He had a dream, then created a Facebook page on July 18 and picked up a chain saw it make it become reality.
Wolfgang Deininger also uses rakes, mowers, weed wackers, pruners, lobbers, ladders and wheel burrows to lead a new local volunteer group he named Gulfport Grassroots.
“We’re a group of Gulfport residents who volunteer and we want to just do some small projects at people’s houses to help them,” said Deininger. “We already have plenty of groups doing huge projects like Junk in the Trunk and things, but we really don’t have a group that focuses on this type of stuff.”
Yard clean ups, diagnosing water heater or small appliance issues are examples of what the group will do, he said.
The group’s motto is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” said Deininger.
On Saturday, July 20 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., their first event, the elderly resident they had chosen to help was having issues with fallen tree limbs from a recent storm with strong winds and a water heater that wasn’t working, which meant she couldn’t take a hot shower, said Deininger.
About 24 volunteers showed up on short notice to help.
A Gulfport Police officer stopped by in his patrol car at about 8:15 a.m. and said, “If you need anything, just let us know.”
Stacey Purcell of Gulfport Realty donated coffee and donuts to help fuel the effort.
“We’re going to spend a few hours here to see what we can do to make it look good,” said Deninger. “I’ve already talked with the City of Gulfport and they’re going to come and pick up anything that we put by the curb. And, we’re going to have fun.”
In the first hour, the group had gathered enough yard waste to make a pick-up pile that was over six feet high, 10 feet deep and 25 feet wide.
The city also contacts Deininger when they identify a resident who needs to have a welfare check regarding simple property clean-up issues.
“The city is where we will get a lot of our leads from,” he said. “I know people in the various departments who will help us find people in need. What we do helps Gulfport by making it look nice and beautiful again.”
To learn more about the group and to find out about projects, visit facebook.com/GulfportGrassRoots.