Man who mowed lawns for vets in all 50 states is back in Alabama
Rodney Smith Jr. has traveled the country five times with grass cutting
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - He's received national recognition and has been featured on every major news network for his kind acts and now, Rodney Smith Jr. is back home in Huntsville.
He just traveled the country, cutting grass for America's heroes.
On Monday, Smith was back at work in north Huntsville, mowing a woman’s lawn in scorching Alabama temperatures. It’s what he’s dedicated his life to with his Raising Men Lawn Care Service.
Smith, a Bermuda native who now lives in Huntsville, started his foundation to provide free lawn care to those who need help. He also seeks to inspire young men and women to make a difference.
He just got home from another trip around the United States, spreading goodwill with his lawnmower. The tweets he posted along the way went viral, landing him in the national spotlight again.
"I just finished my 50 state tour. I traveled to all 50 states mowing free lawns for veterans as a way of thanking them for their service. And for my last two states, Delta airlines sponsored my trip to Alaska and Hawaii. I was very grateful for them," Smith explained.
This was his fifth time cutting grass in all 50 states. The first three times, he mowed lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans. His fourth trip was when he dressed as Santa Claus and went to all 50 states giving gifts out in different homeless communities. This last time, he was specifically helping veterans, posting pictures with different heroes and sharing information about their service.
"It was a beautiful experience, just to meet all the different veterans in different branches. Some were in WWII, some were in Vietnam, some went to Afghanistan. Just hearing their stories was amazing," Smith stated. "I believe that if one serves their country, we should put them up here, high. I come across so many veterans who struggle to get their lawns mowed and that should be the least of their worries."
Smith said the foundation runs one hundred percent by word of mouth on social media. He announces where he is going to be by taking a selfie with a state sign.
After that, requests and nominations flood in. He said people sponsor his hotel rooms and donate money to the organization to make his travel possible.
His latest tour started May 5. It was supposed to be a seven-continent tour, but Smith said he got a different idea to help veterans instead.
Before his last leg to Alaska and Hawaii, Smith tweeted to Delta Airlines that he had two states left on his tour and they reached out to sponsor his whole trip.
"They put me in first class and everything to get me here and back home," he told CNN.
Rodney has several other projects in the works. He still plans to take his good deeds to every continent. He'll also shovel snow and rake leaves for those in need.
He continues to encourage kids to mow free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans. Smith calls it the the 50-lawn challenge.
Kids accept the challenge to mow 50 lawns in their neighborhood. In return Smith's foundation send them a T-shirt, shades and ear protection for the job. They can work their way up to receiving a mower and weed trimmer for free.
“I want to inspire others to get out there. It doesn’t have to be with lawn mowing. It can be with some other way but my way of giving back is with a lawnmower. I hope to encourage others to get out there and make a difference, one lawn at a time,” he added.
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