A Bermudian honoured for his lawn-cutting work has published a book about his experiences.
50 States/50 Lawns, by Rodney Smith, details his experiences cutting lawns for seniors and the disabled across the United States.
Mr Smith said: “Two years ago I was in school and I came across an elderly man who was struggling to cut his grass, so I pulled over and helped him out. That night I decided that I was going to cut lawns for the elderly or the disabled for free around Huntsville, where I go to school.”
Since then, the Alabama A&M student founded Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a charity that mentors young men while tasking them with cutting lawns for the elderly, the disabled and single parents in their communities.
Mr Smith said he began his mission to cut lawns in all 50 states as a way of spreading the message. “This summer I went around to all 50 states, driving to 48 and flying to two, cutting lawns in each state,” he said. “That is the whole idea of my foundation, which mentors young men.
“I didn’t really expect to see this grow to where it is, but it is growing and people want to get involved in the movement.”
Through the book, Mr Smith said he hopes to teach young people about the joy of giving back through community service.
Mr Smith also recently launched the 50 Yard Challenge, inviting young people to mow lawns for 50 needy people in their areas.
“If they send us a picture of them with a sign saying they take the 50 Yard challenge, I will send them a shirt, sunglasses and ear protection.”
As the participant cuts lawns, they are rewarded with new shirts marking their progression until they reach the goal.
“We have people across the US who have completed the challenge, and even two in England taking part in the challenge right now.”
Mr Smith yesterday presented a copy of the book to Zane DeSilva, Minister of Social Development and Sports. Mr DeSilva said: “Mr Smith should serve as an inspiration to us all — to follow our passions, to help others where and when we can and to never use the excuse ‘I’m too busy’.
“Not only is he studying for his master’s degree in social work, but he also finds time to run a charity, help those in need and motivate our youth.
“This is a young man with exceptional determination and drive and I am excited to see what he does and where he goes next.”