A yard for Ms. Bunny

IT employees offer helping hands to makeover PEC member’s yard

When PEC Project Manager Jay Sanchez first began delivering Meals on Wheels to Ms. Bunny’s home in 2018, an important friendship blossomed. Many of Jay’s colleagues already knew Johnson City local Ms. Bunny and had been delivering meals to her even longer. Each time they made a delivery, one thing all PEC IT employees couldn’t help but notice was her yard.

“It just looked the same, year after year, after year,” Sanchez said. “The grass would grow high in the summer, then it would burn with the heat and turn brown, and then grow out again.”

After a couple years wondering the story behind her yard, Sanchez decided to find out.

“I asked her what was going on with her yard and if she needed help,” he said. “She told me that her son had built the fence for her, but it completely blocked access to the yard so nobody could bring in a mower or any other lawn equipment. She couldn’t get anyone to work on it.”

That’s when Sanchez offered a helping hand. He promised to round up a crew of PEC volunteers and set a date to tackle the yardwork. On the afternoon of March 24, Sanchez and seven IT employees arrived at Ms. Bunny’s home. First, they tore down the fence, then removed dead branches from several trees, picked up debris, mowed the yard, trimmed the edges, blew away leaves, and picked weeds. By the time they finished that evening, the yard had received the love it deserved, and Ms. Bunny couldn’t have been more grateful.

“I talked to people about doing it,” Ms. Bunny said. “They would always say it’s going to cost a lot, and I just couldn’t afford to pay that much. Friends would look at it and come out and shake their heads.”

Now with a freshly mowed and manicured lawn, Ms. Bunny says she feels a sense of relief.

“I am just amazed, and the fact they would do this for me is incredible,” she said. “I appreciate them so much. They’re always such a happy group of workers, and do so much for the community. I love PEC and the friends that I’ve made.”

In addition to Sanchez, the group of PEC employee volunteers included System Analysts John Croft, Jason Sumner, and Matt Gilger, as well as Help Desk Manager Shelly Flowers, Enterprise Optimization Business Analyst Michael Graham, and IT Manager Pat Lehoski.

Sanchez said, “My team feels the way I do, we work for a great organization and we’re more than happy to give back. The feeling of knowing we helped a member, a neighbor, a friend is great.”

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