NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – 80 trash bags line the curb of Mr. Jimmy’s Lakewood home, ready for pickup Monday morning. They’re full of dead leaves, sticks, and other debris that less than a few hours prior had covered both the front and back yards. Randy Naylor was the brains behind turning the yard from shades of brown to shades of green, clear of nearly a foot of leaves for the first time in a while. “We did the front and the backyard,” Naylor said, “and we trimmed his bushes and blew his roof off. About 3 hours of leaves, that’s a good day.”
Private yards aren’t usually Naylor’s specialty. He runs a volunteer group called “Keep North Little Rock Beautiful” that focuses on larger projects like river cleanups. But this call from Jimmy’s neighbor was too important to turn down. “He said, you know, somebody else gave me your name and we’d really like to help this guy out,” said Naylor. Within a few days, 9 volunteers had agreed to give up their Saturday morning so that Mr. Jimmy could gaze at green again from his backyard window. In the process, Naylor made a new friend. “Small world,” he said. “We’re both Southern Baptists and both go to the same church!”
Naylor says Mr. Jimmy was blown away by the unexpected gesture of kindness, and in this time of social distance, he encourages everyone to keep an eye out for ways to help one another: “Just always be willing to help somebody. It’s kind of my philosophy.” Naylor says he would like to go back to Jimmy’s at some point to continue the cleanup, power washing the front of the house and cleaning up his car.
You can learn more about “Keep North Little Rock Beautiful” here.