lot of lovely Tassie hospitality type people, who all welcomed us with open arms, and offers to visit & stay at anytime we are back here marketing in the future.
We have received so many meals, gifts in the way of jams, honey, chutneys, food, timber implements, and the list goes on.
On the way to Hobart we were introduced to Ross, a very historical English style village, with stone cottages, churches, town buildings; a lot original as well, dating back to the 1800’s, and filled with the friendliest people as well, including this funny fellow below !!!
From Hobart after all the busyness of the Festival we headed up to Devonport & on to some of the most gorgeous authentic towns I have ever seen. Deloraine was a place I will always want to come back to – right on the Meander River. From there we made our way up to Smithton passing by Ulverstone, Penguin, Burnie, & Somerset. We were welcomed with open arms by the local ladies who Don & Shirl have known for years after working for them at their local church at Marrawah on the West Coastline of Tasmania. After being escorted to a pub lunch in the old town hotel, we headed further south-west to Marrawah Baptist Church. Marrawah is a small farming town with just a few churches, a general store, a Tavern & a lot of very friendly people. This is where we camped for the week while trying to help Don & Shirl out as much as we could while working as well on the business.
They have done a lot of work here over the past years – this time the kitchen needed revamping with new shelving, cupboard doors re-done, and various other jobs that pop up while they are present.
While Don is busy working, Shirl gets busy sorting out anything that needs doing to help out. I think she wondered what she had started once the boxes of stuff came out of the cupboards.
There was so much to sort out, but Shirl just put head down & tail up and got the job done, and so efficiently as well. She has a system & she sticks to it !
In no time the jobs were done & dusted – all cupboards finished, containers sorted & labelled. They will be able to find things now !!
On the Saturday, the group called Bikes for Bibles, were visiting for lunch so the work had to be finalized and cleaned up ready. You would think that would be enough, but there was Don on Saturday in the kitchen helping with his artistic gifts of carving the fruit to decorate the platters of fruit.
From Marrawah, Don & Shirl headed back to Somerset Baptist as they were asked to do some work there as well including fixing a baptismal bath in the church that someone else had put in years before. Don’s gifts are wide & extensive & his work is top notch. He is one of those people who can put his hands to almost anything, and you can depend on it being done efficiently.
I asked Don to show me what he had done around the place. He humbly showed me as I photographed them with pride.
The Sound Desk ….. from start to finish !!
Large book case wall unit as well as a ladder going up to the storage in the ceiling.
Built-in cupboards either side of the pulpit in the main church.
And of course he is handy with motorhome repairs as well – ‘handy brother to have …
I feel so blessed !
Don was one of my first tradies to try our Sandi Hands Sanding Gloves – he loves them and shows you how well they work on the most intricate sanding jobs.
Everywhere we went he was telling people about our Sandi Hands !
See here …
Yes you guessed it – He built this too, from the bus shell to a motorhome, with such meticulous details to suit his & Shirley’s needs for a home on wheels. And even the trailer is another of Don’s amazing jobs well done !! They together have thought of everything to make this a very comfortable motorhome.
They work as such a great team.
Not only are they a great team but their dedication to firstly God & to others is one to be well admired. They put their utmost into every job done & above all of their gifts & talents, is a huge heart for people & their needs. They do all this for love not money! So many have been blessed & helped by Don & Shirl over the years, and so many are fortunate enough to have them return year after year to continue with more work required. Their provisions have been, for a long time, by faith – an amazing life just living one day to the next, trusting God for their needs. Their stories of miracles are even more amazing !
Not only did we have an awesome time together getting to know Tasmania & it’s beautiful people, but we have experienced a time in our lives that we will always cherish. As youngest brother & sister of 5 siblings, Don was always my company, cook & transport, being 4 years older than me, when Mum & Dad went away. We went to the same youth group & therefore a lot of our friends were youth group members. Don met Shirl through the youth group & I introduced my hubby, Steve to the youth group too. We had many fun years growing up involved there. It was a great grounding for us !!
Don might be gifted, clever & has a HUGE heart, BUT he is also crazy funny at the rarest & most random moments. He laughs every day & keeps you amused with his weird but wonderful antics !
Below – Here he is trying to get out of the way of the camera … Crazy man !
It was such a great time with Don & Shirl travelling & working Tasmania together but finally we had to wave good-bye as they headed back to the mainland, after being there for 3 months working.
Love you Bro … You are a true blue !!
Me & my bro !