50 states, 50 lawns

Let’s hit the “Because it’s Friday” file:

Rodney Smith Jr., an Alabama A&M student, thinks the path to a better life for people is behind a lawnmower.

“In 2015, I saw an elderly man outside cutting his grass, and it looked like he was struggling,” Smith, originally from Bermuda, tells Atlas Obscura. “From that day on, I decided to cut grass free for the elderly, disabled, single-parent mothers, and veterans.”

He started Raising Men Lawn Care Service in Huntsville, Ala., which uses kids age 7 to 17 to mow the lawns of people who can’t.

It became a big hit in Alabama so now Smith has set a goal of mowing lawns in all 50 states.

“I was in my internship one day, and I was on my lunch break, and I came across a video on Netflix of this guy traveling the world, performing acts of kindness. That sparked the idea for ‘50 States, 50 Lawns,’” says Smith.

So he’s on the road .

According to his Facebook page, he toured the Briggs and Stratton plant in Milwaukee this morning, plans to mow a lawn in Louisville tomorrow morning and one in Michigan on the weekend.

  • Zachary

    I can see this growing in popularity.

  • I started mowing, helping dad when I was maybe 11 or 12. I’m still mowing behind a Toro today, and just finished our good-sized Woodbury lawn this afternoon. It’s a great way to put steps on the FitBit, but also an introduction to useful skills for youth. You learn a lot about planning as you figure out how best to do the job. You can see the results of your work, including any mistakes. I learned about safety when I started working on the lawn with my dad. If you mow lawns for the neighbors as I did when I was a little older, you learn to ask for feedback and up your game. Sometimes there are unexpected experiences, like the time I found a natural gas leak by the meter of an elderly neighbor’s home, allowing him to get it repaired before there was a fire or explosion. You also get to know your neighbors. Some of them are lonely and appreciate a bit of small talk – even a kid can learn this useful skill.

  • Gary F

    It’s nice to see Briggs and Stratton on board. That should be a no brainier for them. Another big name or two and this could really be big.

    Nice job.