To supplement his income as a private school teacher in Michigan, Kyle Schroeder spent summers cutting grass for a small lawn maintenance outfit. Coming up on his sixth summer, however, the company was not able to hire him.
A former teacher, Kyle Schroeder of Schroeder’s Lawn & Garden in Tecumseh, Michigan, has made the grade as a GreenCare and SnowCare for Troops volunteer.
“I put it out there that I was available to cut grass for extra income, and it just blew up,” he remembers.
That was the summer of 2015, and the work kept coming, even after school started. “I was cutting lawns on weekends and evenings every day of the week. Fortunately, the school was very encouraging.”
The next summer, he hung up the teaching degree and went into lawn care full time as Schroeder’s Lawn & Garden in Tecumseh, an hour southwest of Detroit.
Barely one season into operating the business, Schroeder was exploring community service projects in which he could participate.
“Early on I was trying to find ways to impact the community and help someone in need. And it was important that it be a program that was well organized and administered,” he adds, allowing him to help with minimal back-end coordination.
“When I came across Project EverGreen and the GreenCare and SnowCare for Troops program, I thought it was a fantastic idea, says Schroeder. “So, we signed up.”
After about a year, the program matched him up with two families for snow care and mowing, and he’s racked up five family service projects since his involvement started. Two of the families wrapped up their deployments this past winter, and Schroeder looks forward to getting more opportunities to serve this year.
Families most often express quiet gratitude, but Schroeder was thrilled to get to meet one of the deployed servicemen of a family he was helping last summer.
“I was cutting the lawn, and the gentleman who was deployed had come home on leave and pulled up in the driveway in his uniform!” he says. “It was pretty cool to meet him and put a face to the work, and he was super thankful for what we were doing.”
Still, Schroeder says, “I don’t feel like we do enough, I wish we could do more. They are sacrificing so much, and we’re just cutting the lawn. It is a simple thing, but it does take a little burden off their minds. And, it makes me feel good to do something positive like this.”