Why is This Man Mowing Lawns in all 50 States?

Rodney Smith Jr. just finished his sixth lawn mowing tour of the US and this time he was "Mowing with Cops"

Sep 21, 2019

Have you traveled to all 50 states? If you have, or even just visited a few, you probably went as a tourist or to visit family and friends. Rodney Smith transverses the country mowing lawns for the elderly, people with disabilities, single moms, and veterans, for free.

He just finished his sixth tour and this time he was "Mowing with Cops" and is inviting police officers to mow with him. This isn't a publicity stunt. Smith is a man on a mission.

Smith, a resident of Huntsville, Alabama started Raising Men Lawn Care Service (RMLS), a foundation that provides free lawn care for people who need help, with the goal of keeping youth on a positive path.

The organization says that it is a platform where younger members of the community can learn to give something back to the community. They can take the fifty-lawn mowing challenge or shovel snow for people in need for free. This gives them a great sense of community while helping the youth develop their social skills and learn a trade.

When kids accept the 50-lawn challenge, the foundation sends them a T-shirt, sunglasses, and ear plugs. Smith told CNN that the youth can work their way up to getting a free mower and weed trimmer.

In August 2019, Smith began his sixth lawn mowing tour. He explained on the RMLS website that he always wanted to be a police officer, but his life went in a different direction. This tour which includes asking law enforcement officers mowing with him is a tribute to the men and women in blue and to bring the community together around the people who serve and protect them.

Smith mows one-to-two lawns on every trip. He publishes the communities he will be going by taking a selfie with the state sign and posting it on social media. He told CNN that afterwards requests, and nominations come pouring in. People also offer to pay for hotel rooms and give financial donations.

"Without social media this wouldn't be possible," Smith said.

On his last trip when he had only Alaska and Hawaii to go, Smith tweeted to Delta Airlines and they sponsored his trip. "They put me in first class and everything to get me here and back home," he said.

Smith's next goal is to do a seven-continent lawn mowing trip. When CNN asked him how he could mow grass in Antarctica, he said, "We also snow shovel!"

This amazing man is teaching young people how to be part of a community and the value of volunteering. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter and maybe he will be mowing lawns in a community near you soon.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.