PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Rodney Smith, Jr. has a big job ahead of him.
It's not mowing this lawn under the warm Arizona sun, it's the gratitude he gives to veterans and the life lessons he is teaching young men and women.
"Back in 2015, I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn," Smith said. "He looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him out that night. I decided I would start mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans in Alabama."
The Huntsville, Alabama resident had another idea -- to challenge kids to do the same.
"The 50-yard challenge is used to kids nationwide and even worldwide to mow 50 free lawns for the community for the elderly, disabled, single moms or veterans," Smith said.
The kids are rewarded with shirts and once they mow 50 lawns, they get lunch and new lawn equipment.
"To date, about 40 kids nationwide have completed this -- 340 kids nationwide, including one in Canada, seven in Bermuda, three in Australia and two in Germany that are taking part in the 50-yard challenge," Smith said.
Rodney is leading by example. A few years ago, he had another idea to mow 50 lawns in 50 states, but this time he's focusing his kindness on veterans.
"Along with me mowing the veterans' lawns, I'm also giving them a letter that I wrote called 'Dear Hero,'" he said. "I'm also giving them a special 'Raising Men Lawn Care' t-shirt along with a hat."
Rodney mows lawns and runs his foundation "Raising Men Lawn Care" full time. His only motivation is to give back, to spread kindness and to make sure others do the same.
Raising Men Lawn Care Service