Just when I’m about to throw the entire Internet in a garbage can, I come across a story like this one about a man named Rodney Smith Jr.
Smith began an epic journey in May, traveling to every state in America, KRDO reports. And he’s not just sight-seeing. Smith is offering his services for free to the elderly and disabled as a friendly neighborhood lawn mower man.
Smith actually runs a business called Raising Men Lawn Care Service, which has the philosophy that doing a little good for your community will in turn do a lot of good for you. The website connects kids who want to do a public service with people who need some help around the house, offering free lawn mowing to “veterans, the elderly, the disabled and even single mothers.”
People can volunteer to do some lawn care work in their own city or neighborhood. Meanwhile, Smith went on his national tour to promote this idea, while helping lots of people get their lawns in order. He just finished up in Hawaii.
He made a lot of friends along the way:
And he met up with some kids who joined the program and stuck with it, like Frankie in Des Moines:
In turn, other people are helping the kids, offering them support and motor tune-ups after they hear about the good work they’re doing:
Aside from his trips to Hawaii and Alaska, Smith drove himself around with his lawn mower, equipment that was donated by Briggs and Stratton:
Buzzfeed reports that Smith’s mission began in 2015, after he saw an elderly neighbor struggling to push his lawn mower across his yard. He started working with his friend, barber Terrence Story.
“I consider him my brother. We have known each other for about six years now. Terrence is my right hand man, he has been there from day one. His help has been enormous,” Smith said.
The two came up with the idea of encouraging the kids with free shirts. Each color shirt represents a different lawn mowing level.
The shirt colors are white, orange, green, blue, and black. Ten lawns mowed means you get a white shirt, 20 is orange, 30 is green, 40 is blue, and 50 is black. Sort of like a black belt in karate, except you have a black belt in community service, which is extremely kick-ass.
“The kids love it. We are making it cool to give back. Every time a kid joins us, by the end of the day they are asking when they can come out again. They love it because they know they are helping someone who is in need,” Smith explained.
The organization was born in Alabama, where it’s possible to be fined by the city for not mowing your lawn. Smith wasn’t just saving people time and helping them when they needed it, he was saving them cash.
His goal has always been to have a chapter in every city in America, but he’d like to see the project everywhere. He’s planning a trip around the world in 2019, which will have to incorporate a strategy for dragging a lawnmower around.
There are also a lot of countries where no one has lawns, but Smith seems like the kind of guy who can figure out how to help people wherever he goes.
Like, look at this guy. He has energy to spare for everybody:
Mowing lawns may not be everybody’s thing, but Smith’s story is still inspirational. It shows how you can make a big difference in a small way.