This man traveled to all 50 U.S. states to cut lawns for free for veterans, the elderly, disabled people, single mothers, saying he hopes to “encourage others to get others to get out there and help out, especially the veterans.”
Rodney Smith Jr., 29, who lives in Huntsville, Alabama, finished off a nationwide tour of honoring veterans by helping them with yard work on Thursday, Jun 13, 2019.
Starting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr. Smith drove through all 48 contiguous states in the US mowing lawns. Then Delta Airlines helped him reach Alaska and finally on to Hawaii, where he completed his mission.
Smith tweeted he was “making a difference one lawn at a time”.
This is your captain speaking. Off to my last two states. First up state 49, Anchorage, Alaska. It's a 7 hr direct flight. I decided to fly myself . Can't wait to mow for our veterans there. Thank you Delta for the keys to the plane ! pic.twitter.com/kpB9bkwiLI
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 10, 2019
He said he got the inspiration for the project almost five years ago. In 2015, he saw an elderly man trying to mow his lawn when he was driving home in Huntsville.
“It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him,” Smith said. “That’s when I got my goal to mow lawns for free for the elderly, single moms and veterans.”
Mr. Smith also leads the 50 Yard Challenge – a call for young people to help those who might struggle with their yard work on their own by mowing 50 lawns in their area.
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mrs. Rachel's in Anchorage. She & her husband who passed both served. She was a nurse in the U.S Air Force & he was a green Beret in the U.S Army . They actually met on her first day. They have 3 kids. We thank you both for your service ! pic.twitter.com/MjBOwrPuot
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 11, 2019
“We have boys and girls taking part in the program,” he said. “We are trying to encourage boys and girls to get out there and make a difference, one lawn at a time.”
“Currently, we have about 400 kids nationwide that are taking part in the 50 Yard Challenge,” he said.
We just had the pleasure of mowing Ms. Pinchions lawn for on this beautiful Monday afternoon . It always great seeing her . Making a difference one lawn at a time pic.twitter.com/POhxe0Ebx7
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 17, 2019
After traveling all 50 states to promote his work in 2017 and in 2018, this is the first time he is doing it to raise awareness for veterans.
“I’ve come across so many veterans that are struggling to get their lawn mowed,” he said. “If they served for our country, we should step up for them.”
“This is the least we can do,” he added. “This is the last thing they need to worry about.”
He said people sponsor his hotel rooms and donate money to the organization to make his travels possible.
I had the honor & privilege of mowing for Mr.Hooper in Anchorage,AK. He served 30 years in the U.S Air Force . He said he worked fixing the planes & made sure the supplies got to the troops that needed them . Sir, We thank you for your service ! pic.twitter.com/9Wa8aVQRLV
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) June 12, 2019
Smith said he’s finally found his purpose: “My true purpose in life is helping people”. He estimates that since 2015 he’s mowed at least 2,500 lawns.
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