AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On a hot summer day like today, you don’t need to look far for a landscaping crew hard at work. Only the one working at a house in Austintown is a little different.
The house is one of about six homes of clients of the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) that is getting an outdoor facelift.
“We are having a shortage of direct care professionals and staff to do normal day-to-day work, so we are helping individuals to beautify their lawns,” said MCBDD Community Services Director Emily Martinez.
Besides workers with the Board, some of those doing the heavy lifting are members of the Mahoning Valley Landscape Contractors and Nurserymen’s Association.
“We educate our members for professionalism, help them keep licensing and then serve our community,” said Tony DiGiacomo with Second Nature Landscaping.
In this particular case, that service includes free labor and materials.
“These homes are getting either river rock or mulch. They are getting new bushes, new shrubs, lawns mowed and everything trimmed,” Martinez said.
As you can imagine, this is a busy time of year for landscaping companies, but those involved say it’s not hard to get people to volunteer for projects like this, saying it is good for the soul.
“When we have a service project like this, it seems they gravitate towards it and do what they need to do to get it done,” DiGiacomo said.
In the end, it is a good day’s work helping those in need.