Young entrepreneur and philanthropist has the scoop on poop

Susan Manzke
His Radio Flyer wagon filled with the tools of his trade, Eli heads off to work.

Grandmothers are often proud of their grandchildren. Today, I want to write about one particular grandchild. It’s 10-year-old Eli, son of our daughter Rachel and our son-in-law David, of Sun Prairie.

The other day, (before school closures) Eli was looking for some work to do around their home. In the summer, Eli earns a little pocket money by cutting their lawn. Since grass isn’t growing yet, Eli started thinking about other chores.

Rachel came up with work for her son. She asked Eli to clean their backyard. After the snow melted, all the leavings from their dog, Jadie, were visible and needed to be picked up.

To everyone’s surprise, Eli didn’t turn his nose up at the thought of scooping up doggie doodoo. This job would get him outside and help burn off pent up energy. It would also get him closer to a remote-control vehicle he wanted. (All previous monetary gifts were stashed away for months for this toy.)

“Maybe there will be others in Sun Prairie who would like to hire you to clean up after their dogs, too.”

The idea of going beyond their yard appealed to Eli. He really wanted his remote-control car.

Grandson Eli's calling card designed by Susan's daughter Rachel.

As Rachel set up an announcement on her Facebook page, the bottom fell out of everyone’s lives from this virus.

“We can’t ask people to pay you to clean up their yards, Eli,” said Rachel. “There are too many families in real need of food and clothing.”

Eli was disappointed.

Suddenly a light-bulb idea came to Eli and his mother. Maybe Eli could still go to work helping Sun Prairie dog owners and raise money for a charity instead of for himself.

Again, Eli stepped up to do this doo doo work.

Here is what Rachel posted on her Facebook page:

While practicing social distancing, I have a 10-year-old son that is looking for a way to keep busy, get outside, and collect donations for the Sunshine Place in Sun Prairie.

If you let your dog(s) have the run of your yard all winter but are dreading cleaning it up, Poop-Be-Gone is the service for you. 💩😁👍

Get a clean yard while helping families in Sun Prairie affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Service is done with no face-to-face interaction!

We would text when we plan to arrive, bring our own supplies to pick up the yard, place the bag by the side of your house, and will text when we leave.

A $10-20 donation is suggested (keeping in mind the size of your yard and number of dogs). We will ask that you leave the donation in a place where we can pick it up on our way out.

Offering service in Sun Prairie only. Message me if interested!

Eli scooping.

Yes, people were interested. Eli, and his helping mom, Rachel, went to yard after yard, cleaning up after a winter’s worth of dog droppings.

Eli said it was better using the scooper when the temperature was below freezing. The poo came up easier.

Most yards filled one garbage bag, but there was one yard that outdid the others. Six bags were filled from that yard! Maybe they were raising elephants?

Eli and Rachel moved into the yard with their tools and left the same way. The filled bags were left for the homeowners to dispose of.

After a few days of work, the donations (from $20 to $40 per yard) amounted to $500 for Sunshine Place (a nonprofit community resource center focused on delivering programs with an emphasis on food, clothing, child outreach, and human services to the families residing in the Sun Prairie School District.)

Another yard with six bags of doodoo and proud Eli beholds a job well done.

Eli was happy to help the homeowners along with Sunshine Place. It wasn’t his first thought, but after doing this charity work, Eli realized he could use it for his scout Community Service badge. (Grandpa Bob would have been so proud of our grandson, too.)

Eli will be getting his remote-control car. His birthday and Christmas cash, along with Mom and Dad’s contribution, saw to that.  

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;