A business that has made waves in Anacortes in recent months is expanding its reach to the Oak Harbor area.
Brothers Alex, David and Evan Rodriguez launched Linked Lives in September. Through their company, the Rodriguez brothers assist older folks in the area with household tasks that may be difficult for them to accomplish alone.
But according to the brothers, their mission is about more than checking items off a to-do list; it’s about forging stronger bonds between generations.
The Rodriguez brothers grew up in Anacortes, and all three went on to study engineering at Washington State University in Pullman.
Alex said that while he and his brothers were growing up, it was common for older friends and neighbors to call on them for help carrying boxes, mowing the lawn or setting up the Christmas tree. When they went away to college, they continued to get texts and phone calls asking whether they were around and could help out.
They all went on to work in the engineering field after graduating, but Alex, who had long been interested in starting his own business, began to feel pulled in a new direction. His brothers agreed; they wanted to do something hands-on that would provide a tangible service to people who needed it.
“We really felt called to give back to our community,” he said.
They found their niche in the same kinds of tasks they frequently performed growing up — the household tasks and light yard work that can be difficult for people to do as they get older, but which are deemed too small for most cleaning services and larger lawn care companies to do.
Services the Rodriguez brothers offer include such tasks as changing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries, unpacking boxes, putting up decorations, assembling shelves and furniture, walking the dog, unloading groceries and more. Evan said a lot of Linked Lives members need technology-related help.
While completing tasks provides important help, it also facilitates what Alex called “companionship through purpose.” Giving younger people the chance to serve creates an environment where friendships can form organically, he said.
For example, he recalled one client of his he visited recently who needed help setting up his Christmas tree. While unpacking the ornaments, Alex discovered a number of beautiful, ornate Christmas angels. While Alex decorated, his client told him all about how he had collected these angels while living in Germany.
This man and other clients have become dear friends to Alex, he said, and he always looks forward to seeing them.
Evan said that Linked Lives pairs each member with an employee who will stick with them throughout their membership, allowing them to form a relationship over time. There can be a disconnect between older and younger generations, he said, and Linked Lives seeks to bridge that gap.
Linked Lives officially launched on Sept. 26 and was soon able to expand into La Conner and Oak Harbor. Evan said the company is hiring and hopes to be able to cover all of Whidbey Island soon.