A man is traveling around the country this summer mowing lawns free of charge.
The millions of blades of grass are just a small part of the big impact Rodney Smith Jr. is making across the country.
"We mow lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans,” Smith Jr. said. “We also include kids ages 7-17 and show them the importance of giving back to the community with a lawnmower.”
He's taken Raising Men Lawn Care Service across state lines—all of the state lines.
Maryland is his 19th stop on his 50 state grass cutting tour.
Smith said he didn’t like cutting lawns as a kid, but when he saw an elderly man struggling to trim his grass.
From that day his commitment to charity continued to grow.
“I thought I could reach 40 lawns by the end of winter,” Smith said. “I reached 40 lawns so quick that I upped my goal to 100. A month and a half later I reached my 100th lawn and that’s when I came up with the idea of Raising Men Lawn Care Service.”
On Monday Smith made his way to Maryland and got to work as the sun went down for Henry Perry who lives in Hillendale.
“I was definitely planning on getting to it this week,” Perry said as he chuckled.
Perry takes pride in his lawn, but now living with COPD and AFIB it's tough to cut the grass.
“Cut maybe half of the front and then I have to stop to sit down for a while and take my inhaler and then I can resume,” Perry said.
His daughter saw Smith's post on social media and thought hey my dad could use a break.
“I was upstairs laying down huffing and puffing like do I have to do this you know so I was thinking about it ya,” said Perry.
This is the second year that Smith is traveling across the country.
He drives to every state except Alaska and Hawaii he will end his trip by flying to them.
This time around he’s stopping at schools talking about lawn mower safety and encouraging them to get involved in the 50-yard challenge.
“They make a sign saying I accept the 50-yard challenge. In return, we send them a while raising men lawncare T-shirt. Once they mow 10 lawns they get an orange shirt, 20 green, 30 a blue, 40 a red, and 50 a black. Once they reach 50 we fly to them we do lawns with them and we also surprise them with a brand new lawnmower.”
He gets the work done quickly, but Perry said the example he’s setting for young people will last a life time.
“Maybe they can get out there and do something with themselves something positive with their life, that’s what we need,” said Perry.
Planting the seed for a brighter future, one lawn at a time.
"I have simply picked a lawn mower and simply encouraged the kids to get out there and do the same just like me.”
Briggs and Stratton provide Smith the equipment and resources to travel.
Twelve kids have completed the challenge and 130 are doing it right now.
He'll continue his work in Baltimore on Tuesday.
If you’d like to donate to his cause or see where he’s heading click here.