An Alabama man is on a mission to make a difference — “one lawn at a time.”
Rodney Smith Jr. is a college senior at Alabama A&M in Huntsville, Alabama. He’s spending his summer break traveling to each of the 50 states to provide his free grass-cutting service for the elderly, military veterans, the disabled, and single moms.
Smith said he wants to unite communities and inspire others in his path. The student moved to the U.S. from Bermuda in 2009 and currently lives in Huntsville.
Why is he doing it?
It all started last year when Smith saw an elderly man struggling to cut his grass.
“So it came to me, I should do something about it,” he said in a video. “I’m young. I’m able.”
Smith said people in his home country are friendly and give back what they can.
“That’s what drives me to help people,” he said.
After the first yard, he decided to set a goal of 40 lawns. He quickly reached that goal, and within a couple of months, he had mowed 100 lawns.
Smith’s mission soon extended to the youth in his community and beyond. He challenges his young volunteers to mow 50 lawns.
His system is color-coded similar to the Karate belt system. Kids get a white T-shirt when they accept the challenge. After they complete 10 lawns, they receive an orange T-shirt and so on.
Once they reach 50 lawns, Smith sends them a black one.
Where is he now?
On Sunday, Smith mowed the lawn for “Mr. George” in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to his Facebook account.
“I had the pleasure of mowing a lawn for Mr. George who is 98 years young ! He asked me to mow his back lawn for him. Due to him having cancer he is unable to tend to his lawn like he would like he said . Glad I could help him out . Making a difference one lawn at a time,” Smith wrote on Facebook.
Next, he stopped in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to help out more folks.
By Tuesday, he was in Dallas, cutting the grass for some disabled veterans.
While in Texas, he also stopped by a summer camp where he spoke to a group of kids about lawn mower safety and encouraged them to accept the 50-yard challenge.
He drove 10 hours to New Mexico Wednesday where he will continue his mission.
A single selfless act has now become a foundation with eight chapters and 150 youth members who’ve mowed at least 2,000 lawns, according to the foundation’s website.
For those who would like to get involved, start a chapter, or donate to the cause, can visit Smith’s website at Raising Men Lawn Care Service.
Smith plans to get a master’s degree in social work after he graduates in May.