Zachary Neal

Zachary Neal makes quick work of stubby weeds that are close to the ground and would require more time if pulled by hand. 

BULLHEAD CITY — Parents of teenagers often wonder if their advice, their teachings, or living by example has any impact on their children’s impressionable minds. Are they paying attention to anything other than music or texts?

Turns out, yes they are.

Not only are they paying attention, they are taking the initiative to help others in need, because they know it’s the right thing to do.

A small group of friends and golf teammates from Mohave Accelerated Learning Center learned of an area resident with physical limitations who had hurt himself trying to combat the overwhelming weed problem in his yard.

“We heard about an older gentleman who had injured himself while trying to do the work himself,” said Zach Neal, a senior at MALC. “He called the city for help, but couldn’t get any because of this whole coronavirus thing.”

“The city called my dad, Jason Stein, who has a staffing agency called People Ready,” added David Stein. “He told them he didn’t have any workers available, but that maybe me and some of my friends could help him out.”

A few phone calls later, six young men stepped up to the plate to lend a hand.

“As the heat picks up and because of the coronavirus, a lot of seniors either can’t do the work themselves or they can’t get too many people to do the work, without having to pay a couple thousand dollars that some places want to charge,” Neal said. “It’s difficult for seniors to afford that because many are on set incomes, so we wanted to help out.”

Along with Stein and Neal, his brother Josh Neal, Trevor Price, Dakota Gillman and David Huddleston put in five hours on Wednesday and more hours Friday to finish the job.

“It’s a way for us to be way more productive and be outside,” Stein said. “If we weren’t doing this, we would be stuck at home inside doing nothing. It’s also more fun to do this with friends than by myself.”

“We can hang out and still be outside without having to be close to each other,” Zach Neal said. “We have fun listening to music, having a friendly competition between seniors and the sophomore guys — of course, seniors won — and the work gets done faster.”

Josh Neal encouraged other young people to follow their lead.

“I hope other people our age or older see what we’re doing and ask what they can do to help people in need — and it doesn’t have to be just yard work.” Josh Neal said. “It could be other things. There are a lot of people in need in our community, especially now, when they’re pretty restricted to being home, who are not capable and could use some help.”

Zach and Josh’s dad, Scott Neal, said he was glad the kids took on the task as temperatures are heating up.

“The kids got a lot done on Wednesday,” Scott Neal said. “They got a lot done, but it got hot and they got tired, so they were back out there (Friday) to finish. Jason Stein went over there to monitor them and feed them. He couldn’t provide people, but he was able to find money for pizza and water.”

Neal is assistant chief for the Bullhead City Fire Department.

“Collectively, this is an example of how a few phone calls placed to the right people can pull together and find a way to help out those in need,” he said. “It teaches the kids stewardship of their community, it teaches them to give back and help them as they grow from childhood and adulthood. They learn to pay it forward.

“All six of those kids played on the MALC golf team, that’s how they know each other,” he added. “They are close in that relationship and stepped up as a team and decided to help out.

“In this day and age, it’s hard to bring that mentality to kids, but I try to do that with my kids. So I think it’s a testament to parents and those families. Obviously they’re doing something right to raise kids this way,” he said. “They seemed to be enjoying it — they were joking and having fun. I’m very proud of these guys.”

Others who might want to either help out or need help may call Jason Stein at 928-234-3716.

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