NORWAY — In early May eight-year-old Dominic Brochu of Norway came home from hanging out with his friends dirty and sweaty.
Mom Savannah Martin’s interest was piqued.
“I asked what he had been doing and he said that they had just gotten home from work,” Martin said.
Unbeknownst to his mother, Martin’s son, still in second grade, had gone door-to-door in his neighborhood after school one day and had asked people if he and his friends could rake yards and do work for money.
Brochu’s work ethic didn’t surprise Martin.
“Last year, he wanted a new bike and he started a lemonade stand to earn the money to buy it,” Martin said. “This year, he said that his goal is to save $100.”
Brochu said that he wanted to save as much money as he could to put in his bank account.
“I don’t have anything I want now, I just want to save money,” Brochu added.
In a short period of time, Martin said that Brochu had “run out of yards in the neighborhood.”
“That gave me an idea to post on the Oxford Hills Swap and Sell Facebook page that Dominic and his friends were looking for work to save money,” Martin said. “From there, it took off.”
One of the people who came across Brochu’s Facebook post was Rick Beaudet, owner of ActNow GC Inc. in Oxford, a plumbing and general contracting business.
“It really struck a nerve with me and pulled at my heartstrings,” Beaudet said. “It reminded me a lot about how I started my business. I would go door to door, talking with family and neighbors, and doing whatever I could to make some money.”
“I thought it was a cool thing they were doing, and it was nice to have somebody reach out to me for work, like I reached out to people when I was younger,” Beaudet continued.
Beaudet said that he wanted to make sure the kids were well-versed in how to remain safe while doing work for people, so he “went to the store and picked them up some rakes, wheelbarrows, gloves, and safety glasses.”
“I tried to stress why it’s important to remain safe while using power tools and how they should use them properly,” he said.
He then allowed Brochu and his friend to work on his property.
Beaudet said that seeing Brochu and his friend go door to door and ask for work online “reminded me that if you want something in life, you need to go out and work for it.”
“Seeing them go out there and work is the kind of thing that still drives me to this day,” Beaudet said. “I think they’ll both have successful careers. I can’t wait to see what they do from here.”
Martin said that her son is still receiving phone calls and messages from people to do work.
“He doesn’t care what it is,” Martin continued. “He’ll do whatever people call about.”
Brochu said that when he gets older, he wants to do something with construction, whether it’s “building houses” or “fixing things.”
Beaudet said that he has no doubt that Martin’s son will accomplish his goals.
“I started right where they did and now I have a successful business and have employed 10 people,” Beaudet said. “It’s fun to listen to the younger generation talk about their plans for the future and what they want to do. I have high hopes for them.”