What started out as a punishment, turned into a community service project for a group of teens.
Kentucky mom, Barbara Wilson, tried to punish her son, Travis Durham, by making him mow lawns for free. But it backfired — he enjoyed it.
“That’s originally how it started. Punishment. And he loved it!” Barbara Wilson said. “I told him to go cut a couple of our neighbors’ yards, and when I got home, he had cut eight yards, front and back. He loves doing it.” Wilson said.
In fact, Travis loved the job so much, that he persuaded his two brothers and a cousin to join him, and the four of them decided to start a free lawn-mowing service for their community.
“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’s the one that had the idea, the special kid that likes cutting grass for punishment,” Wilson told the station.
The four teenage boys now go door-to-door, to offer their lawn care services to people in the community. The boys aren’t always met with enthusiasm though. According to Travis’ mother, some people are afraid to even open the door to the well meaning teens.
“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.’”
The teens haven’t let that slow them down, they have been offering services in Newburg; south, east and west Louisville; Valley Station; and other Kentucky locations, with Wilson and her husband playing chauffeur.
“I haven’t had a car in about two months. We’ve been renting a car,” Wilson said. “They have two lawn mowers right now, the rent-a-car; we’ll load them up, drop them off to a community in the morning, pick them up at lunch, take them to a different community, pick them up when I get off work.”
“My husband may drop by and pick them up and take them to a different location. So me and my husband and the kids have to be coordinated all day,” she added.
The teens refuse to accept money for their work, however they are accepting donations through their GofundMe page to help with the costs of equipment maintenance and transportation. The money will also be used to fund a trip to Disney, next summer as a reward for the hardworking boys. As of today (08/03) they have raised over $75,000! Far surpassing their original goal of only $6,000.
“It was a big deal for them. It got them motivated,” Wilson said. “I told them, regardless, if they make enough money or not, me and my husband, we’ll find a way. They may not have the best of everything, but they have everything that they need. And for the things that they want, they have to do things like this to earn it.”
Wilson, according to the GoFundMe page, is also encouraging all young men willing to participate.
“It makes me feel blessed. I’m proud, don’t get me wrong. I’m blessed,” Wilson said. “There are so many kids out here that are so materialistic, they would not do this work for free.”