Man traveling the country to mow lawns for elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans

Rodney Smith Jr. owns and operates Raising Men Lawn Care Service (WAFB)
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A yard guy is traveling the country helping people... one free yard cut at a time.

Rodney Smith Jr. started mowing lawns in college after seeing an elderly man struggling to mow his yard. Wanting to help more people, he set a small goal of cutting 40 yards before winter. After he surpassed that goal within a month’s time, he set a loftier goal: 100 yards, but after watching a video of a man traveling the world giving out small acts of kindness, he had another idea.

“That gave me the idea of 50 states, 50 lawns,” Smith said.

He eventually took his generosity on the road.

“I go to 50 states and mow 50 lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans.”

Along the way, he has helped people like Susan Brignac’s neighbor and landlord.

“My landlord is an elderly lady of a vet that was also a vet and also a flood survivor, so she lost everything here,” Brignac said.

When she saw Smith was in town, she sent him a message to see if he would come by.

Helping others is not the only thing Smith is accomplishing during his journey across the nation. He has expanded his operation around the world through teens wanting to do the same in their communities.

“The 50 Yard Challenge is the challenge we’ve issued the kids nationwide, and even worldwide, to mow 50 free lawns in the community,” he said. “Free for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans. Currently, we have over 280 plus kids nationwide, including one in Canada, seven in Bermuda and England, and three in Australia that are taking part in this 50 Yard Challenge.”

In total, Smith and his Raising Men Lawn Care Service (it’s not just limited to men; women are more than welcome to join) have mowed more than 2,000 yards, all while putting smiles on people’s faces, like Brignac’s neighbor.

“She was really grateful,” Brignac said. “She was really grateful. It was nice for someone that does so much.”

Smith mowed all day in Baton Rouge. He will move on to Lafayette and Lake Charles Thursday, Feb 28.

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