Volunteers and local youth cut lawns for free for the elderly, disabled veterans and single moms

Rodney Smith Jr. of Huntsville, Alabama, was driving home one day during the summer of 2015 and saw an elderly man struggling to cut his lawn.  Rodney stopped to help and an idea was born.

Rodney began recruiting local youths to help, and his group of kid volunteers currently numbers over 60.  They cut lawns for free for the elderly, disabled veterans, and single moms.  The response has been overwhelming from both the youth who participate in the program, and those who receive the free lawn services.  “The kids are so excited, they call and say ‘please save my spot this weekend,’ ” says Rodney.   Donations have paid for gas, and the company, Briggs and Stratton, has contributed lawnmowers and weed eaters.

Rodney views his mission as being a mentor to young men and women, ages 7 to 17, and to encourage kids to get out there and give back to their community.  Making a difference in one's community can take a variety of forms, even if means simply mowing an elderly person’s lawn for free!


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The Buddy Bench Brings Friends Together

A simple idea to combat loneliness on the school playground – the buddy bench!  Christian, a first grader, saw a picture of a pretty bench, had an idea, and approached his principal.  He knew that some kids looked like they were lonely at recess, and he thought that a bench, labeled as a “buddy bench,” might encourage friendships.  His principal liked the idea, came up with the funds from the school budget, and soon the elementary school playground had a new addition.

The local newspaper picked up the story, then the Huffington Post and NBC, and the buddy bench movement spread across the country.  Students from all over the country have written to Christian, excited about his idea, and motivated to try and get buddy benches on their own playgrounds.

How about let’s all spread the message of friendship, inclusion, and kindness in our own neighborhoods!





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