We all have dreams and goals, but Rodney Smith Jr., the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, has an especially unique and inspiring one. The Huntsville, Alabama native set out to mow lawns for veterans in all 50 states and, last summer, after months of mowing lawns, he accomplished his goal. He's helped out an American hero in every single state, serving veterans ranging from World War II to Vietnam and present day with his lawnmower in every corner of the United States.
Now, Smith is sharing his kindness with even more folks in the Huntsville, Ala. area. According to an article on AL.com, Smith is now delivering free meals and supplies to veterans, the elderly, single mothers and people with disabilities. It's an especially meaningful gesture during the coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine. Dubbed a "mow and drop," Smith mows the resident's lawn and leaves free food and supplies at their front door.
Smith says several Alabama residents have donated items to the cause.
"People have been donating money for hand sanitizer, fresh fruit, water, toilet paper and other items for those who can't get outside of their house," Smith told Al.com.
Even before Smith set out to mow lawns for veterans in every state, his business, Raising Men Lawn Care Service, was doing God's work. The business provides community service in the form of free lawn care for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans.
Ever the humble community servant, when asked why he was undertaking this specific challenge, Smith simply told Fox 17 News that he was just a man on a mission from God. Of course, his mission wasn't easy. Smith used social media to find vets in need in every state. That's how he found Phil Barnett in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Barnett, a veteran of the Navy for 30 years, was Smith's final lawn.
One of the reasons Smith set out on his journey was to inspire young men (hence the name of his business) to help out in their communities. Called the 50-Yard challenge, Smith gave any kids who were willing to participate in the mission to mow lawns for free in their neighborhoods, whether for single mothers, veterans, the elderly, or whomever. And it's worked! Clarksville resident Ryan Youngquist, who was only 9 years old when he started, has been making a difference one lawn at a time, just like Smith.
In an interview with WZDX, Smith explained why he decided to start the 50-Yard Challenge.
While we usually reserve this saying for veterans themselves, but more civilians who do work like this deserve to hear it too: Thank you for your service, Rodney Smith Jr.
For more information on the Raising Men Lawn Care Service, check out the organization's official Facebook page.
This article was originally published in July of 2019. It was updated on March 31, 2020.