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Rodney Smith Mows Lawns in 50 States for Community Service

Rodney Smith Mows Lawns in 50 States for Community Service
(Oleg Dudko/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:07 AM

Rodney Smith said he is on a mission to mow lawns in 50 states – for a second time – in an effort to inspire kids to do community service, CBS News reported.

Smith started Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a nonprofit where kids do yard work for veterans, the disabled, the elderly, and single mothers, among others, for free, the network said. Smith started the project in his hometown in Huntsville, Alabama.

"In 2016, I saw a man mowing his lawn, struggling," Smith told CBS News, who said at the time he was completing a computer science degree. "So, I got out of my car and helped him. "I cut lawns in between classes."

He decided then to incorporate kids into the mission, recruiting about 60 kids in Huntsville to give their time, CBS News noted.

"It started in January [2016]... By April, we went viral, and ever since, it's continuing to grow," Smith told the network. He said he decided to spread the idea when an Ohio woman reached out to him about doing the same thing there.

Now, Smith told CBS News that there are 137 kids across the U.S. participating in Raising Men Lawn Care Service, as well as one in Canada and seven in Bermuda and the United Kingdom.

To raise awareness of community service and the lawn mowing effort, Smith mowed lawns in all 50 states, driving through the continental U.S. and flying to Alaska and Hawaii, completing the task in May 2017, he said on his website. He said he is in the process of doing the same thing this year.

"The purpose of this trip was to make more people aware of the Raising Men Lawn Care Service and to encourage kids to accept the 50-yard challenge," Smith said on his website. The 50-yard challenge encourages kids to mow 50 lawns of others in need.

"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," Smith said on his website. "What better way to do that than to accept the 50-yard challenge. Also, I plan to make stops along the way to encourage the 60-plus kids who have already taken the 50-yard challenge."

Smith told CBS News that he wants to surprise kids who complete the challenge with new lawn mowers and start a scholarship program for them.

"They are doing so much for their communities, that it's important to give back to them for their education," Smith told CBS News.

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Rodney Smith said he is on a mission to mow lawns in 50 states – for a second time – in an effort to inspire kids to do community service.
rodney smith, lawns, 50, states
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2018-07-12
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:07 AM
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