The non-profit continues to mow lawns for those in need

In April last year, Total Landscape Care spoke to Brian Schwartz, a digital advertising executive who had been laid off at the height of the pandemic and decided to launch a free mowing service, I want to mow your lawn, which is now an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The idea was to dedicate some of her new free time to helping seniors in her community. This resulted in great media coverage, as well as others interested in helping across the country.

A lot more has happened since the last time we spoke to Schwartz, so we recently caught up with him to find out how I want to mow your lawn is doing now.

According to Schwartz, since April 2021, they have increased sixfold with the number of volunteers. I Want to Mow Your Lawn now operates in 38 states with 180 volunteers who have been onboarded and screened. They also received over 1,000 inquiries from customers across the country. That’s honestly more than Schwartz has been able to track, so he’s constantly looking for more help.

Although I Want to Mow Your Lawn began by focusing on older people and those who were not physically able to tend their own garden (and perhaps could not afford to pay someone ‘one to do it for them), the organization is also largely focused on veterans.

Help lift others

Equipment donated by Toro helps Brian Schwartz continue his non-profit organization.Brian Schwartz

Another big change is that the previously unemployed Schwartz is now employed again and earning an income. While I Want to Mow Your Lawn was meant to be a temporary venture that would keep Schwartz busy while he was looking for a job, he says it grew bigger than him and he wants to continue the effort.

“I have the blessing of my employer to continue this nonprofit work,” shares Schwartz. “I find a lot of meaning and purpose in it and now that I’ve built this platform, I want to use it to continue helping others. It may have started as just mowing for some neighbors, but it’s has become something that uplifts others across the country.”

Schwartz also continued to receive media coverage which allowed his efforts to grow. This even included being a guest on the Drew Barrymore Show. Barrymore surprised Schwartz with a gift. He also received a grant from Google and a donation of some electrical equipment from Toro.

“One thing I want to use this platform for is to encourage the use of more electrical equipment in the landscaping industry,” says Schwartz. “We certainly don’t turn away volunteers who use gas-powered equipment, but if we can play a small part in contributing to a cleaner Earth, we want to do so.”

An opportunity for professionals

Schwartz says I Want to Mow Your Lawn continues to provide opportunities for landscape professionals who want to get involved. Landscapers who volunteer will receive customer reviews and exposure for their efforts. It’s just one of the ways Schwartz uses his skills as a digital advertising manager to help landscapers who help his nonprofit.

According to Schwartz, volunteers get a shareable profile where they can manage tasks, upload photos of their work and log hours in a personalized dashboard. Those who use electric equipment or a combination of electric and gas equipment can also get an “Eco-Friendly” badge to attach to their profile. Volunteers receive a free logo tee after completing their first assignment. This can be a great opportunity for new landscapers to start gaining exposure while helping others in their local community.

In the future, Schwartz hopes to partner with other equipment manufacturers who may be willing to donate to his cause.

“There are a lot of people who need help,” he says. “We want to continue to get that message across.”

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