Mowing for hugs: Central Texas firefighters do yard makeover for elderly woman seen pushing mower in the heat with cane

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 12:28 AM CDT
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ROBINSON, Texas (KWTX) - Doing lawn work in hot weather is no fun, but it can also be dangerous.

Some local volunteer firefighters helped an elderly woman with her yard, and now their good deed is going viral.

“We obviously can’t help every single person in every single way they need, but there are certain individuals that just need resources that are beyond what they’re capable of doing,” said RVFD Capt. Stephen Sullivan

Around 3 p.m. Friday, a woman called the Robinson Volunteer Fire Dept. saying she saw an elderly woman with a cane push-mowing her yard.

“It was extremely hot on Friday evening, and I immediately knew we had to do something to help this lady out,” said Les Avant, a firefighter/paramedic at RVFD who took the call. “I think it’s really indicative of first responders in general--police, fire, EMS--we try to help when we can.”

It quickly turned into an ‘all hands on deck’ situation.

“We immediately started pulling our resources, we have 40 volunteers, most people have a lawn mower and a weed eater,” said Sullivan. “Luke sent out a message to the rest of our members and we started coordinating a time we could all get together later that evening, after it cooled off a little bit, to take care of her yard for her.”

Within hours of getting the call, eight firefighters were not just mowing but also weed eating and removing trees, poles, and unwanted debris from ‘Miss Linda’s’ yard.

“She didn’t want us helping her, she said this is her exercise time and she does a little bit at a time,” said Avant. “It took some coercion for us to say ‘hey, let us to this for you.’”

While it took some convincing, Miss Linda eventually gave in and accepted the help.

“They did beautiful,” she said. “I really can’t complain.”

Photos of the good deed were posted on social media.

“The response has been overwhelming, over 30,000 reactions on Facebook,” said Luke Rawlings, President of the RVFD. “We hope something like this just keeps spurring-on, and grows and grows and grows, and more of the community gets together and realizes these are our grandparents, these are people that raised us out here that need our help.”

The firemen are hoping what they did ‘catches fire’ and lights a spark within others to do acts of service of their own.

“One thing everyone can take away from this, is you don’t have to be a first-responder, a volunteer firefighter or anything like that, to take action in your community,” said Sullivan. “There are people down the street next door to you that need help, and when you see that, just reach out and help that person.”

Since Friday, news of the good deed has spread and resulted in more help for Miss Linda.

“We’ve had members of the community reach out to us and say ‘hey, we want to help, what can we do?’” said Rawlings. “In fact, we had someone yesterday wanting to redo this woman’s driveway.”

The firefighters also want to throw credit to the original caller.

“Without a resident in the city telling us, we would have never known about it, so just kudos to her whoever she is,” said Avant.

Although stubborn, when it was all said and done, Miss Linda was grateful.

“In the end she gave us hugs, and that was worth it all,” said Avant.

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