Deputies volunteer to help clean up yard for woman battling cancer

Small acts of kindness can mean a lot, especially for those people who are going through great trials – just like this cancer patient from southwest Florida.

Cpl. Dean Peck of the Collier Sheriff’s Office recently decided to visit his friend who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. As a way to cheer her up, he thought of bringing her a bunch of flowers.

When the visit was over and Peck left, he felt compelled to do something more for the cancer patient – something that will surely raise her spirits as she battles this horrible disease.

cancer patient's backyard

Peck knows that one of his friend’s favorite pastimes is sitting in her yard to enjoy nature, so he thought of building his surprise plan around that. When he noticed that her yard wasn’t well-kept, he thought: why not spruce it up for her?

Peck mentioned this idea with one of his colleagues, Sgt. John Gogia, who immediately offered to help. Not only that, but he also spread the word to friends and co-workers at the sheriff’s office.

deputies and volunteers helping cancer patient

The result was a group of 15 volunteers – 9 of whom work for the sheriff’s office – who gathered on Saturday to beautify the cancer patient’s yard! They brought with them a pressure washer and 100 bags of mulch that they purchased with their own money.

After nearly four hours of work, the once unkempt yard was transformed into a “virtual oasis,” the agency said. Her house was also pressure washed as well as the brick pavers in her yard.


The sheriff’s office shared the good deed on their Facebook page and gave recognition to their agency members who helped make the yard transformation possible.

“In addition to Cpl. Peck and Sgt. Gogia, agency members who worked on the project were Lt. Nicole Minick, Cpl. Gary Minick, Cpl. T.J. Brimfield, Cpl. Tom Mullen, Cpl. Scott Shaffer, Cpl. Martha Mullen and Office Specialist Melissa Shaffer. Here are a few before and after photos courtesy of Lt. Nicole Minick.”


Residents also lauded the volunteer for their kindness and hard work.

“Bless all the volunteers who made this happen for her to enjoy. Thank you for doing what you do for the community each and every day and thank you for this extra special act of kindness,” one commenter wrote.

This heartwarming gesture from the community is enough to lift anyone’s spirits and for sure, when the homeowner hangs out on her beautiful yard, she will always be reminded that there is still so much love in this world – and that thought alone is enough to make her smile every day.