CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Martin Luther King Jr. Day has transformed over the years to become a day of service, and this year is no different.
Rodney Smith Jr. has traveled across the country to serve people in all 50 states by mowing their lawns. On Monday, he stopped by a local pre-school to teach kids about what it means to serve - and to mow.
“I believe that kids should learn how to give before they receive,” Smith said while visiting the children at A Step Above Child Development in Lancaster, S.C. "It’s a very important attribute to have, especially at such a young age.
Crystie Rhyner, Director of A Step Above Child Development, said the kids loved the visit.
“I think this is where it starts,” Rhyner said. “Especially how our communities are today - they need to know they have the power to make a difference.”
“We have about 600-plus kids nationwide taking part in our 50-Yard Challenge mowing free lawns in their community,” Smith said. “So we have a kid in every state but Rhode Island.”
He added there are also kids across the world taking part in the 50-Yard Challenge. It’s that success in giving that brought him to Lancaster on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“I’m doing something cool, like a ‘mow day,’” Smith said. “I’m going to different preschools, pre-K’s, nationwide and bringing these little toy mowers and just introducing little kids to mowing grass and having fun. Eventually, maybe one day, some of these kids will take part in our 5-Yard Challenge.”
For nearly three years, Smith has traveled to all 50 states to raise awareness for Raising Men Lawn Care Service (RMLCS) while mowing lawns for free in each state for the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans.
His vision for his lawn care service was spawned out of his goal to keep young boys and girls on a positive path and teach them about service, according to his website.
His website says he’s mowed more than 15,000 lawns.