Last year, our partners at Scoop highlighted the wonderful charity work of Brian Schwartz, 40, an advertising executive who lost his job during the first wave of the pandemic. Instead of sitting around the house, Schwartz decided to use his free time to give back to others during troubled times.
He started a lawnmowing service out of the trunk of his family's Jeep for the elderly, disabled veterans, and underprivileged communities — all free of charge.
Taking care of a lawn can be difficult for elderly people, and those with physical ailments, and paying for a gardener can be expensive. Without help, a lawn can grow unruly and create a host of problems. In some communities, people can be fined for letting their lawns grow too high.
"I believe in putting some good into the universe," Schwartz of Wayne, New Jersey, told NorthJersey.com. "I see what's going on in the world, and I just want to help out."
Over the course of a month, his charity quickly grew to become a full-blown non-profit.
In June 2020 he laid out his plans for the charity saying he had "a moonshot vision to scale beyond just one small area of the country — through the help of advisors, volunteers & other network partners."
A year later he achieved his vision. His website, IWantToMowYourLawn.com now connects the elderly, veterans, people in disadvantaged communities, and people with health problems, to free lawnmowers in 16 states, including California, Colorado, and the Carolinas.
People who need assistance in those service areas can simply enter their zip code on the website and be connected to someone who can mow their lawn for free. Currently, he has a backlog of 350 people who've requested complimentary lawn care assistance.
Schwartz recently got a new job as the director of an eCommerce company so it's been a little tough for him to handle both his professional life and the charity.
"We're going through growing pains," he said. "There's a ton of new leads coming in every day."
To help meet the increasing demand, Schwartz has begun to work with professional landscapers that have the means to take the occasional free job without it hurting their bottom line.
Christopher Fuller, 46, heard about Schwartz's charity and now cuts the lawn of a veteran in his community. "It makes me feel great," he said. "It's really nothing for me to go over there." His roster of clients expanded when the veteran's wife asked if he could help a neighbor recovering from knee surgery.
"And I said, 'Yeah, I can do that,'" Fuller said.
Schwartz recently announced on Instagram that he's expanding the service to assist single working parents and medical professionals that serve on the front lines.
Schwartz is a wonderful example of someone who faced a hard time and didn't take it lying down. He may have lost his job but he saw it as an opportunity to give back and it's inspired dozens of people to do so as well.
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