Alabama man changing communities, inspiring children with lawn care service

Courtesy of Rodney Smith Jr.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - A man is traveling to all 50 states mowing lawns to help those who need it most. It's his sixth 50 state tour since starting in 2015. Along the way, he wants to bring awareness to supporting local law enforcement.

Rodney Smith believes in some communities the relationship between police and the community is missing, but this is also a way to inspire the younger generation to do something good.

Smith has mowed more than 2,000 lawns since starting his acts of kindness quest in 2015.

"This is my sixth tour. It's where I’m going into communities and inviting police officers out to mow with me and try to bring that community and police officer together and build that relationship," Rodney Smith said.

He'll seek out single-parent households, the disabled, elderly or veterans and mow their lawn free of charge.

He’s originally from Bermuda and now lives in Alabama. Smith found his purpose the day he came across an elderly man struggling to mow his lawn while he was still in college.

"I’ve been doing this since school. This is the only thing I’ve been doing just mowing free lawns," Smith said.

This inspired him to start the Raising Men Lawn Care Service. He's encouraging kids to join their 50-yard challenge. 500 kids nationwide are taking part.

"We’re just trying to teach kids the importance of giving back to their communities. Instead of playing videogames get out there and do something positive," Smith said.

His foundation runs 100 percent by word of mouth. He’ll snap a selfie next to the state sign and that'll let people know where he's headed next.

So while on his 50 state tour he teamed up with the Sioux Falls Police Department. They went door to door to find someone to help when they came across a mother who takes care of eight children.

'The family we just mowed for it meant a lot to them. We were knocking on doors trying to find a lawn and this happened to be a single parent mother who really needed her lawn mowed. So we came right on time for her," Smith said.

The mom said she only had a push lawnmower to care for her yard, but she said she maintains it with the help of her children.

Smith said although he chooses to give back using his lawnmower it's still encouraging kids to make a difference in their communities one lawn at a time.

Earlier Sunday night, Smith finished mowing with the Omaha Police Department and is now headed to Des Moines, Iowa.

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