Have you heard of Raising Men Lawn Care Service? This amazing organization helps vulnerable members in the community while teaching kids responsibility and personal pride.
What is Raising Men Lawn Care Service?
Raising Men Lawn Care Service is a program to help the youth of the community give back to others. This includes veterans, the disabled, the elderly, and single mothers. They do this through mowing lawns, shoveling snow, and raking leaves free of charge.
Kids who participate feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement and learn business management skills.
How did Raising Men Lawn Care Service get started?
Rodney Smith Jr. started mowing lawns for free in 2015 after coming across an elderly veteran struggling to mow his lawn. In 2016, he founded Raising Men Lawn Care Service to inspire kids to give back in their communities. Rodney has toured the United States five times, mowing lawns in each state, while raising money for causes such as breast cancer.
He added the 50 Yard Challenge in his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama to help get local kids involved. What started with 60 kids has turned into close to 1,000 kids throughout the US and over 150,000 lawns mowed for deserving community members.
The Winnebago County chapter was started in 2019.
How did Raising Men Lawn Care Service Winnebago County get started?
Local mom, Liz Kroening heard about the program in June 2019 and thought it would be a great way for her son and his friends to get involved in the community. They signed up for the 50 Yard Challenge and got to work.
When they started out, they did not have a mower or any lawn equipment and had never mowed a yard before! They sent out emails to churches and posted on Nextdoor to find their first person to help. Within two weeks, they had their first jobs and had received generous donations of mowers, leaf blowers, batteries and gas cans from the community.
They created their Facebook chapter page and started mowing about three yards per week as well as helping with leaf clean-up throughout the summer and fall. In the winter, they shoveled driveways.
This process made a huge difference in their lives.
“As we worked through each yard I realized that the boys and I were connecting with people, listening to their stories, and building relationships. At that point this journey became more about helping people, giving back in our community, and the many lessons the boys were learning about having a lawn care ‘business.’”Liz
After 11 months of hard work, Kaiden and Kyle reached their goal of mowing 50 yards! Both boys learned a lot about responsibility and helping others. They enjoyed spending time together, growing as a team, and visiting their regular customers.
What’s the 50 Yard Challenge?
Raising Men Lawn Care Service challenges all kids in the US to take the 50 yard challenge and mow 50 yards for free for the elderly, disabled, single parents, and veterans. They are also mowing for first responders and essential workers during the pandemic.
This challenge is for both boys and girls. Shirts will say “Raising Men” or “Raising Women.” Once your kid accepts the challenge, they will receive their white t-shirt, ear protection, and sunglasses.
For every 10 lawns cut, they get a new shirt color.
- Starting out = White shirt
- 10 lawns = an orange shirt
- 20 lawns = a green shirt
- 30 lawns = a blue shirt
- 40 lawns = a red shirt
- 50 lawns = a black shirt
Once they reach 50 lawns, Rodney will come visit you personally and bring you a brand new lawnmower, weed eater, and blower!
How can local kids get involved in Raising Men Lawn Care Service?
There is no age limit to participate and there is no time limit to reach 50 yards.
If your kids would like to get involved and start the 50-yard challenge, they can sign up here or text 256-508-9440.
To accept the challenge, send a photo of your child with the sign “I accept the 50 yard challenge”, their name, shirt size, and address.
The Winnebago County Chapter would love to assist others that choose to take on the challenge by helping to locate yards and posting about their journey on the Facebook page. If you decide to take the challenge and live in Winnebago county, email Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org or message their Facebook page.