Friday, 16 December 2016

Slab Poured, Frames Stood

 There's been incredible progress on site over the last few months- here's a look at where we got up to, as we break for Christmas/New Year!

Since the incessant rain finally stopped we have been able to get cracking on the block. First to go up was the shed in October, then the house slab was poured on the 17th November- the kids birthdays! A fantastic present we thought... 

Slab prep; plumbing, formwork and termite barrier.

The 'waffle pods' for the slab. 

Pouring the slab. 

A solid birthday present! - I (Jemimah) got to write in the walls! :)

Keeping the slab wet as it cured over the next week or so.

Jem and Ben after a day working at the block with friends.

After the slab was cured later in November we had a 'barn-raising' one Saturday to stand the frames; 19 people from Canowindra and Orange showed up! The local CWA branch took care of lunch and by the end of the day we had the beginnings of a house!

The first frame is stood.


The beginnings of the house!

In early December the roof trusses began to line up.. 

The larger girder trusses were installed...

And the roof trusses were completed!

looking along the hallway.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped us get to this stage! We really appreciate your friendship and support! Thanks especially to Mark Ward for organising a constant stream of help. 
Looking forward to what the new year will bring!! 
Happy Christmas! 

the view of the house from the road.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Foundations Underway

Foundations of Accessible House for Triplets  Underway!

It's been an exciting time around here lately, with years of planning starting to take physical shape.

 Thanks again to everyone involved so far in this monumental 'barn-raising'; whether it be through friendship, prayer, donations, work-in-kind, equipment, supplies, labour or fundraising. We really appreciate it all, big and small. We really couldn't be achieving this for our kids on our own. 

Here's a quick recap of recent developments to get you up to speed:

The consistent sunshine meant we could finally make a start on foundations after three months of waiting. 

In the last week of October the house pad was prepared, profiles were set up, and the piers dug and concreted. 

Big thanks to Guy Lanyard for doing the house pad, James Isaacs for the profiles, and Michael Payten for his help with the piers. 

Preparing the house pad surface

Pouring pier concrete 

The pad, the piers and the profiles, all ready to be boxed up for the concrete slab! 

So ... what's going to happen next?

The Concrete slab for the house is due to be formed up and poured next week, coinciding with the kids 10th birthday on the 17th Nov! Big thanks to Andrew Broad and his team from Cowra for 'squeezing us in' to their busy schedule. 

The Framework for the house walls are due to be delivered the week after, from 21st Nov. We've put the call out for volunteers to help us stand them. Big thanks to everyone who has responded so far! We could always go an extra hand if you're in the area. 

The Roof trusses are due to be delivered the week of the 28th Nov, and we could really use volunteers this week as well. Thanks very much to those who are coming for that week! :) 

The Colourbond roof - if we can get a roofer organised in time- could also, potentially, be put up before Christmas!

Did You Know? Other Amazing and Beautiful 'House Things' have happened behind the scenes;

Concrete components have been donated by these large suppliers, thanks to Helen and Michael Payten for chasing them up, and local business for delivering them, including Earsmans Concrete, Canowindra;
Sand from Benedict, Sydney- thanks to Dana, CEO.
Cement from Boral, Sydney- thanks to Charbel, sales team.
Gravel from Millers Metals, West Wyalong- thanks to Peter, CEO. 

Windows and doors have been ordered, with massive discounts, thanks to the owners of Taberners Glass in Orange, and Rylock in Sydney, 

Slab insulation has been donated and delivered thanks to Adam from Kingspan Insulation, Sydney.

Termite barrier has been donated and delivered, with our thanks to Lindsay and Pat from FMC, Sydney.

Slab steel has been delivered with considerable discount, thanks to One Steel in Orange. 

The Shed is up on site, and doing a great job, thanks to a great deal from Paul, from Selecta Sheds in Orange.

Dan, from Cook and Roe Engineering in Orange, has been providing amazing assistance and generosity with our ongoing project.

Darryn and co. from Truss and Frame Factory in Bathurst have been invaluable in their assistance and generosity.

Dick Clarke, our building designer from Envirotecture, has been generously providing ongoing advice and assistance.

James Isaacs, our wonderful local builder, has been really great to work with on the ground. 

Mark Ward and team of locals from the kids charity (Raising For The Read Triplets) have been fantastic, providing ongoing support as things progress.

Despite the many crazy, horrible things going on in the world, there is definitely places where deep generosity of spirit, true goodness, and the real beauty of kind people shines bright and strong ... 
We are so grateful and honoured to be recipients of it here.

We'll be in touch. 

