True Community Service

It’s relatively accurate to say that Allstate agent Kyle Henderson spontaneously volunteers.

Henderson led a few volunteers Monday evening to mow an elderly person’s backyard so that person could be approved for assisted living.

“It was a much larger project than I anticipated,” he said. “The grass was six feet tall.”

It had also rained right before they started mowing, so the grass was bent over and wet.

Four other volunteers joined Henderson to help with the yardwork.

Originally, it was just going to be him, a boy scout and the scout’s mother, but Henderson didn’t have a way to transport his lawn mower to the house on Taylor Street, so he posted on Facebook that he needed a mower, and one person responded. Another person saw the post too and brought over a weedeater.

“They just showed up with all this stuff on a trailer out of nowhere,” he said. “I’m glad other people showed up because if they hadn’t, I’d still be out there trying to get it done.”

When the five finished the yard after two-and-a-half hours, there were eight trash bags full of grass. They had to cross-mow the yard three times to get it all.

“It looks like a brand new yard,” he said.

Henderson started volunteer projects like this one a few months ago. He finds volunteer work on Facebook, but other people come to him with ideas too.

“It all started with me seeing something on Facebook, with the elderly occupants of the apartments over on Elm, complaining that nobody was taking care of the garden over there,” he said.

The garden is a community garden that grows food, and anyone from the community can take from it.

“So I just went over there on a Saturday – it was probably like the worst Saturday of the year because it was 100 degrees – I went over there and mowed it and weedeated it and got it to where the plants could actually grow,” he continued.

Henderson also handed out Indiana Pacers tickets to honor roll students, gave out tickets to TNT Exotics to his customers, donated cases of bottled water to the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center, and helped a girl scout troop sell cookies.

“The girl scout thing was somewhat of a project I guess,” he said.

A girl scout troop set up a cookie stand in front of Henderson’s office on the Public Square back in March. Henderson bought $200 worth of cookies and then helped the girls hand them out for free.

“My mind works like a business person, not a girl scout, so I was like okay, if I buy x amount of cookies and go hand them out with the girls and then I ask people for donations, then they’ll do it,” he said.

The troop received more money from donations than what they would have made selling boxes of cookies.

“We raised the most money out of any troop in town that day, so that was awesome,” he said.

Henderson said he enjoys volunteer work because it helps him to help other people.

“I just go out and do things for people because it soothes my soul,” he said.