At times, the internet can be about as toxic as taking a dip in a jacuzzi in Chernobyl, so it’s always nice to come across a story that makes you feel something besides eternal dread. Today, I was lucky enough to discover one such story in the form of the 50 States, 50 Lawns movement, a campaign that was founded by an genuinely awesome guy who has set out on a mission to mow lawns for people in need in every state— and get as many people as possible to join him.
A few years ago, current Alabama A&M grad student Rodney Smith Jr. started cutting lawns in Huntsville for people who weren’t in a position to do it themselves. After helping out veterans, the elderly, and single mothers (just to name a few), he decided to set his sights a bit higher and eventually founded Raising Men Lawn Care Service to try to get people to follow in his footsteps and learn about the importance of giving back at an early age.
Last summer, Smith made it a mission to raise awareness for his cause and did so by mowing lawns in every single state in America, recruiting kids he met along the way to take up the cause once he moved on to the next location. He’s doing the same thing again this summer while trying to get people to participate in the 50 States, 50 Yards challenge, where participants are encouraged to mow as many lawns in their hometown as the number of states Smith visits.
He embarked on his journey last month, and he has some pretty cool goals in mind for this adventure:
This time around I have three main goals (1) to teach kids about lawn mower safety, (2) talk to kids about the importance community service, and (3) encourage kids to take up the 50-yard challenge. In addition to going to each state mowing lawns, I plan to stop at schools and community organizations to talk to kids about lawn mower safety, community service, and the 50-yard challenge.
I also plan to have at least 1-2 kids at each lawn, if possible. I believe it is critical that kids get involved with doing community service and move away from playing video games and staying inside the house all the time.
Smith set out to raise $9,000 (which he has already surpassed) and you can visit this page if you want to make a donation of your own. If you can’t, maybe at least think about mowing a lawn (or 50) this summer.