By Spencer Blake
MESA, Arizona (KPHO) — AZ Sunworkers has been a growing business since August 2020, when Austin Anders, then a junior at Desert Ridge High School, started the business with a friend as a way to make money and stil
l have time for homework and football practice.
“Landscaping was mainly the thing, and as we went on, we went on and kept on doing everything,” Anders said. Eventually, they added other services like junk removal, hauling, moving and even minor construction projects.
Anders’ mom, Tanya Goulet, was impressed when her son had enough revenue to buy a trailer for his business in February. “This kid’s just been a hard worker since the day he was born. So I’m a proud mama,” she said.
Even Anders’ English teacher, Kaelin Williams, hired his company for weed control in her front yard. “They’re just well-mannered, respected boys. I had no problem having them come over to my home,” Williams said.
After Anders and his crew finished a junk removal job, their $2,000 trailer was so full that it no longer fit in the garage they normally park it in. They parked it outside in a neighborhood near Queen Creek and Gilbert roads, and on Tuesday morning, the trailer was gone. “I was speechless. I was just broken,” Goulet said. “My heart was just broken for all of them.”
The trailer was also full of about $1,000 worth of tools AZ Sunworkers had amassed over the months, like extension cords, power saws, sledgehammers, a hand truck, etc. Despite the loss, Anders didn’t panic. He filed a police report and immediately started renting trailers so they could keep on working. “I didn’t want to have to cancel on customers and everything and create a bad reputation,” he said.
“He had a good head on him and he was like, ‘We’re gonna work through this and figure this out,'” Goulet said. “He turned such a negative into a positive!”
Since then, clients and neighbors all over the East Valley have seen his Facebook posts and have pitched in more than $1,600 to his GoFundMe campaign. Meanwhile, a manager at a Valley Lowe’s reached out to Anders to donate brand new tools to replace some of the ones that were stolen.
“It feels amazing, just to know that you have the community behind you,” Anders said. The Chandler Police Department says the case is suspended right now because investigators have no suspect description.
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