‘Good people’ help landscaper get back to work following theft

Danny Ellis was robbed on Labor Day, but now almost all of his equipment has been replaced by generous viewers. Photo: WCCODanny Ellis was robbed on Labor Day, but now almost all of his equipment has been replaced by generous viewers.
Photo: WCCO

A Minneapolis landscaper whose trailer full of equipment was stolen from his driveway on Labor Day has had his livelihood restored, thanks to viewers who saw a news story about him.

WCCO had covered the tragedy that came as a shock to landscape company owner Danny Ellis of Ellis Landscaping LLC. He had been running his business for just over a year when his riding lawn mower, push mower and other supplies were all taken along with his trailer.

Ellis’ home is right next to a church, but that didn’t stop the thieves.

“They didn’t have any respect even for the church,” Ellis told WCCO. “I could have been the pastor living right here. But people don’t care, because if they did they wouldn’t do these things.”

Ellis’ loss was particularly hard because he is trying to provide for a family of eight, including his mother and disabled daughter. Ellis lost his wife back in 2009 and the theft of his equipment had made things worse.

“It brings a lot of pressure in my home,” he said. “I just don’t understand why someone would come and steal my things.”

Ellis filed a police report with the serial numbers of his missing equipment and was working to find replacements and parts to fix up a second-hand riding mower.

Three days after WCCO shared the struggles of the widower landscaper, several different viewers were touched by his story and decided to help out.

A retired sales manager, Alan Merwin, and his wife saw the broadcast and immediately wanted to chip in. Earlier, Merwin had seen a trailer for $2,000.

“I decided this is going to be my gift to this family so they can get back to work,” Merwin said.

He had wanted to travel to help the flood victims in Louisiana, but he found he could help someone in need who was much closer. Merwin lives by the phrase “L-GLO.”

“L-GLO stands for ‘Love God, love others,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing today.”

Merwin isn’t the only WCCO viewer who chose to assist Ellis. One brought Ellis a new push mower, while another took him on a shopping spree to a local hardware store to replace some of his other equipment.

“There’s more good people in Minneapolis than people know,” Ellis said.

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