HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rodney Smith's calling to cut people's grass for free started with a prayer.
"A few years ago I had a one-on-one conversation with God," Smith said. "I asked him to use me as his vessel."
In 2015 Smith saw an elderly man mowing his lawn.
"It looked like he was struggling. I pulled over and helped him out," he said. "That night I decided to mow lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans."
For the second straight year, Smith has mowed his way across America, hitting every mainland state and then Alaska, before finishing up this week in Hawaii.
"That made 50!" he said with a smile.
The 49-year-old from Huntsville, AL, uses the grass cutting as a platform to touch people's lives.
Folks who hear he's coming to their state connect with him through social media. He finds out who's in need and shows up with his lawn mower.
"You're hearing all the stories. You realize a lot of people are just down on their luck. They struggle to pay bills. The last thing they need to worry about is getting their lawn cut," he said.
Smith started a non-profit outreach called Raising Men Lawn Care Service. Through it he encourages youth to mow lawns for free in their own neighborhoods. Young people around the world are rising to the challenge.
About 250 teens are currently participating.
"I want to encourage kids to get out there and make a difference. What better way to do that than to accept the 50 Yard challenge and get out there and make a difference with a lawn mower," he said.
Smith's lawn mowing mission has gotten a lot of news coverage and national notoriety.
A lawn mower company now helps sponsor his lawn cutting tours — and his non-profit is growing.
Through it, Smith said he's found a way to stay grounded.
"The way I see it is God put blinders on me to keep me focused on the main goal, which is helping people," he said.
Next year, Smith wants to tackle a worldwide challenge and cut grass for needy people on every continent.