When Basehor resident Brett Kramer and his wife moved to Kansas from Indiana in 2014, they saw that some of their elderly neighbors could use some extra help doing things like clearing snow from their driveways. They quickly decided to join part of the Snow Brigade, a volunteer group in their new city in Olathe.

The Kramers moved to Basehor in 2015 but never forgot the fulfillment they received helping their neighbors. In mid-June, the area was hit with a storm which resulted in significant tree damage throughout Basehor. Brett posted a note on the Basehor Area News Facebook page offering to help anyone in the city who needed assistance removing limbs. It didn’t take long before several residents wanted to take him up on his generous offer.

“I got up on Saturday morning and saw we had some large limbs down and lots of tree debris in our yard. Since my wife was still asleep, I drove to get some coffee and then drove around looking at all the damage,” Brett said. “I figured there were many people that were going to struggle cleaning it up by themselves. I have the tools and ability, so why not use them?”

After spending about three hours cleaning up his own yard, Brett was able to lend a hand clearing downed limbs at the Bonner Springs animal shelter, a Kansas City, Kansas, residence and several Basehor residences. While they spent nearly six hours cleaning up the yards of local residents, the Kramers actually had a few people turn down their offer of help.  

While helping neighbors, the Kramers approached an elderly gentleman offering to help him with the storm debris. Thinking they wanted to help for a fee, the gentleman asked for their phone number so he could call them later.  

“I told him that we would do it right then, for free. The gentleman said, ‘Well, people just don’t do that.’ I laughed and my wife responded, ‘Well, they should,’” said Brett.  

By the time the Kramers were done helping, several neighbors joined to finish the job.

The Kramers are hoping that their volunteerism will spread throughout the Basehor community.  Brett is starting a group of volunteers who are able to help neighbors when they need it. He is planning to offer volunteer services for things such as snow removal, spring cleaning jobs including things such as gutter cleaning, emergency services for storm cleanup, car repairs, or even someone needing a ride to work.

Anyone interested in being part of Kramer’s volunteer squad can watch the Basehor Area News Facebook page for additional information as the program develops.   

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com