Brian Schwartz, 39, did not let the downsizing get the best of him and thus came up with this superb initiative to help seniors.
The ongoing pandemic has not only forced us into our homes but has also left many unemployed. But Brian Schwartz saw it as an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of the most vulnerable. The 39-year-old worked very hard as a New York City digital advertising executive, and his wife says that she would often have to drag him away from his computer to remind him that he has a life outside work as well. Then came the pandemic and Schwartz was, unfortunately, let go of his job in mid-June. Despite having his life turned upside down suddenly, the man was determined not to let the current situation get the best of him. Thus, he began looking for things he could do.
A true patriot! A poor one, with lots of debt and possibly homeless in a few years.. but a damn fine patriot 😆— Jeroen Nijssen (@JoeBlack2k) September 3, 2020
The thought of his late grandfather soon came to his mind and New Jersey realized that veterans and senior citizens in the community were fighting a more challenging battle i.e. COVID-19 than others. "I just love grandparents," said Schwartz. "I can only imagine the stress they're all going through. I realized a lot of them (senior citizens) are on fixed incomes, so I figured there's a creative way to help them out. Not just physically, but also mentally." He wanted to help them in a way that would not involve them coming in contact with him, reports CNN.
That's how Schwartz came to the conclusion of mowing lawns, a socially distanced service that he decided to provide free of charge to those over 65 years of age. Using his knowledge of marketing, the former advertiser set up a website for his 'I Want To Mow Your Lawn' initiative and a Facebook page as well. "In June 2020, I was laid off from a Digital Advertising Agency based in NYC. (Thanks Covid-19)," reads the website. "Soon after, I decided on a whim to start a FREE Lawn Mowing program for Seniors 65+ in North New Jersey. With a moonshot vision to scale beyond just one small area of the country — through the help of advisors, volunteers & other network partners."
"With all going on in the world, it’s the least I could do for our elderly neighbors. I love grandparents. I miss mine. Feels good to help out.… Also looking to help disabled veterans! I believe that putting some good out into the universe, it all comes back," it continued. Following a press release to the local news, the word about his free lawn service spread far and wide. By the end of June, he received his first customer and to date, he has mowed lawns for more than a dozen seniors. Schwartz, who had some landscaping experience before beginning this latest venture, gets all his gardening equipment loaded into the back of his jeep before each gardening gig.
Before beginning his work, he makes sure to maintain social distance by giving his customers a call and sharing air hugs with them. Although he does not accept any tips for his work, he is "accepting donations" for the cost of gas or toward non-profit organizations that are close to Schwartz's heart. He now offers services in four New Jersey counties as well: Passaic County, Morris County, Bergen County, and Essex County. Turns out that Schwartz's generous effort has inspired two of his neighbors, who too lost their jobs during the pandemic, to join him on his mission. For now, Schwartz plans to continue expanding his free lawn mowing service while figuring out his next career move. Encouraging others facing unemployment just like him due to the health crisis, he urged them to continue networking and to never give up hope.