Huntsville native's '50-yard Challenge' inspiring others to do good deeds

It all started with the goal to help the elderly, people with disabilities and veterans mow their lawns. Now, it has grown to more than 1,000 people involved in the cause.

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 5:34 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2019 5:43 PM

A Huntsville native, Rodney Smith Jr., and his '50-Yard Challenge' have the eyes of thousands across the country.

With more than 400 kids involved, only one girl has completed the challenge. Now, Kyra Smith from Huntsville has stepped up to mow 50 yards.


Rodney Smith Jr.

Kyra Smith

WAAY 31 spoke with Rodney and Kyra about what the '50-Yard Challenge' really means for kids and teenagers.

It all started with the goal to help the elderly, people with disabilities and veterans mow their lawns. Now, it has grown to more than 1,000 people involved in the cause.

"They're elderly or disabled, and it's just so great to get to help them and see their face light up when you're there to just sit and talk with them, mow their grass, or just do anything like that. Just an amazing experience," said Kyra Smith.

Kyra Smith is a student at Hope Christian Academy in Huntsville, and she said she's determined to do what only one other girl has done. That's to mow 50 lawns, by herself, under Rodney Smith Jr.'s '50-Yard Challenge.'

She said this is something more girls should participate in.

"Very empowering to like stand up. Go out with a whole group of women and just have fun with it," said Kyra.

The challenge is a spin-off of Rodney's original deed of mowing lawns for free in all 50 states. When he was done, he wanted to get kids involved.

All you do is take a picture saying you accept the challenge, and then, Rodney will bring all the gear you need. Once you mow all 50 yards, you get a brand new lawn mower and some kids can even qualify for school credit.

"I know it's big, but I don't really realize it because I have those blinders on my eyes and I'm keeping straight," said Rodney Smith Jr.

His push right now is for more young girls to get involved.

"More young ladies are joining that way, and we're trying to teach boys and girls to make a difference one lawn at a time," said Rodney Smith Jr.

Kyra said she’s thankful to be a part of something bigger than her.

"I'm grateful that I'm one of these people, one of these kids, that gets to go out and help everybody do this. It's very good experience," she said.

She said she's anxious to mow all 50 lawns by herself, but she's prepared for the challenge.

Rodney said his mowing days aren't over just yet. From now until the end of the July, he is looking to help breast cancer survivors or women who are going through chemotherapy, by mowing their lawns for free.

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