The Extra Mile - May 2014: Cedars Hope/Wilson Lawn Service

By Ngozi Rogers

May 14, 2014 Updated May 14, 2014 at 8:24 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. ( This month’s Extra Mile – Circle of Giving story involves a home for homeless women who suffer from mental illness and a lawn service company who is helping them grow people.

For the last 20 years, Cedars Hope has been a home for homeless women who suffer from mental illness. Executive director, Lisa Freeman says "What has really been a tremendous thing to watch is women who have been able to move forward and get on with their lives & become independent."

But like any other home, it requires maintenance.

Lisa continues, "Our landscaping has just gone through the rough winter and it needs a lot of work this year. It’s usually a challenge, not only financially but also getting volunteers."

Cedars Hope would rather grow people than plants.

Resident Sheila Bertram adds,"Cedars Hope has meant help, hope, future, support, love, care, everything I needed when I came to them 14 years ago homeless. I started coming here when I had to see a therapist five days a week and I now volunteer five days a week instead."

Going the Extra Mile this month? Wilson Lawn Care.

Nathan Wilson, owner of Wilson Lawn Service explained, "We were out here for a good portion of the day. Arrived on site around 8:30 and edged all the beds. There were some shrubs that needed taken care of... pulling out some of the leaves that had piled up in the crevices of the building and we really just wanted to clean it up."

The residents "will now have a space where they can come and relax after a day out in the community. many of them do a lot of volunteer work. For Cedars Hope it means being a good part of the neighborhood. We’re in West Central neighborhood and so our landscape is important. So that our facility looks good." said Lisa Freeman.

Thanks to Nathan Wilson, owner of Wilson Lawn Care, Cedars Hope will continue to be a good neighbor.

He added, "It gives it a clean look. It’s got the curb appeal now… and in a neighborhood like this, it’s good to have some curb appeal."

Which is appreciated by the women at Cedars Hope.

Sheila Bertram added, "I would like to say a great big thank you and give them each an individual hug if I could but they’re too sweaty because they've been out in the sun all day."

"And having it done professionally by Wilson Lawn Care has been a huge blessing for us." explained Lisa Freeman

As part of the Extra Mile program's mission to connect people to people and people to the community, all 2014 Extra Mile: Circle of Giving recipients will give back to our community by volunteering with local non-profit organizations, public agencies, schools, and ministries.

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