When Project EverGreen expanded the GreenCare for Troops initiative to include frontline health care providers it knew its volunteers would be there.

“The nominations we received were very touching and heartfelt in many instances. We were hoping to receive more because we are ready to help our health care heroes.”

Patti LeMaster
Weed Man Kansas City

When Project EverGreen expanded the GreenCare for Troops initiative to include frontline health care providers it knew its volunteers would be there. What one volunteer discovered was that their customers were ready to step up for one another as well.

The Weed Man Kansas City lawn care professionals who are taking care of front-line health care heroes’ lawns this summer as part of the GCFT Cares for Our Health Care Heroes initiative. From left to right: Marcus Cooper, Derek Fields, Brandon Reddick and Zach Shanholtzer.

Weed Man USA Kansas City, Mo., owners and volunteers Jon and Vicky Cundiff and administration manager Patti LeMaster found this out as they sought nominees for GCFT Cares for Our Health Care Heroes initiative this spring.

The program offers complimentary lawn care and landscape services to front line health care heroes – nurses, EMTs, therapists – as a thank you for their dedication and service to the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Weed Man sent an email to current customers asking for nominations and the response was solid. From the initial crop of nominations, the company was able to select eight individuals/families, including a nurse in the COVID labor deliver unit, to receive services this summer and fall.

“The responses we received were very touching and heartfelt in many instances,” says LeMaster. “We were hoping to receive more because we are ready to help our health care heroes.”

One nomination stood out, however. It came from a couple who were longtime customers – since the 1980s – who were front line responders themselves (a nurse and EMT). They nominated a young couple who had recently purchased a “fixer upper” and who were working hard renovating the inside before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

The young couple’s progress getting to the green spaces around their home was complicated by the fact the wife was an RN working in the COVID unit of a local hospital.

“When we contacted them to let them know they had been nominated for the program they were beyond thrilled,’ says LeMaster. “I also called the couple who nominated them and had a very emotional call with them to thank them for performing such a selfless act.”

Cundiff, LeMaster and the management team at Weed Man KC were so touched by the gesture they decided to service the lawn of the longtime customer at no charge this summer.

LeMaster says she was looking for a way the company to give back and share the gift of green space during these challenging times, and she called her marketing manager one morning to say let’s come up with an idea for the next day’s management meeting.

Later that day, Cundiff happened to talk with fellow Weed Man volunteer Phil Fogarty in Cleveland who told him about the new initiative and when Cundiff shared the news with LeMaster they knew they had a winner.

At the management team’s meeting the next day they unanimously agreed this was something they needed to be part of.

“I’m a hippie chick at heart and I’m always wanting to spread peace and harmony, and give stuff away,” says LeMaster with a laugh. “The GCFT Cares for Our Health Care Heroes initiative was the perfect fit.”

LeMaster’ s excitement for the initiative is shared by the health care recipients. The COVID-19 labor delivery nurse wrote in an email, “Patti we are so excited!!  We have never had professional lawn care services before.  Thank you so much for recognizing the healthcare workers!”

The enthusiasm for delivering healthy green spaces and some relief to health care professionals extends to the technicians who are delivering the fertilization and weed control services as well.

Senior route manager Brandon Reddick says, “It is a very rewarding experience to know that I am helping out those who are there for us in our time of need.”

In a time when being contagious is not a good thing, it just happens that in this instance the contagious feeling to perform a selfless act for others is OK. Just ask Patti LeMaster and the team and customers of Weed Man Kansas City.

Volunteers who have the capacity to help can visit the GCFT Cares for Our Health Care Heroes page for more information.