Paying It Forward... For Senior Citizens

Steepletown’s lawncare crew goes through more equipment than your typical company.  As part of Steepletown’s JobStart training, most of the young men out there cutting lawns for Seniors in the Grand Rapids community have very little if any experience with this equipment.   As a result, the learning curve that is based on experience and time is a bit more taxing on our equipment. 

This Spring a couple different companies have stepped up to offer some help.  Woodland Equipment on Lake Michigan Drive donated three pieces of equipment.  Doug Reich, Sales & Marketing at Woodland Equipment, showed up on a sunny afternoon in early May to train a small crew of guys on how to change the line on the new trimmer and properly maintain the lawn mower.   They also had some fun with a drone that Doug brought; live footage can be seen by going to their Facebook page.

A few weeks later Steve Iveson with Briggs & Stratton/Vanguard stopped over to the Steepletown Center to also donate a couple lawn mowers.  The guys on the crew were interested in learning more about these machines as they are a recently-engineered model that has a single wheel-base in front rather than a two-wheel axle.  Steve even showed them other cutting-edge equipment that he was trailering to a sales exhibit.  It certainly peeked the interest of the guys to know that lawncare is a serious profession.

Steepletown’s lawncare service is largely funded through the Kent County Senior Millage.  This initiative of Steepletown is primarily intended to offer hands-on work for the young men of JobStart that provides the structure for developing a work ethic and employability skills.  It also supports many Senior households in the neighborhoods of Grand Rapids and surrounding communities (Comstock Park, Walker and Wyoming) who choose to live independently in their own homes.   For example, Steepletown’s oldest client is 103!   While Senior Millage funding covers many of the costs for this service, other financial support is very much appreciated.  Thanks again to Woodland Equipment and Briggs & Stratton/Vanguard.

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Dick Bulkowski

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