Many thanks, 
-Jem Read.

Anwen, Gideon and Mahalah inspecting the site! :)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Our New Charity Gains Tax-Deductible Status!

You don't know how hard it is to get Deductible Gift Recipient status.

There are multiple government organisations to deal with, reams of paperwork to complete, fists of letters to be written, hours of phone calls to be made, and months of waiting.. 

But thanks to the tireless work of some amazing Canowindra locals, and after almost a year of ongoing submissions and re-submissions;
 'Raising For The Read Triplets Inc' is now a registered, incorporated charity, and has achieved DGR status from the Australian Taxation Office!!

We would never have done this on our own. It was in the 'too-hard basket'. So we are grateful beyond words to the main drivers; Jackie and Geoff Yeo, and Mark and Anne Ward; two amazingly determined couples! Our thanks to the whole committee, pictured below, who got together time and again to make it all happen. 

Most of the charity's committee at a significant meeting; L to R, Jemimah Read, Robyn Cleary, Anne Ward, Margaret Wallington, Jackie and Geoff Yeo, Dylan Gower, Ross Cleary, Mark Ward, Sam and Anna Stranger, Eugene Marais, and Helen and Michael Payten. 

What does this DGR mean?

DGR or Tax-deductible status is a massive bonus for our charity! 
It means that individuals, businesses, or companies can make a tax-deductible donation to the charity 'Raising For The Read Triplets', and receive a receipt of their donation for their annual tax return. 

It has the potential to provide for Anwen, Mahalah and Gideon for their lives- not just for their immediate housing needs. 
Because; there will be life-long costs associated with their disability.

Now it's a matter of getting the word out there! 
Anyone know of any philanthropic groups, businesses or companies who might like to help?

Anwen, Jemimah, Mahalah and Gideon receiving a $5,000 donation for the new accessible house. 

How to make a tax-deductible donation?

The details for the 'Raising for the Read Triplets' DGR account are below. You may notice they are different to the account details previously posted on this blog. Please disregard the old account details I posted, as they are not linked to the charity's account and are not DGR. 

To receive a tax-deductible receipt please email your details and postal address to Eugene Marais at

'Raising for the Read Triplets Inc' DGR account details are:

Bank: NAB
Account name: Read Triplets DGR Account. 
BSB: 082 774
Account No: 402 853 874

How can we ever say thank you enough?!

With much gratitude and on behalf of the family,

Jemimah Read.

 P.S: Update on the Build

The constant rain has continued to delay the start on the house, but in the meantime, thanks to some local blokes lending their valuable machinery and time, we have been slowly putting the shed up. As well as Bens future workshop, this will be an excellent storage place to build the house from! We continue to wait for drier weather... But, like the song we sang the other day in church, 'Our God Reigns'..!  :)

Thank you to the brilliant blokes; Murray Aldridge, Michael Payten, Ken Stanley, Les Pfieffer, Peter Henry, Paul Earsman, Ian, Mitch, and Colin, who all lent a hand at various stages of the shed build.  Community barn-raising this is.  

Skeleton of the shed and puddles on the house pad beyond.
Walls go up. 

Murray and Ben put up the corner capping. They're roofing today, as I write.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Work Begins After A Wet Winter

It Rained. And it Rained. And it Rained.. 

It started raining in May, the day after the earthworks were done. It did not stop raining for three months. The ground became so boggy that we could not get on site. Everything ground to a halt as we were forced to wait for drier weather. It has been a long winter, but recently things began to change.. 

What the site looked like for 3 months.  :(

Waiting for things to dry up..

A lot of water. The local river burst its banks a few times. 

I'm pleased to say the sun came out a few weeks ago and we have just recently been able to get started..

Visiting the block for the first time in months. (Dad had to push out a few bogged chairs..)

The house pad in the foreground, with the shed pad at the back. (left of the machinery)

Making a Start

Now that things are drying up, the first thing we've done is start on the shed. Ben (who is an owner/builder) has been busy levelling and preparing the ground for the shed slab, and in the next couple of weeks will be able to erect the shed kit on top. 

Some may wonder why we've started with the shed, and not the house? There's a couple of reasons; the house pad is not quite dry enough to access, and the shed is the first thing we've been able to do. 

Secondly, and more importantly, the shed will be like a site-office / storage place for equipment and building materials as we build the house. It's going to be a very handy 'base' to work from. It will also have a loo and shower which will be great for any volunteers who stay and help.  

The kids exploring around the shed pad

The form work for the shed slab

I was out at the block the other day, just looking, and I realised that everything I could see had a story of generosity behind it. So many people have been involved in these first small steps of our modern-day community 'barn raising'. We are very grateful. 

