Using Your Gifts for Good: Walter Burbank, Sign-Maker Extraordinaire

10/25/18
 
Every talent and skill can be used by God to bless others, even the unexpected ones.
 
The Children of the Nations (COTN) campus in Silverdale, Washington, isn’t easily visible from the road. For years, donors, volunteers, and new employees struggled to find the headquarters, driving past the small, partially obscured mailbox sign. It’s impossible to guess how many people gave up on bringing in SmilePacks or other physical donations simply because they couldn’t find the drop-off site.
 
But that single, small sign is a thing of the past. Now, a large, clearly visible sign welcomes visitors from the road. And it could only have happened with the help of Walter Burbank.
 
Walter Burbank is an expert on signage with 38 years of experience in sign-making. He is the owner of SignWorks, a Silverdale-based company that makes custom signs. If you live in the Puget Sound region, chances are you’ve seen his handiwork on a shopfront or vehicle. 
 
COTN's new sign with Walter Burbank and other partners
COTN’s new sign! Walter Burbank (far left) shows off the new sign with other COTN volunteers and staff.
 
This sign isn’t the first project Walter has done for COTN. SignWorks has partnered with COTN since 2003 and designed the artwork on COTN’s first truck, installed the panels on our current truck, and donated numerous smaller signs to the campus. Walter has volunteered countless hours toward the organization.
 
“Walter has been a longtime advocate for COTN, and he’s gone above and beyond supporting us with signage and truck wrapping services,” says Dave Schertzer, COTN’s chief resource officer. 
 
Designing and installing such a large sign so close to the road was a long process filled with permits and paperwork. 
 
“It took jumping through quite a few hoops,” Walter says. He was instrumental in advocating for COTN to Kitsap County officials.
 
Volunteers and staff in front of the COTN truck
SignWorks installed the artwork on this truck, which carries large donations (like the SmilePacks these girls collected) to and from the COTN campus.
 
But Walter doesn’t want to take all the credit for the sign.
 
“I credit Dave [Schertzer] and all the folks at COTN who persisted in prayer,” he says. “I had already sort of given up, and only continued because Dave was continually calling me and asking, ‘how is this going?’ . . . So just call me the ‘reluctant servant’ [from] Matthew 21.”
 
We are also thankful to Kitsap County Public Works and the Kitsap County Department of Community Development for their cooperation and assistance in planning and installing the new sign.
 
“I love to help others,” Walter says, “so offering my sign services seems like a good way to express my love of Christ, and to, by proxy, help with mission work.” 
 
This sign makes sure COTN has a visible presence in the Silverdale community. It helps connect people like you to children around the world! And it wouldn’t be possible without SignWorks and Walter Burbank. 
 
Thank you
     Thank you, Walter, for all of your hard work for COTN and the children we serve!
 
Walter is an example of how anyone can use their skills and expertise to change children’s lives for the better. 
 
How will you use your God-given talents to serve His children?