Five years ago, Rodney Smith had an epiphany. While a senior at Alabama A&M University studying Computer Science, Mr. Smith saw an elderly man struggling to cut his grass. He immediately knew he had to do something to help. That was the genesis of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a foundation that Mr. Smith started shortly afterwards. His vision was multi-purpose; to provide free lawn care to those in need while teaching compassion and responsibility to the boys and girls who volunteer and provide those services.
One of the hallmark features of the organization is its successful 50-yard challenge. It is open to boys and girls from 7 to 17 years old, who pledge to take care of 50 yards for free for the elderly, the disabled, single parents, veterans, or anyone else unable to do it themselves.
Much of this program’s success is through the efforts of social media. The “Raising Men Lawn Care Service Huntsville” Facebook page includes dozens of posts with photos of smiling young boys and girls participating in the 50-yard challenge. The photos range from kids holding signs stating, “I accept the 50 Yard Challenge!” to others proudly declaring that they had completed it – 50 yards mowed!
“Currently, there 1,206 kids across the nation taking part in the 50-yard challenge,” Mr. Smith said. “So far, every state has been represented, and it has even spread to a few countries.”