What started out as a free lawn-mowing service for seniors in one man’s area has turned into so much more.
In June 2020, Brian Schwartz of New Jersey lost his job at a digital advertising agency. With time to spare, he started mowing lawns for veterans, older neighbors, people with disabilities, and families in need.
At first, he took on everything by himself, but the jobs just kept coming! It reached a point where Brian couldn’t do it all on his own, so on a whim, he started his own nonprofit called I Want To Mow Your Lawn.
“Soon I was harboring a moonshot vision of helping people on a scale beyond just my own part of the country,” Brian said. “This would mean getting other people involved — advisors, volunteers, landscaping companies, network partners, and donors, too.”
His new venture quickly became a booming success, and a whole year later, just like grass, it keeps on growing! Instead of helping only people in New Jersey, I Want To Mow Your Lawn has expanded to 16 states.
To use this one-of-a-kind service, all you have to do is go to their website, put in your zip code, and search for volunteers near you.
Maintaining the popular nonprofit takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s made easier by all the individual lives that are benefiting from what Brian has created.
For example, in a city a few miles north of Detroit, a veteran with a disability was in need of Brian’s services. When his request came through, Brian saw that this out-of-state client needed a volunteer. Every time this happens, Brian uses other platforms to find people to help out.
In doing so, he found Christopher Fuller. At 46 years old, Christopher was looking for ways to give back to his community and thought this was a perfect opportunity.
After cutting the veteran’s grass for a few weeks, the stranger’s wife asked if Christopher would be able to mow their neighbor’s lawn. Like her husband, her neighbor was a veteran with a disability. He was also recovering from knee surgery, and Christopher was more than happy to help.
“It makes me feel great,” he said. “It’s really nothing for me to go over there.”
As incredible as the nonprofit’s success has been, expanding so quickly has presented them with new challenges, including a need for more volunteers. As of now, there’s a backlog of about 350 inquiries from those wanting their services.
“We’re going through growing pains,” Brian said. “There’s a ton of new leads coming in every day.”
To help keep up with the demand, Brian has managed to reach out and find professional landscapers who are willing to provide their services to the nonprofit for free. It’s not always easy to get them on board, but the exposure companies get from volunteering their time helps a lot.
“I always worked for other people,” said Jazz Samad, the owner of a landscaping company in New Milford. “Now that I have more freedom, I’m happy to do it.”
No matter how overwhelming running the nonprofit can be at times, the end results make it more than worth it.
“It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s inspiring,” Brian said, “just to know that I’m making a difference.”
If you’d like to become a volunteer for I Want To Mow Your Lawn, visit their website and sign up! Don’t forget to share this story with a friend to spread the word.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.