The value of GreenCare for Troops volunteering

The resources of time, people and product that Project EverGreen’s hundreds of GreenCare for Troops volunteers commit to helping the families of deployed military personnel can be measured in several different ways.

In financial terms, the estimated value of the services volunteers provide exceeds $8 million dollars, according to Project EverGreen. But dollars alone don’t tell the story. The value of these services to the families on the home front is priceless.

GreenCare for Troops volunteer Lawn-Plus in West Alexandria, Ohio, outside of Dayton, services a number of military families who are stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, located a half hour’s drive from their office.

And while taking care of their lawns was satisfying, Lawn-Plus’ thought it could do more to support military families and the GreenCare for Troops program which services the yards of military families from coast-to-coast.

“The lawn care industry as a whole consists mainly of local companies who are more than just a place to work,” says Austin Schmidt, sales and marketing manager for Lawn-Plus. “We want to be engaged and give back to the communities we service, and become a positive force in that community.”

That is why when the Lawn-Plus management team, led by owner Rodney Creech, met last summer to discuss the company’s fall promotional campaigns they identified a way to support GreenCare for Troops while providing a much needed service to its customers.

The fall season is when lawns need to be aerated to break up compacted soil and allow vital nutrients to reach the roots and settle in before winter. Lawns that are aerated are usually healthier, stronger and more vibrant come spring and summer when families, kids and pets enjoy playing and relaxing on them.

Lawn-Plus committed to donate 15 percent of the total cost of any new fall aeration job that was sold in August and September to Project EverGreen and the GreenCare for Troops program.

“We looked around the table and said why not give back to a cause we strongly believe in but also tie the fundraiser to a service we know consumers were interested in buying,” adds Schmidt.

Because of its proximity to Wright-Patterson the company thought the promotion would be well received. And it was correct.

Lawn-Plus promoted the offering through social media – Facebook and Instagram mainly – with multiple posts and providing call center representatives with a promotional script. The response from existing clients who added the service and new customers looking to do a good deed with their purchase, led to the company raising more than $2,300 for GreenCare for Troops.

“We thought the promotion would go well because anytime in the past we’ve done an effort on behalf of the military it has been well-received,” says Schmidt. “Our customers responded and stepped up to the plate.”

Schmidt adds that the success of the offering stemmed from offering a service that appealed to customers as well as being diligent when it came to tracking sales and scheduling the service in a reasonable time frame.

“The best thing we did was make the process simple,” says Schmidt. “Customers didn’t have to know about the promotion to have a chance to donate. Regardless if the customer was aware of the promotion everything sold was automatically donated.”

Schmidt says Lawn-Plus is already looking ahead to this year to see what it can come up with to help give back to GreenCare for Troops and a community that has treated them so well.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Project EverGreen is a national non-profit committed to bringing people together to make a difference in how yards, parks and communities creating a greener, healthier, cooler Earth. Project EverGreen also supports military families through the GreenCare and SnowCare for Troops™ initiatives and communities and children with the Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.™ program.