Sarah and Mike Avery, of Hope Lawn Care in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, didn’t plan to go viral.
But at the beginning of June, as tensions rose around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, they found themselves at the center of local media attention. A neighbor reported that four black men were driving around in the area, possibly performing yard work, and officers were dispatched to investigate.
Just three months into operating their business, facing the normal challenges of launching a business as well as additional difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Averys posted on Instagram and Facebook, sharing the story and calling upon their local community for support.
They weren’t expecting a national response.
People around the country were moved by their response in support of their employees, and even further impressed by their commitment to providing job training and opportunities for people in their community.
So was Coalmarch, a company that partners with companies in the pest and lawn industries, which built them a website in a day.
“We work with growing lawn care businesses all the time, but this was a really special project for us,” says Donnie Shelton, Coalmarch CEO. “We’re used to helping business owners navigate the challenges of growing their business, but it’s rare that we have the opportunity to work with one that is brand new.”
Coalmarch looked to their staff for volunteers to invest a full day into designing, building, writing and putting together a website. Nearly everyone jumped at the chance.
“This is a process that we normally spread out over the course of three months,” says Laura Simis, Coalmarch communications manager. “It was a challenge to fit it into one day, but it turned into a great test of our process and our teamwork, even while all working remotely.”
“It was a privilege for our team to be able to do this, and it was even more special seeing that we were just one of many individuals and organizations that leapt at the opportunity to offer support,” says Simis. “They’re really investing in their community, and it was lovely to see the community invest in them, too.”With financial support from around the country, the company was able to invest in more uniforms, magnet decals for cars, college and certification courses for staff, as well as provide assistance to several members of the team with medical, phone and grocery bills.