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Is it your problem?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, May 11, 2007.


Do you do charitable work (work for poor folks).

  1. yes

    18 vote(s)
  2. no

    32 vote(s)
  3. sometimes

    30 vote(s)
  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ok, this can be a touchy subject because it boils down to money, and at least for me, survival, but also a matter of compromising the integrity of a business, among other things.

    Say one has a customer dependent on the state for financial support and perhaps in other ways, and they live in a home with some kind of a yard.

    Now we all get the call sooner or later, here the options are play hardball, or take a beating in a good ole way, charitable contribution it is on one hand, hundreds of dollars lost on the other...

    Tax deductions aside, that part bothers me little either way, for one it's out of my league.

    So, I am conducting a simple poll, yes or no, do you accept these lots in your scheduled affairs, doesn't matter how many, I just want to kind of glimpse the percents because right now this so frustrates. :dizzy:
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    when you pull up to do an estimate, how do you know, if the potential client is, as you say "depending upon the state". i assume you mean welfare?
    is this what you are talking about?
    or are you talking about those project homes? usually those kinds of places have their own maintenance workers. I just don't get what you are talking about. charitable contributions? this is business, save charity work for the off season.
  3. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    We are charitable with every piece of grass we cut and every tree we trim. We donate 10% off our gross to a non-profit youth organization, and all of our customers are aware of it. They too are included in our donation process, because once a month when we cut a check, their names are included with a letter we devise, explaining how our business partnership provides financial support to their group. Commercial clients of ours love this. It gives them exposure and they get a great quality product once a week from us!:clapping:
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes but I don't want to explain too much at this point, I'm afraid of skewing the poll, which I probably already did somewhat, so let me just leave it for later... I will check back, I'm just curious at this point thou, trying to figure something out for myself.

    Might be food stamps, unemployment, you know, most any type of support like that, but they are not physically disabled (at least not from what I can see).

    Unfortunately, I think I found my answer, if it skews the poll sorry...
    I'll have to get up on my horse and tell this one some kind of way I won't be servicing their crap lot no more, let the county get on them about it, they can go cry someone else a river.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Absolutely! Each year I have a customer that I choose to mow without charge. It is a mere pittance to give back to somebody who is in need. I can't do much else, but if mowing their grass is of benefit to them, then I do so.

    The case for this year, and the last, is an elderly couple. He is in failing health, and his wife is needing to spend much time with him (medical appointments, etc). She is capable of mowing their lawn, but now she has much bigger issues to focus upon. If my efforts to take the mowing off their list of concerns can be of help, then great. They have worked hard their lives, raised a great family (not in the vicinity to do the mowing), and now are in need of help. Why wouldn't I offer to help? It takes only 60 or 90 minutes per week.

    When I reach that stage of life, I know I would like to have somebody to help. In fact, that stage might not be so far away!

    Our society has become so narcissistic. The world of entertainment and media has had great impact on how people respond in community. A very few celebrities send a bad message, "... it is all about me, ... the world centers around me, ...." That message has gotten into the heads of our people, and has created an isolationism that has fostered an attitude that does not allow for helping others when in need. Notice, I talk about "need," not about "want." Sure, there are plenty of folks who no longer can distinguish between "need" and "want," and are looking for a handout (e.g. want their grass mowed without cost). I will not accommodate these folks.

    The initial post says "it is all about money." That is a revealing statement in itself. Also the wording speaks about "a problem." Another way of looking at the matter is "an opportunity."
  6. Frosty03

    Frosty03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    Yes I do, but with a few guidelines.

    1. I have to know the person either personally or have someone that I absolutely trust vouch for them and give me details as to their situation. They also have to know them personally.

    2. They have to be in need or in a crisis. Like: No money, spouse or them self in the hospital or physically unable to mow their yard...accident/stroke or whatnot. Single women/moms with deadbeat husbands who don't pay child support or similar.

    My reasons for this are many as I HAVE been taken advantage of in the past due to my good nature. Rather than get jaded, I do a little bit of screening before to be sure they fall into the "needy" category and could warrant assistance.

    Their are some very well-off individuals who will cry the poor mouth to make you think that they are so poor, when in fact they have more money than you do. I did have this happen once and when I found out, I politely told that woman that I give to those who really need it, not a tightwad who is playing the system.

    3. I tell no one about who, what, where or anything.

    I am anonymous here, so I mention this on a forum to help others who are considering doing some charity work to help in their own way.

    4. I expect nothing in return other than the occasional "thank you". If they want to compensate any, I accept unless I know they really just don't have it. But again, if they insist, I will accept whatever they offer even if it is just $5.00 and respond with a sincere thank you.

    5. I have been down that road myself and had one friend who really helped out in my time of need. If they are not sure how to respond to my charitable service, I just tell them: "I am just helping out until you can get back on your feet." I then leave it at that.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, idk, idk... I see things different today, a bleeding heart attracts the blood leeches, vultures, the dregs of civilization who feed off the lifeblood that makes us run. Took me years to see it, but way I see things these kind just drag you down, too.

    They do, they slice and dice at the heart with the sob stories until it bleeds, then they stand by sucking the blood off the bleeding artery, and so long we leave that artery there, they keep happily sucking. The worst part is, if I allow one to do it there soon come others, and come they do, one here and there, all wanting more and more (thou some are happy with a constant trickle supply, others want more and more).

    Why can't these folks, who can stand on their own 2 feet, buy a stupid simple push mower and do it themselves? Because I am willing to do it for less than the trouble it's worth, which is also to say I'm not getting the financial satisfaction. The living dead, that's who these folks are.

    Poor folk, people make you go awww...
    But there's nothing wrong with most of them, well maybe it's some kind of a personality disorder but other than that it's a pity pot thing. To me, these are the same folks who make up the majority of the people standing in the unemployment line... It's not because they're out of work per se, it's that in the sickness of their mind, they can not work (yet they're not disabled).

    No, I'm not letting them take advantage of me no more.

    If they're down on their luck, get a job.
    And if their grass needs cutting AND they're down on their luck, then they need to get a used pushmower for like 50 bucks and do it themselves.
    I'm not carrying these financial burdens anymore.
    Because either they can afford my services, or they can not.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    But I did vote sometimes, I'd have to guess that's my take on things.
  9. johnnywill08

    johnnywill08 LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA z6
    Messages: 383

    the home's around here (even the cheap ones) start @ $275k. Why on earth would I mow some ******** lawn when they're sitting in a home worth more than (and sometimes much more than) a quarter-mil....

    jesus, landscaping is a privilege, not a right. if people cant afford to maintain their property, its time to downsize into a condo. gimme strength.
  10. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    yeah.. screw them. I take care of my mother's property for free, that's it. Friends, other family members, if you want my service, we have to barter. As far as poor/sick/disabled people that can't do it themselves, I'll give you the midnight drive-by 5 gallon round-up jug toss.

    If you can't pay your cable bill, do you call your cable provider asking for a freebie?

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