Last October, we told you about Rodney Smith Jr. and his company Raising Men Lawn Care Service, which mows the lawns of the elderly, disabled, veterans and single mothers for free. Now Smith has embarked on a mission to mow one lawn in each state.
Picking up steam and attention from when we last covered him, Smith has struck out on his grand 50 States, 50 Lawns tour in an effort to raise awareness of his organization and start chapters in other states.
Starting out on May 10th from Huntsville, Alabama, to Fulton, Mississippi, Smith has now made it to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his 23rd state. Joining him today as he mows the lawn of disabled homeowners in southwest Milwaukee are around 60 employees from Briggs & Stratton’s headquarters, who have accepted the 50-lawn challenge.
“We have a really good crew of volunteers who are excited to go out and cut some lawns,” said Julie Mollen, marketing manager for consumer engines for Briggs & Stratton. “They’ve even brought their own mowers from home to participate.”
Smith selects his one lawn from his criteria of people who are in need and lack the time or resources to care for their yard. His fans are invited to nominate people who they feel are deserving and he will choose from these suggestions. If he has time, he’ll do more than one lawn per state.
The Briggs & Stratton volunteers followed similar guidelines of trying to help those who are disabled, veterans or elderly but also included their search to police officers and firefighters. They ended up mowing almost 70 lawns with the crews mowing three lawns a piece.
“Wisconsin is stop No. 23 on my tour, and we’re going to make it the biggest one yet,” Smith said. “Briggs & Stratton has believed in the RMLCS mission from the beginning; it’s not surprising to me they’ve accepted the 50-yard challenge and want to get out and make a difference.”
This isn’t the first time that Briggs & Stratton has pitched in to help Smith on his mission. When Smith was still getting his company off the ground, they donated new equipment and met his GoFundMe goal of $2,000.
Ever since they connected with him during their You.Powered. campaign, the company has kept in touch with Smith. When he approached them about his route and mission they showed their support by covering all of his travel expenses, including the plane flights needed for Hawaii and Alaska, and provided the equipment he needed.
“We were really inspired by what he was out there doing and it aligns with our company goal of making a difference in people’s lives with outdoor power equipment,” Mollen said.
Smith’s dauntless attitude has been an inspiration for many and is the main purpose of this lawn care pilgrimage.
“His goal isn’t how many lawns he cuts,” said Rick Zeckmeister, vice president of engine marketing for Briggs & Stratton. “It’s how many people he can get around the U.S. to accept the 50-lawn challenge or start a chapter themselves.”
For more information about the 50 States, 50 Lawns tour and Smith’s upcoming stops, click here.