MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A City of Miami Beach employee went above and beyond her call of duty to help out a resident in need.
Miami Beach Code Compliance officer Jacqueline Caicedo said she received a complaint about a resident’s overgrown lawn. However, when she spoke with the resident, she found out he was too ill to clean up his yard.
That’s when, instead of fining the man, Caicedo had the generous idea to have her and her co-workers volunteer to cut the elderly man’s grass. “I felt it was in my heart to not simply give him a violation but rather help him bring his home into compliance,” she said in a City of Miami Beach press release.
“He confessed that he didn’t cut his grass in a few years after the loss of a close relative,” Caicedo said.
Due to continuous health complications, the man has not been physically able to cut his own lawn, nor is he able to afford a landscape company that can help maintain it.
Touched by the man’s story, Caicedo jumped into action, gathering a group of 11 colleagues to help address minor maintenance concerns at his home.
“I found it in my heart that the right thing to do was not to give him a violation,” Caicedo said.
About a dozen City of Miami Beach employees showed up at the man’s home with their own equipment, ready to mow the lawn and pull weeds to help bring his yard up to code.
“It was hard at first to get people to come out on their day off,” Caicedo said. “It’s a Saturday, where everyone’s doing their own thing.”
Caicedo said the action even lifted the man’s spirits.
“After we cut his grass, he was so happy that we gave him a little bit of motivation to come outside,” Caicedo said.
Caicedo is thankful for her colleagues who sacrificed their own time to help clean up the man’s house.
“Oh man, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart,” she said. “This is not what I expected at all. This was just a small random act of kindness from our department. We didn’t expect all this.”
Even after successfully bringing the man’s yard up to par, Caicedo took it a step further and filled out an application for the city’s Homeowner Rehabilitation Program on his behalf. The program provides eligible homeowners with up to $70,000 in housing rehabilitation funds.
“I am so proud of our city staff for going above and beyond in performing this act of kindness,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg.
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