Let’s do something for the landscapers this Christmas

To the Editor:

Living in The Villages, it is impossible not to notice how beautifully the landscaping is maintained in all of the public areas. It is also impossible to not notice all of the workers that do the weeding, flower planting, grass mowing, tree trimming, and other jobs that make The Villages such an aesthetically pleasing place to live.
Last summer I stopped to tell one of these workers what a great job he was doing and to thank him for working so hard in the blazing summer heat. I asked him how he liked his job, and he told me he loved it. He said he used to work at Sam’s Club and this was so much better because he got to work outdoors, got a full 40 hour work week, and his boss was much nicer. I asked him how much money he made doing this landscape work? He told me $8.05 and hour.
This got me to thinking. I readily give tips to food servers, garbage men, window washers, lawn mowers and others who provide services to me. Why not include a least one of the people that do the landscape work all around The Villages?
We live at the end of a court with a circular planting, where I frequently see one particular worker, weeding, trimming and generally maintaining that area. One morning when I saw him working out there, I went out to talk to him. I thanked him for the great job he was doing, and after we talked a while, I told him that I wanted to buy him lunch and gave him a $20 bill. He gave me a $100 smile and said, “You make me very happy today.”
I would suggest that if you can afford it, you give one of these workers a gift of a few bucks this Christmas. They work very hard, in all kinds of weather for very little pay, to help make The Villages a great place to live. Just pick any one of them, tell them how much you appreciate what they do and give them a small gift. I’m sure that this surprise Christmas gift will make that person very happy. It will put a huge smile on both of your faces.
Just imagine what it would be like if every Villager did this.

John Hunter
Village of Santiago