Mission to mow: Man's charity brings him to Jacksonville

Rodney Smith visiting all 50 states mowing lawns for veterans, disabled, elderly

By Allyson Henning - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man's mission to mow lawns for free in all 50 states brought him to Jacksonville on Sunday.

Rodney Smith is in a new state every day. On Saturday, he was in Georgia, and on Monday, he'll be in Alabama.

"It started back in 2015 when I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn. It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him out," Smith said. "That night, I decided to mow free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans."

Originally from Bermuda, Smith moved to Huntsville, Alabama, for school, where he studied information technology and computer science.

"When I started doing this, I found my true purpose in life, and that is helping people. So I went back and got my master's (degree) in social work," Smith said.

LINK: 50 states 50 lawns

Smith founded Raising Men Lawn Care Service, where he provides free lawn care around the country and promotes his "50 yard challenge." Kids from age 7 to 17 who take on the challenge vow to mow 50 lawns for people in their community, earning shirts and other prizes along the way.

"Once they reach 50 (lawns), we fly to them, we do lawns with them, and we also surprise them with a brand-new lawnmower," Smith said. "Twelve kids nationwide have completed the challenge, and currently we have 131 kids nationwide, including one in Canada and seven in Bermuda and England, that are taking part in the challenge."

Smith is halfway through his second tour across the U.S.

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