A 29-year-old man has traveled to all 50 states to mow lawns for free in the U.S. veterans, saying how he hopes to “encourage others to get others to get out there and help out, especially the veterans.”
Rodney Smith Jr. of Huntsville, Alabama, arrived in Hawaii last month after finishing off a nationwide tour of honoring veterans by assisting them with yard work.
He shared how he got the inspiration for the project almost five years ago when he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree as well as searching for purpose in his life.
“I remember asking God to use me as his vessel,” he said.
And back in 2015, he said he was driving home in Huntsville when he saw an elderly man attempting to mow his lawn.
“It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him,” he said. “That’s when I got my goal to mow lawns for free for the elderly, single moms and veterans.”
He said quickly after he made this his mission — he then realized there were a lot more lawns to mow than he could alone so he decided to recruit young people in his community to get involved.
“We have boys and girls taking part in the program,” he said. “We are trying to encourage boys and girls to get out there and make a difference, one lawn at a time.”
He began the 50 Lawn Challenge which encouraged young kids in their communities to go out there and help those who may be struggling with their yardwork on their own by mowing 50 lawns.
“A few months later, we went viral on the internet,” he continued.
“Currently, we have about 400 kids nationwide that are taking part in the 50 Yard Challenge,” he said.
Smith has made his way to all 50 states to promote his work in 2017 and in 2018 but this is the first time he is doing it to raise awareness for veterans.
“I thought I would travel to all 50 states to make people more aware of the foundation,” he said.
And while he drove his SUV through all 48 states in the U.S. mainland, he says Delta Airlines helped him reach his last two states: Alaska and Hawaii right after he tweeted it.
“I’ve come across so many veterans that are struggling to get their lawn mowed,” he said. “If they served for our country, we should step up for them.”
“This is the least we can do,” he continued. “This is the last thing they need to worry about.”
Smith said that he gets support for his trip and for his organization from people all over the country.
“They give me rooms to stay, they purchase the hotel room,” he said. “Sometimes they fill up my tank of gas.”
Smith believes that since 2015 he has mowed at least 2,500 lawns and said how he has finally found his purpose.
“My true purpose in life is helping people.”
If you are looking for ways to help veterans, you can click here help those in your own community.
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