Thanks so much to: 

-The generous local couple who donated the cost of the Earthworks. 
-Guy Lanyard for delivering tons of crushed granite at a reduced rate.
-Selecta Shed in Orange for the reduced cost of our shed kit.
-OneSteel in Orange for a great discount on the steel 'rio' mesh for the shed and house slabs.  
-Michael Payten for procuring fantastic assistance from cement companies. 
-Les Pfeifer for being a great help to Ben.  
-Ken Stanley and James Isaacs for the lend of essential equipment. 
-The committee members of The Read Triplet Trust; for their outstanding determination and support.  

Despite the wet weather The Read Triplet Trust Committee have been doing some wonderful things over the last few months. 
This amazing group of Canowindra locals came together last year of their own accord, saw our kids need, and have doggedly persisted in developing a wonderful charity which will assist our kids for their whole lifetimes. 

Over the last few months the committee have;

-Been working hard to achieve DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status, meaning that once set up, all donations can be tax-deductible. Stay tuned for that exciting development, and the account details. (For more information on donating to the Trust call Anne or Mark Ward on 0428 443 262).

-Hosted a fundraising long lunch at our local Wallington Winery's cellar door. 150 people attended, and $13,000 was raised! 

-Took part in this years City2Surf in Sydney. They raised a team of 35 members, who have so far raised $5,000 with more pledges coming in. 

-As well as the above, The Read Triplet Trust has been selected by up and coming singer/songwriter Gordi as her charity of choice if she wins an MTV competition. MTV will donate $10,000 if Gordi wins the most votes in their 'Brand New' competition. (Vote by tweeting #MTVbrandnewGordi) 

The Long Lunch fundraiser at Wallington Winery's cellar door 
Some of the silent auction

Some of the 35 strong team 'Raising A Roof' at City2Surf 2016; Mark & Anne Ward, Michael Payten, Marg Wallington.

Upcoming singer/songwriter Gordi at the City2Surf with her family, Canowindra locals.

Well, it should be an exciting few months.. I'm hoping and praying that work can continue, that the shed will be up soon and we can get started on the house.. will keep you posted! 

Check out our FB page for more details, as they happen; 

Thanks so much to all our friends and family for their support and friendship, and to the amazing regular donors who put in every month towards the new house. Thank you!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Starting the build: Earthworks

 Mahalah, Jem, Anwen, Ben and Gideon Read. John Ross in dozer.
Photo credit: ABC Central West Melanie Pearce.

Tuesday the 17th of May was a VERY exciting day for us. The dozer arrived on site and by that afternoon the block was transformed. We had begun. 

3 Vista Lane is now officially a work site! Big thanks to Canowindra local business, John Ross Earthmoving, for tackling our huge job. Not an easy task. 

That afternoon Melanie Pearce, a fantastic reporter and photographer for ABC Central West, came out and did an excellent story about our journey so far. 

We are really happy with how she managed to capture the real essence of our story so well. Spot on. Check out her brilliant article and photos at the ABC Central West web page, here. And feel free to on-share with anyone who may be interested. 

The big dozer arrives on site

The first few passes- goodbye grass!

Ben, James Isaacs -our builder- and John Ross inspect the first days work

Mahalah up at the top gate after the first day

So, the journey takes a step up. We are so grateful for all the hundreds of people who have helped us get to where we are at this week! 

For more details as they happen, stay in touch by heading online to our Facebook page. (You can view it even if you don't have a Facebook account). 

Jem xo

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Silver Shovel Ceremony

On Saturday we held the Turning of the First Sod- what an amazing day! We were blessed with gorgeous weather and were joined by over 50 family, friends, and supporters..

Our designer Dick Clarke from eco building design company, Envirotecture, said a few words about our project, and recognised the local indigenous traditional owners of the area. 

Then Ben spoke about our vision and our hopes for our kids behind it all. Ben explained how we also recognise the Original Owner of the land and explained how this whole process has been a 'leap of faith' that we're taking with Him.

After Ben, we asked our friend Dave Bullock to pray and dedicate the land and the building process to God. Then we and the kids dug in a silver shovel and posed for some pictures. 

The celebrations continued for us that evening as we had far-flung friends and family staying the weekend. 

The day was such a community event- we couldn't have done it on our own. Thank you so much to everyone involved on the day, and to everyone who attended. I felt like hugging them all! How lucky are we?!

A special mini-film of the event is currently in production- keep an eye out for it! 

