LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – One man is working his way across the country, mowing lawns in each of the 50 states along the way.
Rodney Smith Jr. says this started small, lending a helping hand to someone who couldn’t finish mowing the lawn, but has since transformed in a way to help people around the country doing the same.
Since creating Raising Men Lawn Care Service, Smith said he’s found a way to get kids around the country involved with him in mowing lawns for those in need.
Out in the sunshine Tuesday morning, Smith didn’t waste time getting to work.
“After I get done with this, it’s going to be a completely new lawn -- a lawn makeover for real,” Smith said.
The care he puts into cutting the grass isn’t for himself, but a total stranger. A post on social media led him to Jerrika Baker’s home.
“I’m a dialysis patient; I have kidney failure,” Baker said. “I was like, I wonder if they can cut my grass.”
The single mother of three doesn’t own a lawnmower. And with heavy rain and sunshine this summer, her grass was growing a little too high.
“I’m sure this lawn hasn’t been mowed for a couple months,” Smith said.
“I was actually almost due for a fine so I had needed it cut immediately,” Baker said. “It’s helped out a lot and saved money in my pocket.”
Smith said he travels the country mowing lawns like hers, cutting the grass and taking care of the yard for single mothers, veterans, senior citizens and people with disabilities. But he doesn’t do it alone. With each state he visits and lawn he mows, he gets kids involved, too, mowing lawns for neighbors in their own communities and helping to lend a hand.
“A lot of these kids that join the program, it opens their eyes to see that they truly can make a difference,” Smith said. And in no time at all Tuesday, Baker’s son was out lending a hand and having fun with Smith in the yard.
“He wanted to mow and he took over; he said, ‘I got this!’” Smith said. “And he’s only about five years old.”
This month, he’ll visit all 50 states, mowing lawns and helping families as he goes. He’s done this trip before, but this time, he’s got Spiderman helping him out; the pair visits sick children in hospitals with each stop along with cutting grass.
With each stop, the small act of kindness brings rewards.
“Yeah, just to see the smiles on people’s faces who I mow for,” Smith said.
“Yeah, he’s picking up some good qualities,” Baker said, speaking of her pride in her young son helping Smith to mow her yard. “As a man growing up in this kind of neighborhood. It’s hard.”
With four states down and at least 46 lawns to go, Smith said there’s no stopping this service.
“Nothing we can’t handle,” he said.
Through Raising Men Lawn Care Service, Smith also gives kids a challenge to help their communities. Those who participate in the challenge will get new Raising Men shirts with each 10 lawns they mow. When they get to 40, Smith said he comes out to give them a new lawnmower, weedwhacker and blower.
Twenty-two kids have completed it. Right now, more than 250 kids around the world are taking that challenge.
For more information on Raising Men Lawn Care Service, click here.