Twelve-year-old Reginald “Reggie” Fields is going places. Sure, he may be barely out of the 6th grade, but he already has the work ethic of a grown-up and the entrepreneurial spirit of a mover and a shaker.
Reggie runs his own business called “Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Service,” and it was while cutting a customer’s lawn recently that he mistakenly cut off a bit of lawn that belonged to his client’s neighbor — who then called the police. (Yes, really.) The incident soon made local, and then national, headlines.
But before this story could turn into another culture war about “everything that’s wrong with kids these days,” a local resident and fellow lawn service business owner came to the rescue to give Reggie a marvelous gift: a brand new leaf blower.
“On Friday morning, in-between jobs, I was scrolling [through] Facebook while taking a little break from the heat,” says Joe Revay, who owns a lawn maintenance service called The Grass Guys.
Revay tells Babble that he came across a news story about the incident and noticed immediately that it took place in Maple Heights, Ohio — just 15 minutes away from where he lives.
“After I got to the end of the article, and watched the associated news clip, I knew the rest of my jobs for the day were going to be put on hold!” Revay shares.
And so, Revay set out to right a wrong he just couldn’t ignore — and in the process, restore some faith in humanity.
Revay first reached out to Lucille Holt, the Maple Heights resident whose lawn Reggie and his friends had been cutting the day the cops were called. Holt had seen the kids at a local store with their equipment, and asked them to follow her home and cut her lawn. She then documented their hard work in a Facebook Live video, shared on June 23.
“Ain’t all young people out there doing wrong,” Holt can be heard saying in the Facebook video. “I’m loving it,” she adds, before telling others to “support our babies.”
It was just moments later that Holt’s neighbor called the cops on the young children, which Holt reported in a second video. “This is ridiculous!” she tells the camera.
Revay certainly agreed, and after reaching out to Holt, he asked if he could be put in touch with young Reggie to give him the leaf blower in person.
Revay tells Babble that he was impressed by Reggie’s work ethic and that he wanted to help the boy out in any way he could.
“While watching the news story, it was immediately evident that I was going to buy him a blower,” he shares. “The video clip showed Reggie trying to scoop up the grass clippings with a snow shovel! Efficiency is the name of the game in lawn maintenance, and the snow shovel route is about as inefficient a way as I could think of! I just wanted to make his life a little (LOT) easier!!”
It seems he certainly has.
According to Revay, Reggie was pretty darn excited (and incredibly grateful) about the gift; but in the end, it was Revay who was the most touched by the exchange.
“Meeting them was just as inspiring for me as people seem to be inspired by my action,” he shares. “Witnessing their drive, determination, and genuinely joyful spirits firsthand was like a breath of fresh air. To see two kids, especially as young as they are, passionate about bettering themselves in any way is truly a beautiful thing, and I now know that they will be successful in anything they choose to do in life; lawn care or not!”
Revay says he plans to stay in contact with Reggie and that after all the media coverage dies down, he’ll mentor Reggie through growing his lawn care business.
And just in case little Reggie was rattled by the neighbor who called the police on him, Revay offered him some great advice.
“I told Reggie (a few times, with hopes that her extreme action didn’t discourage him) that even I still have to deal with ‘crazy’ neighbors of clients, regarding property lines,” he shares. “If I go over an inch, they’re out there with arms flailing! Some people, seemingly with every fiber of their being, are just unnecessarily attached to their lawns; in a very weird way!”
Kids need adults to believe in them, to guide them, and to help empower then to be the best adults they can be someday. Talking to them about their actions instead of calling the police is a much better approach to the whole “it takes a village” philosophy, which is certainly something we could stand to do more of.
Thank goodness for giant hearts like Joe Revay, and good luck to Reggie and his lawn service!