MAKING A MARK: Emanuel’s Hope Foundation is helping senior citizens one lawn at a time

Yard work can be a challenge for senior citizens, especially those with limited mobility. Emanuel’s Hope Foundation offers free lawn care to seniors.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — 93-year-old Margarette Patton lives in Portsmouth. She said she’s not able to get out much these days, and that includes working in her front and back yards.

“I was trying to get my garden back,” Patton said. “I couldn’t do it myself.”

Patton’s sister, Evelyn Britt-Smith, is one of her caretakers. She said the outside of a home sets the tone for what’s inside.

“A well-kept yard [says]’welcome,'” Britt-Smith said, “And we’re proud.”

Britt-Smith said Patton has lived alone since her husband died decades ago, and she maintained her own lawn until two years ago, when she was 91.

“She had surgery and it just… She was unable to do it and everything just got out of hand,” Britt-Smith said.

But Patton said she can enjoy her yard again thanks to Emanuel’s Hope Foundation. Landscape architecture business owner and Air Force veteran Emanuel Yancey formed the nonprofit in 2018.

“We offer free and affordable lawn care to seniors who live on their own,” Yancey said. “And some because of physical limitations and financial limitations.”

Yancey said he was inspired to form the nonprofit after helping elderly family members over the years.

“When my grandparents needed work, of course my dad would volunteer,” Yancey said. “And it became a labor of love for me.”

Since then, Emanuel’s Hope Foundation has planted lawns for dozens of seniors. Often, Yancey and his team of volunteers go above and beyond.

“[Yancey] brought a mailbox, took the old one down, installed one within reach [for Patton]Britt-Smith said.

This happened after Patton started having trouble walking to his mailbox outside.

“Those who are living on their own and struggling to maintain the housing that they’ve lived in for about forty, fifty and about sixty years, I think it’s the least we can do,” Yancey said.

The nonprofit’s goal is to encourage independence so seniors, like Patton, can live their best lives.

“It allows them to remain proud of their home ownership,” Yancey said.

“They’ve kept me from going to nursing homes. Because they come and clean the house, the bathroom and see that I’ve been fed,” Patton said. “And it’s wonderful. It’s just wonderful.”

Emanuel’s Hope Foundation is hosting a Zoom-a-thon fundraiser on November 20 from 15.00 to 17.00. There will be live music, testimonies and much more. Registration for the event is free.

The nonprofit also hopes to enlist more volunteers and partner with lawn care and landscaping to expand its reach. Visit the group’s website to learn more.

You can also make a donation through the group’s GoFundMe campaign.

Leave a Reply