Rodney Smith Jr. (front) poses with Madison Police officers last week after they helped him mow the yard of an elderly woman in town. Smith has traveled the country volunteering his time and services for veterans, police officers and the elderly.
Rodney Smith Jr. (front) poses with Madison Police officers last week after they helped him mow the yard of an elderly woman in town. Smith has traveled the country volunteering his time and services for veterans, police officers and the elderly.
Rodney Smith Jr. was driving in his Huntsville, Ala. neighborhood in the summer of 2015 when he saw an older man struggling with a lawnmower.

“It was hot,” Smith recalled. “Like hot-hot.”

He pulled over and finished cutting the yard for the man, then edged the sidewalk.

The feeling he had walking away from the yard, gratitude of the older man in tow, is one he’s still trying to recapture.

Soon after, Smith started his organization Raising Men Lawn Care Service. Through it, he aims to teach young people about giving back to the community. He travels the country - all 50 states - cutting grass for veterans, police officers and elderly folks every summer. As of Friday, he had checked 48 states off of his list.

On Thursday, Smith was on his way from Louisiana to Tennessee when he made a stop in Madison to cut Elouise Willis’s yard. He had some help, too - seven Madison Police officers showed up to help, and took turns pushing Smith’s lawnmower.

“It was great,” Smith said Friday. “The officer who came out were really nice and very helpful.”

After making a stop in Nashville this weekend, Smith said he’s headed home for a week before he flies out to Hawaii and then Alaska to complete his summer circuit.

“It’s been a great trip,” Smith said. “It’s been a hot summer, but we’ve helped a lot of folks.”

Raising Men Lawn Care is funded through donations. For more information, visit www.weareraisingmen.com.