These 11-Year-Old Kids Completed the 50-Yard Lawn Mowing Challenge

Youth surprised with new lawn gear for helping others.

Teen cutting grass for people in need.

(Suzanne Tucker /

Two 11 -year-old preteens from Gadsden, Alabama just received new lawn care equipment after helping elderly neighbors in their community. They stepped up to help an older woman who was trying to mow her lawn with one hand on her walker and the other on her lawnmower, reported KMBC News. Ja’Torrian Taylor and Tevin Rice grabbed the lawnmower and finished mowing her grass. And that was just the beginning.

That’s when the boys created the TJ & JT Mowing Service and continued to help people in their community who could not take care of their lawns. When Rodney Smith Jr, “The Lawn Mower Man” heard about the boys’ efforts, he made them honorary members of the 50-yard challenge club, an initiative that Smith runs, and surprised the enterprising youth with lawnmowers, blowers and trimmers.

“Giving these boys lawn equipment is teaching them discipline,” Smith told KMBC. “If they tell someone they are going to mow a lawn, they need to mow the lawn.” After teaching Ja’Torria and Tevin how to use the equipment, Smith told them that this is not an end, it could be the beginning of a successful lawn service.

Who is the Lawn Mower Man?
Helping others is a way of life for Smith. In 2017, he mowed a lawn for a neighbor and decided to keep doing it. He decided that he wanted to mow lawns for elderly people, veterans, single moms, and others who could not do it themselves in all 50 states.

That’s why he started the Raising Men Lawn Care Service (RMLS), a foundation that provides free lawn care for people who need help. It took Smith five years to complete his 50-state goal, reported CNN. In fact, It took 10 tours across the US to complete the task. But his organization does more than just lawn care and snow removal in the winter.

“When I first started the organization, I really didn’t have a clear vision,” he told CNN. “But as it started to go on, I realized the vision was to encourage kids.”

Smith saw that he could keep youth on a positive path of doing good while helping them learn skills and a trade.  To do so he created the 50-yard Challenge to encourage young people to help their community by mowing lawns for people in need.

How to take the 50-Lawn Challenge
The 50-Lawn Challenge is open to all boys and girls from ages 8-17, according to the organization’s website and those youth who accept and complete the challenge receive a new mower, weed eater and blower.

To accept the challenge, the participant has to send Smith a photo of themself holding a sign saying “I accept the 50 Yard Challenge,” and the organization sends the young person a white Raising Men or Women  T-shirt along with sun glasses and  ear protection to get them started.

For every 10 lawns cut, the participants will get a new color T-shirt. As of May 2023, almost 5,000 youth have participated in the challenge, according to Black Enterprise.  Making a difference in someone’s life – and your own – can be as easy as just mowing grass.

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