It Takes A Village: Teens Build Community By Cutting Grass For FREE!
It started off as a punishment, but now four Louisville, Kentucky teens are seeing blessings by being a blessing to others.
About two months ago, mother and aunt, Barbara Wilson told one of the teens if he wanted money, he had to earn it.
“I told him to go cut the lawn at an abandoned house that was on our street and he had come back, and he had cut eight yards, both front and back,” Wilson said.
That’s right, eight houses instead of one.
It was at that moment when Travis Durham realized he enjoyed cutting grass and recruited his brothers and cousin to help out.
“It makes me feel that I really got people out there that care. Like it’s more people that care about the community,” Durham said.
The teens take requests sent to their mom through Facebook or email. They do all of their work for free.
“We doing it for the community, people who can’t get out and do it. And I got my brothers involved ’cause I kind of showed them and told them the good effects,” Travis told the news station. He says they hope to build a bigger sense of community by helping total strangers.
“He’s the one that had the idea, the special kid that likes cutting grass for punishment,” Wilson told the station.
The four boys, all around the ages of 14 and 15, go door-to-door to offer their services to people. However, they aren’t always met warmly.
“Because they’re young black males, people are a little afraid to open their door,” Wilson said. “They just shut the door, [say] ‘No thank you.’ They don’t even give them a chance to tell them, ‘It’s free; we want to stay out of trouble, we just want to take care of our community.’”
But the boys keep trucking, offering services in Newburg; south, east and west Louisville; Valley Station; and other Kentucky locations, with Wilson and her husband playing chauffeur.
“I drop them off, pick them up on my lunch break and take them to their next location. They’ll go around the neighborhood and just cut grass until me or my husband is able to get to them. They’ll just keep cutting,” Wilson said.
For the young men, it’s a way to stick by their motto: “It takes a village together we stand strong.”
While the boys do all the lawn work for free, they have a GoFundMe account set up. Since hearing their story, it has gone viral and they’ve raised nearly $74,000 of their only $6,000 goal!
On their fundraising page it states:
Travis, Demontae, Thomas and Alan. Well mannered, respectful kids who noticed that some of their neighbors are unable to maintain their yard due to various reasons. Some are elderly and their health prevents them from working in the heat, single family homes who can’t afford the proper equipment, abandon homes that have been trashed and vandalized, especially in the west end. Among other struggles in their community…