Ben explains our vision

Myself, Ben and Dick Clarke out the front of the crowd
After the ceremony Anne Ward invited everyone back to Finns Store in town for a sumptuous 'high tea', put on by the committee of the local charity, 'The Read Triplets Trust Inc.' 

The trust was established a year ago by a group of philanthropic locals, to support the ongoing special needs of Anwen, Mahalah and Gideon. At the moment they are fundraising towards the house, and are entering a team again in this years City2Surf. That would have been more than enough, but they have gone above and beyond, and have established a long term Trust, beyond the completion of the new house, anticipating the ongoing long-term costs we will face in caring for Anwen, Mahalah and Gideon in their disability. This is the Australian country spirit at its finest ... 

More exciting news on the 'Read Triplet Trust' coming soon!

Nearing the end of the delicious 'high tea' at Finns

Now that the we have officially 'turned the sod', we look forward with excitement to launching into the project this next week with the Earthworks first up, provided by local earthmoving expert, John Ross. 

Then will come the forming up and pouring of the slab, and the need for a plumber. (Calling any plumbers?!) 

We are very grateful to Canowindra builder, James Isaacs, for overseeing the project and to builder Peter O'Brien from Peter O'Brien Constructions, based in nearby Blayney, for offering to help us out in this first stage, with some labour and materials!

This really is a modern 'barn-raising', and it's astonishing to think how we even got to this point, after realising 3 years ago that we needed to do something to accommodate our kids, but having no means to do so on our own.. 

In the middle of the night, when all is quiet and I get a chance to let it all sink in.. that's when I have to shed some heavy, grateful tears..

L to R: Dave Stiles, James Isaacs, Ben, and Dick Clarke meet over the house plans

So far we have raised an incredible $245K and the Read Triplet Trust has raised $47K. The house is going to take more than this to complete. We are grateful to everyone who has helped us come so far, but we still need help to get the kids there.

For those who may like to support us in building this 'miracle house', the building account details are:

Account Name: B & J Read Triplets Special Needs
Account BSB: 082 500
Account Number: 396 905 753
Bank: Canowindra NAB

Contact us at for any further details. For frequent updates as things unfold, check out our Facebook page (You don't have to have a Facebook account to view it!)

Thanks so very much,
Jem xo

Sunday, 17 April 2016

News Flash

We have council approval! 

Three years in the making and we’re THERE! 
I’m so excited and relieved to announce that this is HAPPENING! 

The 'Turning of the First Sod' will be in a few short weeks! 

Thanks SO much to all who have helped us reach this stage, and to all who have helped us start to realise this dream! 

For more updates as they happen, follow along at:
Thanks again, 
With Faith, Hope and Love,

Jem- on behalf of the family. xo

Friday, 8 April 2016

Turning The First Sod!

It’s hard to believe. It was three long years in the making, but we are on the cusp of STARTING to build the Miracle House. 

A few days ago we were able to submit the final applications to council. Approval should only be 2 short weeks away. We are very grateful to Dick and his team from Envirotecture for their generosity and skill. We are very grateful to the many supporters who have given so much to this venture. And we are very grateful to God for helping us each step of the way. It’s been an amazing journey. But it's not over yet ... 

Before we get building, we are planning on having a ‘Silver Shovel’ eventto turn the first sod! The idea is to have a simple get-together out at the block. We’ll invite key people involved so far, and commit the house and the building process to God. For more details on this event as it develops, keep in touch via our Facebook page

From there on in, this year is looking exciting; May should see the earthworks in full swing, and June, a concrete slab. All going well, July and August should see the framing up. We hope and pray that December will see an almost-finished house sitting out there at 3 Vista Lane ...

Another exciting event is taking place in August; The 'Read Triplets Trust' committee, based in Canowindra, will be putting a team together again for this years City2Surf! They are looking for entrants who would like to participate. Last year they raised over $44,000 simply by each entrant fundraising $500 each. Contact myself or Anne Ward on Facebook if you would like to join the team! 
Currently the grand total raised towards the kids accessible house is at about $289,000! It would incredible to make it to $300K! Thank you so much to all our beautiful donors. Past, present and future.

If you would like to help 'raise a roof' for Anwen, Mahalah and Gideon. feel free to donate directly to 'Read Triplets Special Needs', NAB Canowindra, BSB- 082 500Acc- 396 905 753 
(Some people have even gone so far as to set up a small regular donation each month!)
After the house is built this account will continue to help fund
 the triplets ongoing special needs as they grow, (equipment etc).

For weekly updates, pics and videos, 'like' our Facebook page-

With many thanks, 
on behalf of the family, 

Jem. xo