TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - One man with one lawn mower is on a mission to provide free lawn care for those who can’t afford it or do it themselves – and he wants to do it in all 50 states.
He’s entirely funded by donations so he can fulfill his goal at no cost.
Rodney Smith, Jr. is from Alabama, but he’s in Tampa this weekend and told FOX 13 News how he got started with this mission to spread kindness around the country.
“Back in 2015 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. That night I decided to start mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans in my community in Huntsville, Alabama," Smith explained.
He started with a small goal: To mow 50 free lawns by the end of the year, but he finished them so fast he raised the bar to 100.
And when he finished those he came up with an even bigger challenge.
“I came up with the idea to travel to all 50 states, mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans,” Smith said.
That was two years ago - and Smith has already made the 50-state trip four times.
Saturday morning, Smith stopped by Sitrena Candela's Tampa home to give her lawn some TLC.
“I really do appreciate him and the services that he's offering to the community. I think it's a great thing that he's doing,” Candela said.
Smith is using his platform to inspire young men and women and is challenging them to rev up their mowers and connect with people in their own communities.
“Our 50-yard challenge is a challenge that we issue to kids nationwide and even worldwide to mow 50 free lawns in their community,” Smith said.
Over 280 boys and girls have registered and so far 25 have completed the challenge.
“Including one in Canada, seven in Bermuda, England, and three in Australia,” Smith said.
Soon, Smith will pack up his mower to begin a new challenge overseas.
“This summer I plan on doing something called ‘7 Continents, 7 Lawns’ where I’m going to travel to all seven continents mow free lawns for elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans and encourage kids to join our 50-yard challenge,” he explained.
Right now, Smith is heading back to Alabama to prepare for his trip.