A New Jersey man was fired because of the pandemic. Now he mows lawns for seniors and veterans for free
The 39-year-old worked hard as a digital advertising manager in New York City. That was how hard his wife would often pull him away from his computer.
Although his life was troubled, Schwartz decided not to let the pandemic get the best out of him.
Looking at his late grandfather, the Wayne, New Jersey resident realized that seniors and veterans in his community were having major battles against Covid-19. And he wanted to help.
Schwartz decided that lawn mowing is a socially distant service that he can offer for free to anyone over 65. And so, I Want To Mow Your Lawn – his free ministry – was born.
“I love grandparents.” Schwartz told CNN. “I can only imagine the stress they are all going through. I have found that many of them (seniors) have steady incomes, so I figured there was a creative way to help them. Not just physically, but also mentally. “
The former advertiser used his marketing knowledge to set up a website and Facebook page. “With everything going on in the world, the least I can do for our older neighbors is the least I can do,” he writes on his website IWantToMowYourLawn.com. “I love grandparents. I miss mine. It feels good to help. … I’m also looking for disabled veterans! I believe that everything comes back when you bring something good into the universe.”
Soon after he posted a press release on the local news to publicize his mission, his free lawn service began to boom.
At the end of June he got his first customer. Since then, Schwartz, who had little landscaping experience before starting his new company, has cared for more than a dozen seniors.
Before each appearance, Schwartz loads his garden tools into the back of his jeep and gets to work. He maintains social distance by calling customers on arrival and sending air hugs to approved customers.
He doesn’t accept tips – but many have made donations to help with fuel bills or to charities that are close to Schwartz’s heart and which he lists on his website.
He now serves in four New Jersey counties: Passaic Counties, Morris Counties, Bergen Counties, and Essex Counties.
Two neighbors, who also lost their jobs during the pandemic, even joined the new landscaper on his mission.
Schwartz said he plans to expand his free lawn mowing service further to figure out his next career move. He encourages others who have become unemployed due to the pandemic to keep networking and never to give up.
Until then, Schwartz said he would continue to follow his heart.