14-year-old mows lawns to raise money so stepfather can adopt him

14-year-old mows lawns to raise money so stepfather can adopt him

Tyce Pender's stepfather Eric Jenkins, 36, was extremely touched when he learned about his decision.

A 14-year-old boy has started a lawn care business to help raise money for something extremely close to his heart. Tyce Pender of Cayce, South Carolina, is working hard not to buy a new gadget or a bike but to help his stepfather, Eric Jenkins, cover the legal fees involved in the process of adopting him and his big brother.

Tyce does not have any memory of his life without Eric, who began dating his mom Marcy in 2010 and popped the question four years later. "He's been a father figure to me since I was 2. He's always been there for us and helps me with anything I need like homework," Tyce told TODAY Parents.

Two years after Eric and Marcy got married, they discussed the idea of Eric adopting Tyce and Tylee, 15. They even hired a lawyer who has agreed to work pro bono recently. But despite the good fortune of having found a lawyer to work on their case, other estimated legal costs will end up setting the family back several thousands of dollars.



That being said, the brothers and their 14-year-old stepsister, Tierrianna, want their parents to legalize the adoption. "This is important because Eric teaches me respect, independence and what a man is supposed to be. If anything ever happens to my mom, Eric is who I'd want to live with," explained Tyce.

"Court is expensive. I thought I could make enough money to pay for the adoption," shared the 14-year-old, who remembered how his 21-year-old brother Jayden mowed lawns as a kid to make money during summers. Despite having limited experience, Tyce wanted to do the same in order to raise money. 

His stepfather Eric, 36, was extremely touched when he learned about his decision. "Caring for Tyce is my job. His heart is in the right place," he told the outlet. Meanwhile, Tyce's mom added, "It's a powerful thing that Tyce wants to give this recognition (to his stepfather)." So last month, Marcy purchased a $192 battery-powered lawnmower for Tyce who advertised his business: Tyce & Company Lawn Service, on Facebook.


"Hi my name is Tyce. I am 14 years old and today my mom gave me a business loan and I was able to purchase a rechargeable lawn mower," read the post. "I do have safety glasses and gloves and I am hoping to find some yards to cut and maybe even maintain them. I go to school during the week and I am available some afternoons and all day on Saturday and Sundays. I also have an electric leaf blower and a rake, too. I am wanting to make this into a business so I can have my own business."

In no time, he got his first customer, Sarah Larrabee in West Columbia. "At first, I was pretty intimated. But her yard wasn't that big," said Tyce of the experience. His customer, Larrabee was extremely satisfied with his work. "It went so well, he was such a sweet kid, so polite and like, just so happy to be there and excited to have his first job, and it was just so sweet," Larrabee told WLTX

Till date the teen has cut around 16 yards and earned $400 which would go towards the cost of adoption, the majority of which will be covered by Marcy and Eric. "I'm extremely proud of Tyce. He's a good kid," Eric said. 

Representative cover image source: Getty | Photo by Pixel_Pig

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