“Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.”
How often have you said that to someone going through an extremely difficult time? How often have you gotten a response other than “Oh, nothing. I’m OK.”?
Brett LaForge, of Cottleville, had an extremely difficult time when his father had cancer and he spent many hours at the hospital or driving his father back and forth to chemotherapy treatments. LaForge’s life revolved around his father. Meanwhile, day-to-day chores did not get done.
He later realized that the problem was “the hour here and the hour there that could, over time, add up to a lot of help to families in difficult times.” That realization led him to found “Mow Down Cancer,” a nonprofit that helps families who have a loved one going through cancer treatments by providing free lawn care; thus, removing one weekly chore from the family’s to-do list.
It seems simple, LaForge said, but it is something specific that frees up a family’s time and removes one worry, so they can focus on treatments and being with their loved one. “If we can give back one-hour per week that would otherwise be spent mowing the lawn, the mission is a success,” LaForge explained.
The nonprofit’s motto is “Helping families one lawn at a time.” Professional lawn care companies who share the same vision and goal of the charity provide the mowing and maintenance services. They are paid by the charity through tax-deductible donations.
In the past year, 10 families have been helped by the fledgling charity, which wants to help more.
“If the public knows of someone who would like or needs this service, emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.” LaForge said. “The latest volunteer opportunities also can be found on Facebook.”
“Recent studies show that the average cancer treatment can cost upwards of $100,000 per year,” LaForge further explained, citing a June 2018 AARP article on “The High Cost of Cancer Treatment. “Although insurance covers most of the cost depending on plan, other monthly cost such as lawn care and other activities are put on the back burner.”
LaForge said, “The public can help through monetary donations, volunteering time or spreading the Mow Down Cancer mission through word-of-mouth.”