Rodney Smith Jr. and Terrence Stroy are helping those in need one lawn at a time! When an elderly woman was released from the hospital she wasn’t able to pay her next-door neighbor for his lawn mowing services anymore as she had hospital bills and medication costs. She said he wasn’t happy that she canceled his service and started harassing her for the money she had owed him before being booked into the hospital.
Rodney to the rescue
Luckily she had Rodney and Terrence from Raising Men Lawn Care Service who came to her rescue and offered to mow her lawn for free for the rest of her life.
Rodney and Terrence run Raising Men Lawn Care a nonprofit organization that aims to show kindness and compassion to those individuals who are disabled, single mothers, veterans, and the elderly by mowing their lawns for free.
Rodney first started Raising Men Lawn Care when he saw an elderly man really struggling to mow his lawn, “I should do something about it.” He thought to himself. He then stopped his car, got out, and went to help the man. After helping the man mow his lawn Rodney set a personal challenge for himself to mow 40 yards for free in an effort to help the elderly and those who have trouble mowing their lawns. What initially began as a personal challenge, ended up becoming a program with over 400 young men and women from across America who now mow the lawns of those unable to, for free.
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The 50 Yard Challenge
Rodney later came up with the 50 Yard Challenge. Which invited children, teenagers, and adults from all over America to mow the lawns of 50 people who are in need. To join this challenge, all one must do is post a picture online of them holding a sign that says: “I accept the 50-yard challenge”. Straight after which, they get to work.
“So let’s say you had a kid in New York that accepted the challenge,. All they would need to do is make a sign saying, ‘I accept the 50 Yard Challenge,’ and in return, we send them a white Raising Men Lawn Care Service T-shirt. Along with shades and ear protection. Once they mow 10 lawns, they get an orange shirt, 20 a green, 30 a blue, 40 a red, and 50 a black. And once they reach 50, we fly to them, we do lawns with them and we also give them brand new lawnmowers,” explained Rodney.
The aim of Raising Men Lawn Care is to not only help those in need, but to inspire the youth. Both boys and girls, to keep on a positive path while learning about compassion and kindness.
“I’m just trying to encourage kids to get out there and make a difference,” Rodney explained. “Too many kids are inside playing video games. And what I’m doing, I believe it’s my purpose. I remember a few years ago, I had a one-on-one conversation with God, and I asked him to use me as his vessel. He didn’t give me an answer that day, not a week later, not even a month later.”
“It happened a few years later in 2015, when I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn. It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and I helped him out. At the time I was getting my bachelor’s in computer science, so I thought I could mow 40 lawns by the end of winter. But I mowed 40 lawns so quick that I upped my goal to 100. So, a month and a half later I reached my 100th lawn, and that’s when I came up with the idea of raising men lawn care service.”
Rodney wants them to know that what they are doing matters.
“I let them know that they’re making a difference. I remember one kid we had, he came out for the first time with us in Huntsville, where I’m based out of. And at first he was like, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ But after he finished his first lawn, it was for an elderly man. So, I asked him on camera, how does it feel to know that he made a difference. And his face lit up.
He said, ‘Oh, did you see his face just now? I finished his lawn, and he had a big smile on his face and he thanked me. Oh man, oh man.’ I mean, it’s priceless just to see his face just light up after he’d done his first lawn. And that’s the kind of reaction a lot of the kids are giving us. So it’s really cool to see such a small idea grow into something that is inspiring kids nationwide and even worldwide.” Rodney said.
Recently, Rodney visited all 50 states to mow the lawns of those who needed the help.
“Before I started the tour, I made a request to my followers. If they knew anyone in the cities and states I’ll be going to. So I selected a city in each state where I’d be going to. Then, I put it out, and people just start submitting lawns of those who are elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans. And that’s how it all happened. I mow an average of three to four lawns per city. Sometimes it’s more.” Explained Rodney.
Not only has Raising Men Lawn Services helped so many people, it has also shown them that kindness and compassion still exists in the world.
Keep Reading: Kids Today Need More (Not Less) Responsibility
- “He mowed his way across the country. Now Rodney Smith Jr. has an army of young volunteers cutting grass for those in need.” CNN. Gabriel Kinder. July 22, 2021
- “Rodney Smith Jr., Who Mows Lawns For Veterans And Elderly Across America, Says He Was Denied Green Card.” CBS. October 28, 2020.
- “Lawn mower man: Rodney Smith Jr completes 50 states challenge.” BBC. July 18, 2018.