homepage logo

Nonprofit that provides free lawn care stopping in Ogden as part of 50-state tour

By Ryan Aston - | Apr 10, 2024

Photo supplied, Rodney Smith Jr.

Rodney Smith Jr., founder of the Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service, will be making a stop in Ogden on Saturday, April 13, 2024, to mow the lawn of a local breast cancer survivor.

OGDEN — Rodney Smith Jr., founder of the Alabama-based nonprofit Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service, will be in the Beehive State this weekend as part of his mission to do good around the U.S.

Smith is stopping in Ogden on Saturday to mow the lawn of breast cancer survivor Ashlie Marie Adams, free of charge, as part of his current “Mowing for a Cause” tour, during which he’ll be doing yard work in all 50 states.

This is the 18th time Smith has embarked on a 50-state mowing tour. The current trip will see him travel nearly 14,000 miles in the lower 48 states, after which he’ll fly to Alaska and Hawaii.

He began providing the service as a result of a chance encounter in 2015, and now it has become a full-time job.

“I was in a school at the time, and I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn,” Smith told the Standard-Examiner while traveling from Oklahoma to his next stop in New Mexico.

“It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him out. That night, I just decided I’ll start mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single parents and veterans in my community. And after a while, we turned into a nonprofit organization.”

While Smith is flying solo during the tour, Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service is hardly a one-man movement.

The organization has put forth a “50-yard challenge” for children ages 8-17 around the country to cut 50 lawns for free as an act of service for the elderly, disabled people, single parents, veterans and anyone else in their town who may be in need.

“All they’ve got to do is make a sign saying, ‘I accept the 50-yard challenge,'” Smith said. “In return, we send them a white ‘Raising Men & Women’ T-shirt, along with safety glasses and ear protection.”

From there, Smith says it’s reminiscent of a” karate system.” That is, for every 10 lawns a child mows, they receive a different color T-shirt. After mowing 10 lawns, they get an orange shirt, while 20 yields green, 30 yields blue and 40 earns a red T-shirt.

Once they have mowed 50 lawns, they get a black T-shirt and a special gift from the organization.

“If they mow 50, I deliver them a brand new mower, weed eater and blower,” Smith said.

The group also does snow shoveling and rakes leaves, providing kids an outlet for giving back to their communities year-round.

As it stands, more than 5,000 kids have participated in the challenge, mowing in excess of 20,000 lawns along the way. According to Smith, Utah has been a hotbed of activity for the organization.

“Utah is one of the states where we have a good bit of kids signing up each year, but I’d like to see even more kids sign up and finish in Utah,” he said.

All the while, Smith has continued to make his own contributions.

“On my 50-state tour, whatever cause I’m mowing for, I just try to find people,” he said. “In previous years, I mowed for breast cancer, childhood cancer, police officers, veterans and different things like that. So each tour, I will find people in that group in each state and I’ll mow for that group.”


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)