Good People Doing Good Things — Helpers

As I sat down to write this post, I sighed deeply, not really feeling in the right spirit for a ‘good people’ post.  But, knowing how much you all enjoy the good people posts, I carried on and within a few minutes of reading about good people, my dark mood began to lift.  Funny how good people can do that, isn’t it?

Jimmy Finch lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, about 90 miles from Mayfield, Kentucky, where a devastating tornado hit last Friday night.  Mayfield reportedly suffered the worst damage throughout the five states that were impacted by tornadoes that night.

On Sunday morning, Jimmy Finch loaded food and a smoker onto his small trailer and headed out to feed the people of Mayfield.  As Jimmy tells it …

“I know they don’t have electricity. No restaurants. No running water. I just figured I would do what I could do. So I showed up with some food and some water.  I just came down here trying to feed the people. Everybody’s talking about they’re sending up prayers and, you know, their well wishes and everything. You know, folks can’t eat no prayer. You gotta put something in their stomach. Give them something to hold on to.”

When asked if he owned a restaurant, Finch simply laughed it off by shaking his head no, adding, “it just needed to be done.”

Jimmy says he plans to stay in Mayfield to help however he can.

“It might not be a bad idea to move to Mayfield. Small people are going to help build it back. When I run out of money to pay for food, I have an 18-foot trailer I’m going to bring and help people haul stuff away.”

That, my friends, is a ‘good people’ if ever I’ve seen one!  Thumbs up to Jimmy Finch!

Last year, Brian Schwartz of New Jersey was laid off from his job at a digital advertising agency, due to the pandemic.  Not sure what to do next, Brian asked himself, “What now?  What to do?”  And then, according to Brian …

“On a whim, I decided to start a FREE lawn mowing service for seniors, age 65 and up, in northern New Jersey, where I live, and soon I was harboring a moonshot vision of helping people on a scale beyond just my own part of the country. This would mean getting other people involved—advisors, volunteers, landscaping companies, network partners, and donors, too. And officially incorporating as a 501(c)(3) Not For Profit Organization.

Far-fetched? Maybe. But it just seemed to me that given everything we are all dealing with now, the least I can do is cut the grass for elderly neighbors. I know how to cut grass. Virus or no virus, people need this chore done; if they can’t do it themselves, they need someone else to do it.”

Brian’s organization, I Want To Mow Your Lawn, is a free lawn-mowing service for seniors, age 65 and up, veterans and the disabled. It started in Schwartz’ home state of New Jersey but has expanded to dozens of states across the country.

Well, there isn’t much grass that needs cutting at this time of year, so Brian and his team of volunteers are clearing snow for the 65-and-older bunch!

Brian Christensen is one of those volunteers helping out in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He signed up for “I Want To Mow Your Lawn” last year for a mental shift.

“It feels good. You know, I think everything that has happened in the past, however many years, has really had people not see the good, and it’s kind of what I like to do. People will see the good in the world, and so yeah, it feels good. It’s exhausting, but it feels good.”

Christensen calls it his time of Zen. He adds that shoveling does the same thing for him and helps others at the same time.

My apologies for only sharing two ‘good people’ stories today, but I actually managed to cook supper tonight, unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher, and now my energy has completely run out!  However, I’ll be back with more good people stories next week!

38 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Helpers

    • Yes, and the people who keep him in office as well as those in this country who are hoping to return Trump to the White House in 2024. Sigh. ‘Twould seem that a lot of people have lost their bloomin’ marbles!

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  1. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou. Today’s Good People are excellent examples of throwing back with a perfect aim! WHAK!! Thank-you!

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  2. We have not had a disaster since the Chuckegg Fire in 2019 burned close to 900,000 acres of old growth forest surrounding the town where I live, so we have no need for someone like Jimmy Finch at present. But we would sure love to have Brian Schwatz’s organization expand up here. Our yard turned into a jungle this year. I no longer have the energy or strength to push a lawn mower, and our beautiful back yard became a thistle patch this summer. Where the thistles came from I have no idea, I have not seen a thistle plant around here in 14 years of luving here, but they sure found us. But this is not why I am writing.
    Our town has a project going for the second year now called Snow Angels. I may have mentioned them last year. They send people out to shovel sidewalks and clear driveways for seniors and the disabled, to allow us to safely exit and enter our homes to go grocery shopping, to medical appointments, or just to get out of the house. I cannot say “Thank you,” enough to the organizers and workers who watch out for us. We gave them a small donation at the end of last winter, and hope to do so this coming spring too. But money cannot show how much we appreciate their services. It is not even officially “winter” here yet, and they have already been out to help us a dozen times this year. It seems to snow more than an inch, and up to 12 inches, every 2nd or 3rd day right now. Without the Snow Angels we would be snowbound!
    Our thanks to Family and Community Support Services and Northern Services in High Level, Alberta for providing such needed help to those unable to ourselves.

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    • I well remember the 2019 fire and how worried I was for you and Gail! As re your yard, are there no teenagers close by who would be happy to earn a few extra bucks helping you with it?

      I love the concept of your Snow Angels project!!! Every community needs such a project! What a great thing to do and to support! LuL


      • There is a distinct lack of teenagers in the High Level area. Being a far northern community there is a great population turnover every year. People move up here because of jobs and better pay than in the cities. If they are young, they often start families here. But there is no real attraction for kids reaching their teens–we have no mall! As
        soon as the kids reach double-digit ages, they move back to the cities. The other reason people move here is as they get older, they want a slower pace of life. People In this position are usually empyy-nesters. For the permanent resident types, about half the population of 3500, if they have teenagers, they often send them to relatives living in the city where there are more education and training opportunities.
        But teenagers who want to earn a buck, they don’t want to have to work for money. It”s a whole new type of person growing up in the world today. Work does not mean labour, it means getting paid to stand around and text your friends. Those words, “Can I help you with something, sir or madam?” aren’t heard much anymore. The customer service desk is for help, not the young people paid to do it.

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  3. Pingback: GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS — HELPERS. | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

    • My Wednesday ‘good people’ posts have always been such a joy to me, reminding me that the whole world isn’t comprised of greedy, power-hungry people. Now if only more people were like Jimmy and Brian! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Carla … thanks!

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  4. Firstly so pleased to see ‘Good People Doing Good Things’ is back. In these unhappy, frenetic days we all need to be reminded that the majority of folk simply want to live uncomplicated lives with as much peace as possible.
    Jimmy Finch proves that wherever and whenever there is a tragedy which strikes a community there are always though willing to help out as best they can.
    Brian Schwartz lost his job. Did he sit back, moan, blame someone and get bitter, no he stood up and started something constructive, helping other people.
    There is hope yet.
    Take care Jill, our best wishes for your steady recovery.
    Roger & Sheila

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  5. Being without even water, let alone food is a nightmare repeated round the world in numerous disasters, but if you can drive there to help people how much better than sitting at home wringing your hands. A cheerful face and food must be a more welcome sight in the first instance than money or promises of money.

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    • I fully agree! And if everyone who was able to help just pitched in and did so, how much better the world would be. However, I am always encouraged when I read about people like Jimmy, Brian, and the others I have written about over the years.


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