Finding a neighborhood where everything is spick and span might be a rare sight these days. Take a walk around and chances are that you’ll come across an overgrown lawn that hasn’t been mowed for weeks or pieces of discarded furniture on the sidewalk. And while some ignore it, there are others who will complain, calling it an “eyesore.”
Jacqueline Caicedo, a Miami Beach code compliance officer, went beyond her call of duty when she received a complaint about a resident’s overgrown lawn. With an issue like this, Jacqueline normally would have to issue a citation against the homeowner. However, when she heard his story, she was moved with compassion and decided to help him.
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The owner, a 66-year-old man who had health issues, was suffering from depression after the passing of a close relative. The poor man also couldn’t afford to have a landscaping company take care of the lawn for him. He apparently hadn’t cut his grass in four years. Caicedo knew she had to do something and came up with a noble idea of enlisting the support of volunteers to cut the elderly man’s grass.
According to a report from WSVN, she said in a City of Miami Beach press release: “I felt it was in my heart to not simply give him a violation but rather help him bring his home into compliance.”
So she took up the matter with her director, and “I explained to him and made it clear to him that it wasn’t in my heart to give this guy a violation but rather to help him bring his property into compliance and they agreed,” Caicedo told FaithPot.
One Saturday, Caicedo managed to gather 11 of her co-workers to help the old man.
It’s not hard to be kind, so pay it forward to someone today! #MBeKindThanks WSVN-TV
“It was hard at first to get people to come out on their day off,” Caicedo said. “It’s a Saturday, where everyone’s doing their own thing,” she said in the Press Release.
But over the course of four hours, the volunteers used their own equipment to mow, weed, and spruce up the man’s yard. It was hard work, but the effort was surely worth it. The kind action moved the old man so much that he stepped outside for the first time in a long time to thank them.
Caicedo feels deeply indebted to her colleagues who sacrificed their own time to help clean up the man’s house. “Oh man, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” she said.
“This is not what I expected at all. This was just a small random act of kindness from our department. We didn’t expect all this,” she added.
Not only did Caicedo help clean up the man’s yard, but she went a step further to fill out an application for the city’s Homeowner Rehabilitation Program on his behalf. The program provides eligible homeowners up to $70,000 in order to remodel their home.
“I am so proud of our city staff for going above and beyond in performing this act of kindness,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg. Acts of kindness like these are what make the world a better place in so many ways and help restore our faith in humanity.