WESTFIELD, Ind. — A new program in Westfield sets out to honor local first responders and armed forces members by giving them one less thing to worry about.
Taking care of your lawn and shoveling snow can be tedious, but imagine the burden it can place when you’re deployed or hurt.
Westfield’s new Hometown Heroes program is for families who live in the city. If selected, the city will take care of basic lawn care and snow removal for them.
Families must have either an armed forces member who is deployed out of state or an emergency responder who has been hurt in the line of duty to qualify.
“This program doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything. Contracts that we have in place currently with lawn care services that do lawn care throughout the city have volunteered to do this at no cost. And we’re also having other businesses reach out and say, ‘hey, we want to get involved,” said Westfield City Council member Scott Willis, who is behind the program.
Willis says he hopes to see it grow with the help of more businesses so more people can take advantage of it.
“I just think this is a way as a community to pay back to them the sacrifices they are making on our behalf,” said Willis.
“I understand firsthand the struggles that families have.”
He is in the Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq. He left his pregnant wife with their toddler, in a new city without any connections.
“Not only would she have to take care of what would end up being two toddlers, if it snowed, and she had to get out, she had to get out and shovel it. If the lawn had to be taken care of, she had to take on that burden herself,” said Willis.
“I saw that from afar, the impacts it had on her. And I swore that if I was ever in a position where I could make a difference and change that for future service members, I would do that. And so, it’s very personal to me and it’s something that I’m very proud to have authored.”
If you’re interested in applying you can click here.