(NewsNation) — An Alabama man is teaching children generosity, honor and the value of hard work through helping others. Rodney Smith Jr. founded the Raising Men and Women Lawn Care Service, a nonprofit that encourages children to volunteer to mow lawns for anyone in need, including single mothers, veterans or the elderly.
Rodney created the “50-yard challenge” to influence kids to help others in their communities. The kids who participate work toward their goal to mow 50 lawns for free.
To partake in the challenge, a kid simply needs to pose with a sign saying they accept and send a picture to the nonprofit organization.
“We will send them a white ‘Raising Men’ or ‘Raising Women’ t-shirt along with safety glasses and ear protection,” Rodney said.
Once the kid receives their equipment, they can get to work. The volunteers are sent a different colored t-shirt as a reward for every time they mow ten lawns.
“It’s built like the credit system. Every 10 lawns they mow, they got a new color shirt. So once they mowed 10 lawns they get an orange shirt, 20 earns a green, 30 lawns earns a blue, 40 a red and once they mow 50 lawns, they earn a black t-shirt,” Rodney explained.
Once the kid completes the 50-yard challenge, Rodney drives to wherever the volunteer lives in the U.S., or even internationally, to present them a brand new lawn mower, weed eater and blower for completing the challenge.
Rodney started the organization back in 2015 after he saw an elderly man struggling to mow his lawn. He pulled over in his car and finished mowing the man’s lawn for free. It was then that Rodney realized that he found his purpose.
He turned this simple act of kindness into an organization with almost 4,000 kids participating nationwide.
If you are interested in participating or signing your child up for the 50-yard challenge, more information is available on their website.