There is plenty of bad news and there are plenty of truly bad people for those of us in journalism to tell you about. Occasionally, really good people surface, however. You ought to know about them, too.
You may never have heard of Rodney Smith Jr., of Huntsville, Alabama. Lots of other people have, however.
In 2015, Smith, then working on a bachelor’s degree, was driving home when he noticed an elderly man mowing his lawn. “It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him,” Smith told a reporter recently.
After that, Smith, now 29, decided to do more. “That’s when I got my goal to mow lawns for free for the elderly, single moms and veterans.”
Smith discovered quickly that he couldn’t do it all alone. So he and his Raising Men Lawn Service began the “50-Yard Challenge.” It encourages young people to emulate Smith and mow at least 50 lawns for those who could use the help. He estimates about 400 youngsters have participated. “We are trying to encourage boys and girls to get out there and make a difference, one lawn at a time.”
Then Smith decided to do something truly grand to spread the word about his campaign. “I’ve come across so many veterans that are struggling to get their lawn mowed,” he said. “If they served for our country, we should step up for them.”
So Smith did. He set out to mow at least one veteran’s lawn in each of the 50 states. With help from people who pay for his travel and hotel rooms, he has done it. Earlier this year, he mowed a veteran’s lawn in Hawaii.
Wow. Here’s hoping Smith’s idea catches on. “This is the least we can do,” he said of those he and his campaign serves. “This is the last thing they need to worry about.”
By the way, Smith doesn’t just talk a good game. Since 2015, he has mowed something in excess of 2,500 lawns himself.
We told you he’s a good man.