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Man stops in Memphis on nationwide tour to mow yards for veterans, elderly

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Lots of people, yard work is something they may want to do, but they can't for a variety of reasons. One man is traveling nationwide helping people do just that, and he stopped in the Mid-South on Friday.

Rodney Smith is a young man with a passion for helping people get their grass cut and their yards looking good for free. His inspiring story came to all 50 states during his program called Raising Men Lawn Service.

Smith is on his sixth round of mowing lawns across the country.

"After Tennessee, I head to Kentucky, then I'll be flying out to Alaska and Hawaii to finish it up," Smith said.

Smith has a flashing red and blue light bar on his lawn mower, as some of his biggest supporters are law enforcement officers.

"I'm trying to build that relationship between communities and police officers using lawn care," Smith said.

Smith, who is from Huntsville, Alabama, came up with the concept in 2015 after helping an elderly man cut his lawn.

That inspired him to help disabled people, seniors and veterans who aren't able to do their own yard work.

"You want to do something that benefits the veterans, especially, because they served many years in the Army, Navy and the rest of the branches," Smith said. "So it's only right that we do something for them."

Smith uses social media to post a picture of what state he's in and invite people to contact him with the name of someone who could use his service.

He was finishing up a Mary Barron's yard in Frayser when WREG caught up with him Friday.

"He did a good job," Barron said. "It looks good."

Barron said she certainly needed the help.

"We've got a lawn mower, but my husband's got heart failure, so it takes us maybe three days to cut it," she said.

Smith hardly broke his stride as he moved across the street to cut another yard, which belonged to Zenobia Holloway, who is disabled.

"I think it's good," Holloway said. "It's good for the community, and I wish there were more young guys like this to come out and help the needy."

Smith said he accepts donations, but his real reward comes from the smiles and thanks of those he's helping.

"It makes me feel good, you know, knowing that I'm making a difference," he said. "Such a small act means so much to so many people."

Smith hopes what he's doing will encourage young people to get involved in giving back to their communities.

He said there are more than 500 children signed up for what's called the "50 yard challenge," cutting lawns for elderly, disabled and veterans for free.

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