One man. One mower. And a goal of cutting one lawn in every state.
Rodney Smith Jr., founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service (RMLCS), recently wrapped up his 50 States, 50 Lawns tour, during which he mowed a lawn in every state to raise awareness for his organization that provides free lawn care service to the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans.
Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the world’s largest maker of lawn mower engines, made a financial donation and provided equipment to ensure he had the resources needed to complete his one-man mission. The company has been a supporter of RMLCS since it started by featuring Smith in its You.Powered.™ initiative which celebrates people making positive changes in their community with the help of outdoor power equipment.
“We’re so proud of what Rodney’s accomplished not just during the 50 States, 50 Lawns tour but since launching RMLCS,” said Rick Carpenter, vice president corporate marketing at Briggs & Stratton. “The work he’s doing not only gives back to people who need help, he’s created a movement that inspires youths to get outside and give back to their communities.”
Smith deemed the tour a success, as it led to more than a dozen requests to start RMLCS chapters throughout the U.S., and inspired 35 youths to accept the 50-yard challenge. For the challenge, youths have to mow 50 lawns for people unable to manage their own lawn care. They’re rewarded with different-colored T-shirts, similar to belts in karate, get a visit from Smith – and a new lawn mower – if they complete all 50 lawns.
Some stats from Smith’s tour include:
- 15,000 miles driven
- 53 lawns mowed
- 35 youths accepted the 50-yard challenge
- $6,000 raised for RMLCS
During the tour, Smith met hundreds of people who shared their stories and provided him with support ranging from enjoying meals together to donations. His story was told in dozens of media outlets, ranging from People Magazine to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spread the word about RMLCS and our mission to help every person who can’t manage their own lawn care. I couldn’t have done it without Briggs & Stratton’s contribution,” Smith said. “Their support has made a difference in the lives of so many people we helped during this tour.”