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Fort Wayne teenager mows lawns to raise money to purchase headstone for late grandmother

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - A Fort Wayne teenager is mowing lawns in his neighborhood in hopes to make enough money to buy a headstone for his late grandmother.

17-year-old Antione Garrett has been mowing lawns in the community for the past month. While this may not sound like a headline, the reason he is doing it is what makes this story so special.

Despite the hot temperatures, Garrett was seen knocking on people's houses, asking neighbors to mow their lawns for an honest pay.

Ashleigh Lindsey told Fort Wayne's NBC News that Garrett mowed her lawn.

"When he knocked on the door, he said his name was Antione and he was out trying to make some money," Lindsey said. "Just mowing yards, and if I'd be interested, and I said absolutely!"

What surprised her was the young man's answer when she asked him why he was trying to make money.

His response? To buy a headstone for his late grandmother.

Lindsey captured a photo of him, bending over and sweeping the grass off of the sidewalk with a broken broom, and shared it on her Facebook page with Garrett's story. The post has gone viral since with more than a thousand shares as of Tuesday night.

Lindsey added, "I sent the picture to my husband, like you won't believe this! It's so hot outside, and he's out here and he's just working for an honest dollar. That just shocked me."

Lindsey's post has gathered dozens of comments from people within the community, sharing their support for Garrett's goal.

Joy Williams commented, "I live in a apartment complex, but I WOULD LOVE TO HELP HIM."

"Did you get a phone number? I got some extra equipment I can donate to him," commented Roberto Garcia.

Fort Wayne's NBC News talked with Garrett about his story. Garrett said he was adopted at the early age of three, and his grandmother took care of him. However, late last year, Garrett said his grandmother got sick and passed away.

Garrett's grandmother still went out of her way to care for him while she was sick, he added.

Garrett said she was a role model like no other.

"After she died. Because I can't get that no more," Garrett said. "Nobody can ever give me that type of love she gave me. Nobody."

Garrett told Fort Wayne's NBC News that his grandmother's lessons still resonate with him. He added she taught him to listen, take initiative, and to never let a bad moment get to you.

"No matter how much somebody treats you, or how bad they treat you, always still show them the better you. Because it will always pay off in the end."

Antione Garrett

And those lessons are getting noticed by many people in The Fort.

People began reaching out to Lindsey, asking her if they could donate equipment and money to help support Garrett's goal.

Along the way, Garrett also made a few friends.

Garrett said he hopes he is making his grandmother proud.

"I'm doing what you (grandmother) told me to do. And my sister love you and I do too."

Antione Garrett

Ashleigh Lindsey created a GoFundme to support Garrett's goal. If you'd like to help, please click here.

If you'd like to hire Garrett for his services, feel free to email him at

Garrett said he currently does not have a car so he walks with his lawn mower to people's houses to mow their lawn. He said he will continue to cut grass until he can purchase a headstone for his late grandmother.

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Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at

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