Difference Makers: New Jersey teens take on landscaping gigs for charity

By WCBS Newsradio 880

LEBANON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (WCBS 880) — The yards in one New Jersey town are being transformed thanks to a group of local teens.

The group is headed by 16-year-old Liam McGreevy, who got the idea to do some work to earn some cash at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was right at the beginning of COVID. I wanted to get into the working world and realized it was a good time – people needed stuff done,” he tells WCBS 880.

He recruited some friends and they got to work. They didn’t expect much, but a shining review caused business to suddenly boom.

“We got our first client. It was a professional gardner. We got a good review and it was just a snowball from there,” McGreevy said.

For the first time, they started making some money – but then they thought, maybe it was too much money. 

“I started thinking that me, as a child, I don’t need that kind of cash. I figured I could donate some to charity so, I asked my friends here, and they were OK with it,” said the 16-year-old.

They kept working and together they raised almost $1,000 to donate to local food bank and clothing outlet, Outreach Connection, which is run by Shannon Laul. 

“At that age, to choose not to keep all the money for themselves, especially that they are working physical hard for, is pretty amazing,” she said.

But, it’s not uncommon to see for Liam’s mom, Susan.

“They are all very giving and caring kids,” she said. “They are very concerned about what is happening in their community and their country.”

The teens also said they’re happy to find a way to give back during these difficult times.

“It makes me feel proud,” McGreevy said.

The same goes for his co-workers and friends: John, Becket, Christopher and Nick.

They say they’ll continue to work when they can, even though they’re currently, they’re balancing classes at home and in school. They say they can’t stop since they’re getting too many positive reviews.

“Although they are young, they work really hard. They show up on time, take direction, never take breaks, and they’re just a great group,” says homeowner Venetia Weeks.

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