LA VERGNE, Tenn. - In 2016, Rodney Smith Jr. was driving when noticed an elderly man struggling to mow his lawn.
"I pulled over and helped him mow," Smith said. "That night, I stopped and realized, this is the moment God has set up for me to make a difference."
Smith, who was in college pursuing his Bachelor's degree in computer science, decided to mow 40 lawns for people who are disabled, elderly, single parents or veterans. But he reached that goal quickly, then raised it to 100 lawns.
"That's when I came up with the idea for Raising Men Lawn Care Service," Smith said.
Smith started taking referrals for people who needed their lawns mowed and encouraging young people in his hometown of Huntsville to join him. His mission went viral and has transformed into a 50 state tour propelled by his "50 Yard Challenge."
"The 50 Yard Challenge is a challenge issued to kids nationwide and even worldwide to mow 50 free lawns in their community for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans," Smith said. "Once they reach 50 lawns, we fly to wherever they are, we do lawns with them and we surprise them with a brand-new lawnmower."
On Wednesday, Smith stopped in Middle Tennessee to mow for people in need. He was joined by 9-year-old Ryan Youngquist of Clarksville, who has taken on the 50 Yard Challenge.
"Like Mr. Smith said, they’re not able, I am," Youngquist said.
So far, Younquist has completed two lawns.
"If I can do two, I can do 48," he said.
Smith said he's heading to Mississippi next, which will mark the 27th state on his tour.