ARIZONA NEWS

Man mowing lawns for free state by state stops in Arizona

Jun 27, 2018, 8:35 AM
(Twitter Photo/@iamrodneysmith)...
(Twitter Photo/@iamrodneysmith)
(Twitter Photo/@iamrodneysmith)

PHOENIX — A man with a plan, a kind heart and a folding mower has crossed Arizona off his list, as he makes his way across America cutting the lawns of people who need a little help.

Rodney Smith Jr. has been doing this for free the past three years, mowing at least one yard in every state, assisting the physically challenged, single moms, veterans and senior citizens.

The 28-year-old found who he was looking for in Phoenix this week, mowing two lawns before driving to the next state during his 50 States/50 Lawns trek.

He has now tidied up yards in 35 states since May 17, “making a difference one lawn at time.”

Smith began his fulltime good-deeds mission three years ago, after stopping to help an older gentleman who was struggling to cut his grass.

The idea grew into Raising Men Lawn Care Services, a nonprofit that teaches children how to give back to the community.

Smith, who lives in Alabama, has challenged kids to mow 50 lawns for free over the summer in their hometowns. The 50 Yard Challenge will reward participants with T-shirts for every 10 lawns they mow.

“God took something I disliked (mowing yards as a kid) and turned it into something I now love to do,” he told the Washington Post when he was in Maryland.

“It’s relaxing. And then to see the smile on the faces of people whose lawn I do. A lot of people take pride in their yard, and it feels good to see that I made a difference in their life.”

Smith posted a list of cities he would visit in May and has used social media and the website to line up recipients.

Lawnmower companies have given him the equipment and other donations have covered expenses.

Last week Smith tweeted that 166 kids in four countries had signed up for the challenge. Arizona is one of 13 states (as of June 22) where no one has signed up.

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Man mowing lawns for free state by state stops in Arizona