Texas Brothers Clean Trash Cans to Help Family and Raise Money for College Amid Pandemic

August 5, 2020 Updated: August 18, 2020

After their mother lost her job and their father’s work hours were reduced amid the CCP virus pandemic, two young brothers decided to start their own business to help support the family whilst also fund their education.

Enterprising brothers Roberto and Marcelo Gonzalez, aged 19 and 18 respectively, came up with a unique idea of cleaning trash cans around their neighborhood in their hometown of McKinney. “Due to the situation we obviously had to think outside the box and pick something that no one else was doing,” Roberto, who studies at West Texas A&M University and was home after the campus shut down following spring break, told KXAS-TV.

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[L-R] Siblings Roberto and Marcelo Gonzalez. (Courtesy of Lettycia Gutierrez)
In mid-May after buying a power washer with help from their parents, the two brothers, who are the oldest of four siblings, went door to door advertising, gradually building a thriving cleaning business called Wash Bros at a time when hygiene has become more crucial than ever amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, pandemic.

Younger brother Marcelo, who was finishing senior year of high school, told Telemundo, “at first, we were going to clean windows with the powerwasher, but then we got the idea of [cleaning] trash cans.” Noticing that the city’s waste management services weren’t sanitizing the bins, they had the realization that this could be an untapped niche in the market.

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(Courtesy of Lettycia Gutierrez)

Given people’s concerns about the spread of the CCP virus and potentially harmful bacteria, the service, a deep clean of bins for just $25, has proven to be very popular.

The response has been quite strong, with them having performed an estimate of over 300 bin-cleaning jobs by July, according to one of the siblings. In addition, after their mom, Lettycia Gutierrez, posted their flyer on Facebook, it has since been shared more than 2,000 times, helping the word of their business spread.

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(Courtesy of Lettycia Gutierrez)

The fact that they have found work at an unprecedented time makes them feel very fortunate. Older brother Roberto, who is entering into his sophomore year studying International Business, told Telemundo: “I was thinking about how I could help my family, how I could bring in some income to be able to continue studying.”

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(Courtesy of Lettycia Gutierrez)

Since their small-scale startup has grown rapidly, Roberto added that the brothers feel “very happy that we are able to work every day[…] it’s a blessing.” While the brothers clearly have an entrepreneurial spirit, they have received help from friends and their parents.

Mom Lettycia has made it her mission not only to get the word out about their service but also to make sure they are safe on the job. “I was super concerned about goggles, mouth coverings, gloves,” she said.

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Roberto and Marcelo Gonzalez with their parents. (Courtesy of Lettycia Gutierrez)

At a time where many high school graduates like Marcelo and college students like Roberto are living in limbo due to the pandemic, the brothers’ take-charge approach has created admiration among their family and the community at large. “People respect us more,” Roberto said.

The brothers have also expanded their range of service to neighboring zip codes, purchased a second powerwasher, and also included more power-washing services such as driveway and patio cleaning, as well as a pooper scooper service, which includes cleaning dogs’ poop from the backyard, according to their website. Additionally, the ambitious brothers hope that they will help provide more jobs with the aid of an app.

In response to the success of their business, Marcelo has a piece of advice to share with others. “There’s always a way to succeed,” he told KXAS-TV. “You’ve just got to look for it, really look, and try.”

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