”I’m young. I’m able. A lot of people are not abled.”
A college student from Alabama is doing his part to restore our collective faith in humanity. Rodney Smith Jr., a senior at Alabama A&M, has started a lawn mowing service for the elderly, disabled, and single mothers and he doesn’t charge a penny.
Smith was hit with a stroke of philanthropic inspiration after noticing an elderly man struggling to cut his lawn. “It came to me,” Smith stated in a video posted by Briggs & Stratton. “I should do something about it. I’m capable of cutting grass because I’m young. I’m able. A lot of people are not abled.”
Smith, along with his partner Terrence Stroy, set out to mow 40 lawns for free and were surprised when they had reached their goal in a mere month and a half. After another two months, they had mowed 200 lawns. Smith recently posted a photo of on his Facebook page with one of his 93-year-old clients, writing “We did this sweet lady's lawn today. She is 93, the neighbors told us that she been out their trying to cut her own lawn. Have no fear, raising men lawn care is going to make sure her lawn is done every two weeks! Making a difference in our community!”
Inspired by the satisfaction of helping others, Smith has expanded his venture by recruiting other able-bodied individuals to volunteer their time and services to the laudable cause. Smith has developed an incentive system, similar to the colored belts in karate, in which volunteers wear a different colored shirt depending on how many lawns they have mowed. Smith explains that all volunteers start off with a white shirt and after every ten lawns, they receive a new color. Lawn mowing veterans get to sport a black shirt if they reach the 50-lawn milestone.
Smith, a native of Bermuda, attributes his generosity to the values of his homeland. “On Bermuda, everybody’s just friendly. They give back when they can. That’s what drives me to help people.” When Smith finishes his undergraduate degree this May, he plans to continue serving his community by pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work.