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  • Writer's pictureMitchell Sasser

Raising Men Lawn Care Service helps serve community and youth

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Harrisonburg, Va. - In 2015, Rodney Smith Jr. came across an elderly man struggling to mow his lawn in Huntsville, Alabama. Most would have passed by and thought nothing of it. But Smith had a different idea. He pulled over and decided to help.

“That night, I decided I would start mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single parents, and veterans,” Smith said.

Smith set a goal for himself. He would mow forty more lawns by the end of winter. He mowed forty so quickly, that he upped his goal to one hundred. Only a month and half later, he mowed his hundredth lawn.

This gave Smith the idea for Raising Men Lawn Care Service. This service is a union of an “ordinary yard maintenance service and the commitment to establish an inspiring program to keep our youth (girls & boys) on a positive path while learning and understanding their value in society.”.

Shortly after starting this organization, Smith received a message from two mothers, one from Wichita, Kansas, and one from Marion, Ohio. Both said that they had sons and grandsons that wanted to be involved. This gave Smith the idea to start the 50-yard challenge and expand his reach to more communities. For every 10 lawns that a kid mows, they will receive a different color t-shirt. 50 mowed lawns earns them a black t-shirt and a visit from Smith himself along with a brand new lawn mower, weed eater, and blower.

“I believe, this generation, it’s important that kids learn how to give before they receive,” Smith said. “In this day and age, a lot of kids are inside playing video games, so I want to encourage them to get out there and learn something about community service.”

Today, Smith said there are 700 kids nationwide taking part in the challenge, with 49 of the 50 states represented.

Smith has mowed lawns in all 50 states – five separate times. Smith said that “it’s a calling” to mow lawns and run the organization, and necessary to help people who can’t do everything by themselves.

“It’s a much needed service for those who we mow for for free,” Smith said.

Raising Men Lawn Care Service has been featured on BuzzFeed, NBC News, Fox News, and USA Today. Moving forward, Smith said he hopes to continue to grow and get more kids involved and expand the organization to have chapters nationwide.

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