Teen starts nonprofit to offer free lawn service to those in need

Teen starts nonprofit to offer free lawn service to those in need

July 20, 2021 by Cathy Stack

LOUISVILLE, KY – One day, mother Barbara Wilson tried to discipline her 12-year-old son, Travis, by making him mow their neighbor’s lawn for free. To her shock, the unexpected happened —he loved it. Travis found the activity of mowing to be therapeutic for the depression he felt from the recent loss of his father. He was motivated to continue helping his community, so he started his own nonprofit organization, which he named Unkuhrupted. Unkuhrupted provides free lawn service for the most vulnerable community members; the elderly, disabled and those unable to afford lawn maintenance costs, such as single-parent households.

The nonprofit also provides other services for the community, such as landscaping, weed eating and much more. Three years later, the teen’s nonprofit is thriving and helping to beautify and positively transform his community from the inside out.  

Barbara laughs when reminded of the unusual way Unkuhrupted was born.  She simply wanted to teach her son the value of hard work and the importance of giving back to the community.   She had not expected the life-changing impact the lesson would have on Travis. 

“(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,” Barbara said. 

In performing the yard work, Travis found a purpose in helping others. “When I lost my daddy, it was like I lost everything, so when I cut grass it was therapeutic,” Travis said.”  It gave me motivation to do better.”    

“That right there was like a sign from his angel. It was like a sign from his dad,” Barbara said. “Keep pushing —this is exactly what your path is meant to be.’”    

Travis has turned his good deed into a community service program for the teens in his community.  His two brothers and his cousins have helped him get it started.  Together, the group has mowed hundreds of yards for free.  Their goal now is to inspire other teens to join their movement in helping to improve their own communities.  

“We’re doing it for the community, (for) people who can’t get out and do it,” Travis said.  News spread about the teens’ good work, and now they are busier than ever. 

Barbara does not view the program as teens working for free.  “They are not working for free — they are getting knowledge, and they are obtaining a skill for free.”  In addition, the teens are making valuable business contacts while learning how to run their own business.

When Travis first started his ambitious program, his mother would load their two mowers in their car rental and then drop and pick up the young boys in between her own work schedule.

Times have changed. Now they have their own Unkuhrupted truck, new equipment, and an excited team of volunteers to help Travis expand his mission.

“We dont take money. No, these boys, if you try to pay them, they will not take cash,” Barbara said proudly.

Travis and his team do not accept payment for their hard work.  But they do accept donations for new equipment, maintenance and fuel on their GoFundMe page.  Travis has inspired local business owners to generously donate equipment, tools and a brand-new truck to Unkuhrupted. 

Unkuhrupted cleverly keeps its volunteers interested and motivated by having them earn credits in exchange for their donated labor.  The group now hosts an annual chartered trip to Disney World for those members who earn enough credits.  There is also an educational fund set up for the nonprofit’s long-standing members.    

Travis has big dreams for Unkuhrupted.   He and his team have noticed the high number of abandoned lots in their community.   He wonders why these empty buildings are not put to good use. He envisions transforming the abandoned property into community centers to offer youth a home away from home — a safe place where teens could go to escape the streets and negative influences and seek out more positive outlets when boredom strikes. Such a center could offer basketball courts, game rooms, free job training and mentorship programs.  He visualizes the centers as a place where the youth could plan for their future. Travis wants his nonprofit to teach teens to do more than survive. He wants them to thrive.

In return, Travis believes, the teens who use the center could assist his nonprofit with community- enhancing projects. He believes that performing selfless acts of kindness for others greatly benefits not only the receiver but the doer. Travis’s nonprofit is a shining example of this belief.  He is currently working on a city proposal for the community centers he envisions. 

“That’s all my daddy ever wanted for me, and for him to not be here and I’m still doing it, I know he’s proud,” Travis confidently said.

PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believe Travis Durham is a true hero.  His nonprofit not only helps beautify his city but create strong and long-lasting bonds between neighbors. Travis said his nonprofit’s goal is to teach youth the importance of helping one’s neighborhood. His action is a great example of the value of community.  Please help us honor this young hero and his team by sharing their inspiring story. 

Watch the video here:  https://youtu.be/larRsqx1rRE

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Teen starts nonprofit to offer free lawn service to those in need #community #passiton LOUISVILLE, KY – One day, mother...

Posted by Foundation for A Better Life on Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Unkuhrupted Team on their annual trip to Disneyland

Photo credit- Facebook

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Your Comments
Mare McAnany & Family from Philadelphia, PA JULY 21, 2021
If the kind of dedication Travis , along with his brothers & cousins continue to spread, we can all have hope that their example will lead to the kind of world that was the norm at one time. Doing for others, with no expectation of any give-backs, or profit. What a concept! A true blessing, to know there are young men out there who have old-fashioned values. His Mom must have been raised by Family who loved her dearly. His Dad surely lives in his heart. Hopefully, the business owners who recognized the unselfish potential in this group of young men will see them through until their dreams of community centers that would benefit other young teens, are brought to reality. Even 'tho this special young man has the sorrow of his beloved Dad no longer being here, his love for his Dad has brought so much good into the world. His Mom's strength & determination lives within him. Thank you, dear young man - YOU & your team also are an inspiration, especially in these unsettling times. May you always be blessed.

cindy s. from illinois JULY 20, 2021
How wonderful!! Very inspiring!! These are the kind of young people that I hope will be our country's next leaders!! Good for you!!

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