When people come up with a bucket list, it’s usually comprised of goals that are somewhat selfish, like visiting the most surreal locations in the U.S. or taking a fitness vacation somewhere exotic. But, on May 14th, Rodney Smith Jr. of Huntsville, Alabama, decided to set out on a journey that would benefit others, by mowing at least one lawn in each of the 50 states.
Rodney is the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, which encourages young people to help out veterans, single moms, the elderly, and the disabled, by shoveling snow, raking leaves, and mowing lawns free of charge.
True to his word, Rodney himself set out on a quest to mow lawns for these types of families, and his beautiful gesture soon began making headlines, and fans started to follow his journey all across America.
Rodney did the same thing last year, but according to his website, he had three new goals this time around:
“(1) To teach kids about lawn mower safety, (2) talk to kids about the importance community service, and (3) encourage kids to take up the 50-yard challenge. In addition to going to each state mowing lawns, I plan to stop at schools and community organizations to talk to kids about lawn mower safety, community service, and the 50-yard challenge. I also plan to have at least 1-2 kids at each lawn, if possible. I believe it is critical that kids get involved with doing community service and move away from playing video games and staying inside the house all the time.”
On Tuesday, he announced that his mission was finally complete.
“Two months on the road traveling to all 50 states mowing lawns FREE for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans…” he wrote, before adding that his goal was to inspire other kids to join our 50 yard challenge by doing the same in their city.”
According to Rodney, more than 200 kids have already signed up for the program.
( Swipe left to see all pics) Family please help me welcome 19 new kids to the Raising Men Lawn Care Service Family. They have all stepped up & accepted the 50 yard challenge in their respected cities and states. Keagan & Annalynn from Richmond,IN, Andrew from Germantown,TN, Blaize from Joplin,MO,Noah from Conway,AR, Maleah, Jhordan, Craig, Carrie, Jared, Danielle, Caleb from Gadsden,AL, Javi from Columbus , GA, Mateo from West Milford,NJ,Dalton & Delaney from Rising Sun,MD, Wyatt from Rockwall TX , Gerrit from Grand Rapids from MI . Welcome ! PS. We also include raking leaves for the fall, snow shoveling in the winter and also picking up trash.
Of course, Rodney’s mown-lawing days are far from over. As soon as he completed the mission, he posted to say he was flying to Minnesota from Hawaii and driving back to Alabama, where he’ll be back to mowing lawns for free.
It’s easy to see how Rodney’s program benefits those in need, since even something as relatively simple as mowing a lawn can be a challenge for people with disabilities or single moms who struggle to find the time while working and taking care of their kids. But it’s also enormously beneficial to children, who are so engrossed in technology nowadays that many of them don’t know how to tell time. There’s also an increasing body of research that shows how crucial spending time outdoors is to your health, so the program is instrumental to the important task of getting your children off of electronics and into the great outdoors.
If you’re inspired by Rodney’s story, take the 50 Yard Challenge on yourself! And for more stories of people being awesome, check out Why This Family’s Heartwarming Story Is Going Viral.
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