MUSCATINE, Iowa–Most people see spring cleanup as a good thing in an of itself, as it allows them to tidy up their houses after a long winter indoors. However, Shane Conklin, owner of Lincoln Lawncare, wanted to give it a new dimension this year. In April, Conklin developed a new fundraiser of his own, Spring Cleanup for a Cause, and hopes this unique fundraising opportunity will earn wide community support for three area non-profit organizations.
Inspired by the good Troy “Stinky” Philpott has done with his annual Stinky’s House of Horrors fundraiser, Conklin sought a way to give back to several local organizations. Finding it a little late to contribute to Toyz 4 Kids, which provides bicycles and other toys to the Salvation Army’s annual toy shop, he decided to create something completely new. Remembering the popularity of massive home cleanouts ahead of spring cleanup week, before the City of Muscatine moved to an all year long free bulk pickup model, he decided to put on Spring Cleanup for a Cause, adapting a service Lincoln Lawncare already provides to collect much needed donations for different local groups.
Beginning in April, anyone who rents out a Lincoln Lawncare dump trailer will have 10% of the rental cost donated to a local charity. Conklin earmarked money raised in April to go to the Muscatine Center for Social Action, as the organization, which provides a broad array of services to help people avoid homelessness or recover from it, has utilized the dump trailer many times in the past. This month, proceeds from dump trailer rentals will go to the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, which Conklin has plowed snow for. In June, the money raised will go to the Muscatine Humane Society, as Conklin has a soft spot for helping pets in need. “I’m an animal person and a dog guy, so I wanted to figure out how to help them too,” he explained.
If someone would like to participate in Spring Cleanup for a Cause, all they need to do is rent a dump trailer from Lincoln Lawncare by calling 563-299-7181. Lincoln Lawncare will bring the trailer to the renter’s home and give them up to three days to fill it up. Perfect for people completing a renovation or restoration project, doing spring cleanup, or getting rid of unwanted items from a garage or estate sale, all renters have to do is fill the trailer up with their waste items. At the end of the rental period, Lincoln Lawncare will come retrieve it and dispose of all the junk on it. Renting a dump trailer costs $300, with $30 going to support the charity of the month. As Conklin put it, “You clean out your clutter and a charity gets some money from the time that you do it.”
A brand new fundraiser, Conklin hopes it will catch on and raise at least $300 for each month’s charity. If participation in the fundraiser remains steady throughout the spring and early summer season, he hopes to bring it back next year as an annual fundraising event, with the same three charities rotating which month they receive donations. By using his business to give back in a creative way, Conklin hopes to inspire his 10-year-old daughter to value giving back to the community when she grows up.