Teens fight boredom, serve Louisville community with free mowing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Teens fight boredom, serve Louisville community with free mowing service

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local mother says she tried to punish her son by making him mow lawns for free. But it backfired -- he enjoyed it.

Now, it has turned into a community service project for a group of teens.

"That's originally how it started. Punishment. And he loved it!" Barbara Wilson said.  

Her discipline plan for her son Travis Durham backfired.

"(I told him to) go cut a couple of our neighbors' yards, and when I got home, he had cut eight yards, front and back. He loves doing it," Wilson said.

Durham wanted to continue and got his two brothers and cousin on board.

"We're doing it for the community, (for) people who can't get out and do it," Durham said. "And I got my brothers involved because I kind of showed them and told them the good effects."

"He's the one that had the idea, the special kid that likes cutting grass for punishment!" Wilson said. 

At 14 and 15 years old, they are going door-to-door to spread news about their work.

"Because they're young black males, people are a little afraid to open their door," Wilson said. "They just shut the door, (say) 'no thank you.' They don't even give them a chance to tell them, 'it's free we want to stay out of trouble, we just want to take care of our community.'"

The teens have hit Newburg, south, east and west Louisville, downtown, Valley Station and Fairdale. Wilson and her husband chauffeur them around. 

"I haven't had a car in about two months. We've been renting a car," Wilson said. "They have two lawn mowers right now, the rent-a-car, we'll load them up, drop them off to a community in the morning, pick them up at lunch, take them to a different community, pick them up when I get off work.

"My husband may drop by and pick them up and take them to a different location. So me and my husband and the kids have to be coordinated all day."

However, all the work has taken a toll on their gear. Fortunately, word about their work is spreading on social media. A man in Greenville, Ind., stepped up to show them how to maintain their tools, and they have him on speed dial when they run into trouble.

"The Facebook page has been blowing up with so much love and support, and that love and support they're getting on social media is motivating them to go out and do more yards," Wilson said.

In two months they have cut countless yards.

"We don't take money. No, these boys, if you try to pay them they will not take cash," Wilson said.

The teens do accept equipment and donations on GoFundMe. Wilson has promised a trip to Disney next summer.

"It was a big deal for them. It got them motivated," Wilson said. "I told them, regardless, if they make enough money or not, me and my husband, we'll find a way. They may not have the best of everything, but they have everything that they need. And for the things that they want, they have to do things like this to earn it."

As of Tuesday afternoon, they had made $1,600. They have learned the value of hard work and giving back.

"It makes me feel blessed. I'm proud, don't get me wrong. I'm blessed," Wilson said. "There are so many kids out here that are so materialistic, they would not do this work for free."

You can find them on their Facebook page called, "It Takes a Village, Together We Stand Strong." Click here for their GoFundMe page.

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