Man takes up ’50 States, 50 Lawns’ mission to help those in need, spread good

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Sometimes people just need a helping hand, so one Alabama man has made it his mission to help those in need.  His tool of choice: A lawnmower.

Rodney Smith Jr., a grad student, got to Las Vegas Wednesday night, but he set out Wednesday morning to mow lawns based on nominations from social media.

Smith says the idea for his 50 States/50 Lawns project came about because he wants to make America a little better, one yard at a time.  It’s a four-wheeled journey for a four-wheeled job.

“Alright, so I got the Briggs & Stratton lawnmower, and the weed eater, and the blower right here,” Smith.  “It’s been pretty cool just to see so many people meet so many people.” 

He said he got the idea after he saw an elderly man struggling with a lawnmower.

“We certainly appreciate it more than you can imagine,” Joseph Gerzinski said.

“Nobody to help me, so this was a blessing from sweet baby Jesus,” said single mother Tonia Matthew.

From senior citizens and single mothers to veterans and the disabled, Smith started his foundation, Raising Men Lawn Care Service to encourage others to help out in their communities.

“I realized that what I’m doing is such a need, that’s why I’m trying to encourage kids with our 50-yard challenge to get out there and get involved in their community and make a difference with their lawn mower one lawn at a time,” Smith said.

Smith has criss-crossed the country; Las Vegas is his 37th stop.

He leaves for Portland, Oregon on Friday.

“I’m driving in my own car, with just my lawnmower, weed eater and blower, just by myself,” Smith said.

He’ll knock out the pacific northwest and the northern plains over the next few weeks.  Then he’ll fly to Alaska and then Hawaii to wrap up the trip.

Smith has inspired people to take up his 50-yard challenge along the way.

“To date, 12 kids nationwide have completed this,” Smith said. “Currently we have 166 kids nationwide, including one in Canada, and seven in Bermuda, England that are taking part in this challenge.”

The latest tour is Smith’s second cross-country tour. He hit the road last year as well.

If you’d like to learn more about his mission go here.

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