One of the most rewarding things about our work is finding special people who are out there changing the world, and then rolling up our sleeves to help. At the beginning of each year, Good Company looks for a brilliant emerging cause to support with pro bono work. And like magic, we find a mind-blowing changemaker who has started with an amazing idea and a big vision, and took action toward realizing a dream to make a difference.
We started following Rodney Smith, Jr. after a colleague from Briggs & Stratton posted a video their team created about, Raising Men Lawn Care Service. Raising Men Lawn Care is a volunteer organization for boys and girls ages 7-17. Kids take the "50 Yard Challenge" pledge to kids mow, rake, and clean-up yards for single mothers, veterans, elderly or disabled for free.
To take the "50 Yard Challenge" kids begin by sharing a handmade sign showing they have pledged to take care of 50 lawns for a people in need. Kids then receive a welcome kit with lawn mower safety information, a reflective vest and t-shirt. To help them set goals for completing the challenge, they receive a new brightly colored t-shirt for every 10 lawns they mow or clean up -- for each 10 lawns they do, they get a new shirt in a new color, kind of like the belt system in karate.
Last year, Rodney has created a his own challenged and totally delivered on it. He traveled to all 50 states (driving to 48 and flying to Alaska & Hawaii) to mow lawns for people in need. His goal was to raise awareness for the program and encourage kids to step up to take the 50 Yard Challenge.
This year, Rodney has set an even bigger goal launching the 50 States|50 Lawns He plan this for 2018 is threefold:
1- teach kids about lawn mower safety
2 - talk to kids about the importance of community service
3 - encourage kids to take the 50-Yard Challenge
This year's 50 States|50 Lawns program also includes stopping at schools and community organizations to tell them about the program and take the challenge. As he mows a lawn in each state he hopes to have at least two kids from each state to help him out.
We think Rodney is amazing! So we are doing all we can to help him spread the word. Good Company has volunteered to provide outreach services to Rodney to help him reach kids and families and inspire them to volunteer through their schools and community centers. We are also reaching out to companies to do any or all of the following:
SPONSOR the costs of the program with a donation,
RECOMMEND schools, summer camps and clubs for Rodney to visit to tell kids about the program, and
CONNECT us to people in need of lawn care service so we can help Rodney add to list of single mothers, veterans, elderly or disabled folks to be matched with kids for lawn care.
As we were writing this post Briggs & Stratton announced that 100 volunteers in their home state of Wisconsin have signed up to mow lawns for people in need. We hope you'll join them!
If your good company wants to get involved please contact us at email@example.com
(video by Briggs & Stratton)