College students have one major responsibility while they are in school: going to class. But student Rodney Smith Jr. not only focused on his studies, he found a way to make an impact in his community at the same time.
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The senior, at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, began his own lawn care business. He wanted to focus specifically on lawn care for the elderly. While Rodney originally planned on making some extra money when he first created his company, his current business plan is not what you would expect.
Rodney saw an older man having a very hard time mowing his law.
“My father always told me, ‘If you have an idea, go for it,’”Smith told TODAY. “When I saw that man, it hit me. I felt I needed to do something and I went for it.â€
He intervened and helped the man finish. That’s when the idea hit him and the Raising Men Lawn Service was born.
Then he and his friend Terrence Stroy challenged themselves to mow 40 yards for the elderly, disabled, and single mothers for free… but after just 3 months, they had already finished over 200!
“In some cities, you can pay a fine for having an unkempt lawn,”Smith said. “Those who don’t have the means to take care of it should not have to suffer, so that’s where we come in.â€
So he sent out a message to local families asking if anyone had sons who would like to give back to the community. Volunteers flooded in and a new “karate-like” reward system was born. Boys started out with a white shirt, and would then graduate to orange, green, blue, red, and black depending on the number of lawns they completed.
Smith also trains the new recruits and gives them hands on advice as they work on their first few yards.
It made such an impact on Smith that he has had a change of heart about his education plans. Once he graduates he is now going to get a Master’s in Social Work so he can continue to help his community.
But for now they are two men on a mission to help those who need it, and take some pretty awesome selfies in the process.
See more about the inspiration behind Rodney’s business in the video below.
Share Rodney’s inspiring story of random acts of kindness today!
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