A man on a mission from Alabama stopped in New Mexico as he visits every state in the U.S.
Rodney Smith Jr. says his way of showing kindness and giving back started with a conversation with God, followed by a chance moment in Huntsville three years ago.
“I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn and it looked like he was struggling. So, I pulled over and helped him out,” he explained. “That night I decided to mow lawns for the elderly, disabled, single mom and veterans.”
Fast forward one masters degree in social work and thousands of miles later, Smith Jr. founded Raising Men Lawncare Services and is on a journey called ’50 States, 50 Lawns.’
Supported by a Wisconsin-based lawnmower company, it’s the reason he finds himself in Albuquerque on Thursday at the home of a single mother with a broken ankle and a small, but overgrown yard.
“My 32nd stop,” he said.
This is his second go around of traveling the nation, mowing lawns.
“This time I’m doing one state a day, up to about five lawns per state,” he said.
It only took about 45 minutes from mowing to weed whacking to cleaning up. For the woman he helped, who is raising twin 9-year-olds solo and is also recovering from a tumble while taking them to see Taylor Swift recently, it’s a gesture she won’t soon forget.
“It’s part of God’s plan. Meeting people, encouraging people,” Smith Jr. said.
His next stop is Denver.
Smith Jr. says this time traveling across the nation, he’s also teaching kids lawnmower safety and encouraging them to help their own communities by joining his ’50 Yard Challenge.’