Sunday, July 24, 2016

The grass is greener when it's mowed for free

The lady pictured below lives in Huntsville, Alabama. She is on a fixed income and just came out of the hospital. The man who lives next door was cutting her grass, but she could not longer afford his price. He was harassing her for payment, until she mentioned her problem to Rodney Smith, Jr., a computer science student at Alabama A&M University. During his college years, Smith noticed how many seniors, disabled folks or single mothers needed help with lawn care. He used Facebook to offer these clients free mowing every other week. In a month, he exceeded his goal of mowing 40 lawns for free.

Since then, he and partner Terrence Stroy (shown in photo) formed a team of 20 young men from age 7 to 17. They're called THE RAISING MEN LAWN CARE SERVICE, and they voluntarily mow over 100 lawns every other week. The price is always $0.00. Smith says it's not really about lawns. It's about mentoring boys and raising men, since his volunteers are learning that "It's cool to give back." He feels this lesson puts "a good head on their shoulders." The initiative, financed by donations to a GoFundMe fundraiser page, captured the imagination of Briggs & Stratton, famed manufacturer of lawn mowers, who provided RAISING MEN with state-of-the-art equipment and also paid off the group's GoFundMe appeal. Smith hopes RAISING MEN will spread from Huntsville all across the United States, mentoring thousands of young boys and helping folks who need it most.

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