By Emily Young

PATERSON, N.J. – Like so many others, Brian Schwartz lost his job during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“I worked for a digital advertising firm in NYC,” Schwartz said. “The pandemic came around, and the business wasn’t doing too great, so they let me and two others go. And I was in a little bit of a pickle; I just had a newborn son soon after, and it was a stressful time.”

And turning life’s lemons into lemonade, Schwartz said he had a breakthrough while mowing the lawn one day.

“I went outside to clear my mind, and I found it to be therapeutic,” he recalled. “And I’m realizing, ‘Why don’t I just extend the efforts, and reach out to neighbors, and see if I can help them out.'”

So he created a website, where he advertises his services for free to seniors all over New Jersey. Seniors like 86-year-old Edwina Hibel.

“There’s so little available for seniors in this city,” Hibel said. “I’ve tried starting the summer of 2018 and frankly this is the first help I have had with anything.”

As word has spread, Schwartz picked up more clients, but he also attracted volunteers, other men who have lost their jobs and are looking to do a little good in the world.

“There’s a satisfaction with all of this, knowing that we helped people we clean up their yard, do some trimming, and just to know that people are appreciative, especially the seniors and the veterans,” Tom Desalvo, a volunteer said. “We really appreciate what they went through.”

When Vita Mckoy first heard about this service, she was skeptical to say the least

“I thought it was a scam,” she said. “I thought he better call me before he come out, because I got some questions I wanna ask him too.”

But they mowed, whacked and clipped their way right into her heart.

“I tell you my gratitude, if I could just kiss you I would, but you can’t do that now,” she said.

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