Pay it Forward: Mentor Mowing

Mentor Mowing is a nonprofit group that employs people with special needs and teaches them job skills (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) It's the season to do yard work and mow the lawn.

And if you don't want to do it yourself, the nonprofit, Mentor Mowing, has you covered.

"We hire special needs individuals and train them to mow lawns and to gain this work ethic and be part of our community," said Jared Abney, who started Mentor Mowing.

A mentor guides each special needs crew, helping them to learn new skills and build their confidence.

"It's hard work," said Jason, who has special needs and works with Mentor Mowing.

Abney, who is a teacher and taught special education, came up with the idea for the nonprofit

"Just one of those crazy ideas that wouldn't go away," he said.

He wanted to make sure people with special needs had a chance to have a job, earn money, and succeed later in life.

"Seeing them smile, the high fives after we're done--it's priceless. It's amazing," he said.

His program seems to be working. A few of his employees have already been hired at other jobs.

"It seems to be kind of a stepping stone," Abney said.

Mentor Mowing's customers are happy with how their lawns look, too.

"They're really learning a lot," said Deborah Coffin, a Mentor Mowing board member and customer. "They get better every time."

Mentor Mowing crews are keeping pretty busy--mowing about 32 yards a week in the Weber and Davis County areas.

"It's our pleasure actually to come and help and mow," said Abney.

All the equipment they use is donated by the community and expensive to maintain.

"It's just really kind of a grassroots movement and I think that people see the value in that," Abney said.

Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to Mentor Mowing to help them mow more lawns and hire employees.

The Sahara Cares Foundation also contributed $500.

If you would like Mentor Mowing to take care of your yard or if you want to help out, you can visit the Mentor Mowing Facebook page.