Virginia Beach is renowned for its tourist amenities, but it’s also home to numerous military bases and thousands of military families. The tradition of service runs deep within the region, and touches thousands of families whose relatives and friends are on active-duty.
Chris Richard, a military brat who got swept up in the frequent shifts of location and friends for more than two decades due to his father’s service in the Air Force, knows well the sacrifices of military families, and is himself woven deep in Virginia Beach’s culture of service.
And it has driven he and his family to go above and beyond to help military families with deployed family members through the simple act of mowing lawns as a volunteer with Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops program.
Two years ago, Richard started a small, weekends-only company called MASC Lawn Service with two goals in mind: provide free mowing services to military families and veterans and create an opportunity to involve his children in a business.
“I wanted to teach them about the importance of giving back, and to get them to understand the hard work it takes to get where you need to be,” said Richard.
Not long after the company started, Richard came across the GreenCare for Troops program through a fellow volunteer’s YouTube channel, Blades of Grass Lawn Care in Savannah, Georgia.
“I looked it up and thought, that’s something I really want to do,” said Richard. “I like giving back to the military both active duty and veterans, and it seemed to be a good fit.”
MASC currently serves four military families through the GreenCare for Troops program in addition to the veterans and paid customers every weekend. His youngest son, Andrew, works with Richard on the mowing, while daughter Brittani helps with the office duties along with Richard’s wife, Tiffany. Richard is already grooming Andrew for a full leadership role in the business – “I tell him, ‘it’s your company, you tell me what you want me to do!’”
Among the individuals Richard services is a veteran named Mr. Mike, who talks up a storm and deeply appreciates the service.
“He’s not one to ask for help, but when we come out to his place to work, he praises us,” said Richard. “He’s a joy to talk to and it’s great to be able to help him.”
It’s just a small family business, but everyone involved is proud to be able to help military families in need.
“I respect anyone who puts their life on the line to protect the freedoms we have,” said Richard.
Are you ready to step up for a military family? Register today at https://projectevergreen.org/about-the-program-volunteers/
The Title Sponsor of the GreenCare for Troops program is Nufarm. Platinum Partners include Toro and SiteOne Landscape Supply. The Gold Partner is Arborjet/Ecologel and the Silver Partner is the Propane Education and Research Council