GreenCare for Troops Provides Opportunity to Serve Military Families - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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GreenCare for Troops Provides Opportunity to Serve Military Families

Photo: Weed Man USA

If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community’s military families, Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops program helps connect you with an active duty deployed service member’s family where you can provide complimentary lawn and landscape service during the length of the deployment.

Phil Fogarty, master franchise consultant for Weed Man USA, says his company has been volunteering with the program since its inception.

“I was serving on the board when our staff took an idea that we thought might be able to help a few of our military families and it took off,” Fogarty says. “What a testament to the heart of our industry!”

Fogarty says Project EverGreen got the idea from Bob Ottley of One Step Lawn Care, who offered free service to his customers who had a deployed military member in the household.

Since the program’s start in 2006, Fogarty estimates they help approximately 1,000 military families a year as deployments are constantly starting and ending.

“We didn’t know how many families would sign up for the free service,” Fogarty says. “We were happy that we could fill a need for so many.”

One military spouse in Massachusetts says Weed Man’s work allowed her to focus on their 3-year-old daughter and other tasks around the house, giving her peace of mind.

“I cannot thank you enough for the lawn care services you and everyone at your company provided for my family this past year!” she says. “What may seem like a small act of kindness certainly meant so much more!”

Another military member from Connecticut says that knowing people are willing to come and take care of their yard while they were away made filled them with so much joy they cried a little.

“You and the work that you have done for me has given me a chance to relax about some of the things that I cannot control when I am not there,” the service member says.

Fogarty says helping care for these properties is a source of pride for everyone on staff.

“I never had to serve our country, but I do remember the emotional strain on our family when my brother was deployed to Vietnam back in the late 60s,” Fogarty says. “I cannot imagine what it would be to have a spouse away. In reality, we ask the entire family to serve when we deploy our soldiers. The extra weight of single parenting and stretched finances just add to the burden. GCFT volunteers try to take at least one ‘chore’ off their plate as a small gesture of support and thanks.”

GreenCare for Troops volunteers can select the services they’re willing to provide and the distance they’re willing to travel and the number of families they can help at one time.

“You can decide how many families you can help…even just one is a great feeling,” Fogarty says. “Your staff will love that your company has made the commitment and so will your customers.”

Project EverGreen handles the administrative aspects of the program, letting volunteers know when they have been matched with a military family and when a deployment is ending. For landscapers in snowy states, they can also volunteer for SnowCare for Troops, which provides complimentary snow and ice removal services during deployment.

Volunteers are also provided a toolkit that has a news release, talking points and window stickers to promote a volunteer’s involvement in the program.

Sign up at booth #429 during ELEVATE and help Project EverGreen reach their goal of 50 new volunteers!  

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.