By Robbie Couch –
When Rodney Smith Jr. learned that an elderly woman in his community was mowing her own lawn, he wasn’t about to let that fly.
“We did this sweet lady’s lawn today,” the Alabama man wrote on Facebook, in addition to posting the photo below. “She is 93, the neighbors told us that she been out [there] trying to cut her own lawn.”
The sweet photo began to spread, fast.Since it was posted on April 23, 2016, the image has been Liked by 1 million people and shared more than 175,000 times.
“So proud of you guys,” wrote one commenter.
“Bless her,” wrote another. “Good work, fellas.”
Clearly, Smith’s photo is tugging at heartstrings both in and far beyond his Alabama community. Smith is the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a group that’s lending a hugely helpful hand to neighbors in need.
Smith, a student at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, launched his organization so elderly folks, single parents, and people with disabilities — those who may not “have the time, resources and/or money to manicure their yards” — could still have well-kept lawns free of charge.
“The typical response is tears of joy,” he told Upworthy of his group’s impact.
Since it launched in December 2015, the group of about 20 young people have mowed over 300 lawns, according to Smith.
As Smith notes on the Raising Men’s Facebook page, the group’s not just about helping others, either — it’s about helping the youth who get involved as well:
“I want to restore the importance and understanding of giving back to the community. I want to show our children (our future) that by helping others they too will receive a sense of accomplishment, self-esteem, moral value, and purpose in themselves.”
Folks in Smith’s community may even return home to a sweet surprise without having signed up for the service.
His group of mowers has a habit of dropping in unexpectedly when neighbors aren’t home to mow their lawns and leaving a note on the front door (they’ve done it time and time again).
Raising Men Lawn Care Service decided to raise funds on a GoFundMe page so they can continue to expand their impact.
Funds raised through the page will go toward things like lawn equipment, refreshments for the mowers, and T-shirts with the group’s logo.
As of April 27, 2016, the group had raised more than $10,500 of their $11,500 goal.
“When we come and cut their lawn and let them know we will be back every two weeks to cut it, they are so happy,” Smith explained to Upworthy. “Words really can’t describe it.” It sounds like plenty more lawns — and even more hearts — will be changed for good if the Raising Men team has anything to say about it. Learn more about Smith’s story and help his group reach their goals on GoFundMe.