I hear people talk a lot about how the younger generation isn’t motivated. How they don’t go out and find jobs like they used to in order to raise money.
While I will say there may not be as many anymore, there still are youths out there that are going out and shoveling or mowing lawns to raise funds. Take 11-year-old Jameson Burriss for example.
The young entrepreneur now has his own business called A Boy & A Shovel & A Mower. The Defiance fifth-grader started the business after he and his stepfather won a shovel during an after school event last year.
Burriss said that it as an opportune win as he had been thinking about starting to shovel driveways prior to winning the shovel.
“I just wanted to help other people that can’t do what I can today,” he said.
With the money he raised shoveling, Burriss decided to give back to the community, as well as invest in his start-up business, which he then called A Boy & A Shovel.
He donated some of his proceeds from the winter to the Fort Defiance Humane Society to use for their operations, including food for the dogs and cats.
“I like dogs and cats, and they didn’t have (all) the stuff they needed,” Burriss said about why he decided to donate to the humane society.
With the rest of the money he raised, Burriss thought ahead to the spring and summer months and how he could keep his business going.
“I kept on shoveling driveways and got a lot of money on my business and started to think ‘why don’t I mow in the summer and help people who want their lawn mowed?’ “ he said.
He purchased a mower then and his business went from A Boy & A Shovel to A Boy & A Shovel & A Mower.
Burriss also decided to keep donating some of this proceeds to organizations he likes.
“He’s going to pick a different organization each month to give to,” said Burriss’ mother, Jen Fisher.
“I’m going to give (money) to St. Jude’s for kids with cancer and the public library here in Defiance,” Burriss said for this month.
He also decided to share his story about starting his business with others with a book. It chronicles how he got started and his experiences.
“I did write a book about my business. It’s called ‘A Boy & A Shovel,’ “ Burriss said excitedly.
Fisher said the family plans to take what Burriss wrote and get it bound before passing out copies to family members and his teachers.
Meanwhile, he’s still thinking about making his business grow. He has his own Facebook page, A Boy & A Shovel & A Mower, where people can reach him to schedule having their lawn mowed or driveway shoveled.
Burris hopes to have enough customers to hire some employees.
“We were thinking about hiring some of my friends to help me, but we haven’t done it yet,” he said. “My family helps me (now) — my mom, my stepdad, stepbrother and stepsister.”
While all this is going on, Burris still has his normal school work, as well as soccer games to attend.
There’s a lot to juggle to be a business owner at 11.
Fisher said that some of his customers do make comments that he’s very young “but they’re glad to have him. Some say there aren’t many kids out there that work hard like him and help others out.”
So take heart, there are still youth out there willing to go out and shovel or mow to earn some money, but they also want to do more with it — by giving back to the community they are part of and to causes they feel connected to beyond the six-county area.