Good Neighbors

Lazy Youth Need Not Apply! Teens Start A Business To Raise Money For Local Charity

They've been working all summer long, and a portion of what they make is going right back to the community.


As the Covid-19 pandemic drags on and businesses and schools remain closed all over the country, kids are spending a lot more time at home.

Instead of playing video games and lounging on the couch, a group of teens in Morristown, NJ have decided to use their downtime to work hard and help their community.

Mathew Sullivan, 14, started a landscaping business called 'Leaf-It-To-Us,' and hired his friends Christian VanderGroef, CJ Piccola, and Eric Ottaiano to help him out.

"You turn on the news and you see all these negative things, so we just wanted to do something positive, and we decided to go local," Sullivan told ABC-7 about his venture.

Matthew Sullivan started a landscaping company and hired his best friends on to help him out. Leaf-It To-Us/Facebook

The teens have been doing jobs like weeding, mulching and leaf-blowing, and they're donating 10% of their proceeds to help out a local food drive led by members of their community called Help Morris Now.

Nestor Bedoya and his family organized the fundraiser that is helping to feed local families in need. Help Morris NOW/Facebook

Nestor Bedoya, who has been organizing the food drive, says he's inspired by the boys' charitable efforts.

"Seeing kids go out in the morning, working hard to raise funds and giving it back to the community, to me that was the most touching thing we could've had," Bedoya said.

Here's a look at what Help Morris Now has been doing for their community during the pandemic. Check out the 1:54 mark to see Leaf-It To-Us in action!

So far, the Help Morris Now drive has raised over $13,000 and has purchased nearly 35,000 pounds of food for local people in need.

The teens made a donation of $500 to the fundraiser last month and plan to make another one soon.

While the boys typically jump on their dirt bikes to get to their jobs, their popularity is growing and now their parents have to drive them to locations all over the county.

"As a parent, we couldn't be more proud of our kids and what they're doing," Kathleen Sullivan, Mathew's mom, said.

Whether it's painting fences, planting flowers, or mowing lawns, the teens are dedicated to keeping the business going so they can help as many people as possible.

The teens help with small landscaping jobs like weeding, mulching and leaf blowing. Leaf-It To-Us/Facebook

"I love that I can give back to the community doing a small part," VanderGroef said.

We love stories of young people stepping up to support their community during tough times. We hope Leaf-It-To-Us is booked all summer long!

How can you start something good?

If you don't live close enough to hire Leaf-It To-Us to help with your lawn, you can make a donation directly to the Help Morris NOW fundraiser by clicking here.


Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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