Kelly Clarkson Is Brought To Tears From One Man’s Life-Changing Lawn Mowing Challenge

Kelly Clarkson Is Brought To Tears From One Man’s Life-Changing Lawn Mowing Challenge

– Back in 2015, I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn. He looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him out. And that night I decided I would start mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled,
single parents, and veterans. That’s when I came up with the idea of Raising Men Lawn Care service. (lawn mower engine roaring) Since starting the program I believe I have mowed over 2,000 lawns. I wanna make people more
aware of the organization and encourage kids to take
part in our 50 Yard Challenge. The 50 Yard Challenge is a challenge that we have issued to kids nationwide, and even worldwide, to mow 50 free lawns in their community. – [Female Speaker] Oh my God, I’m so proud of you! (woman cheers) – [Rodney] Today we have
over 500 kids nationwide taking part in the challenge. We’re trying to encourage
both boys and girls to get out there and make a
difference one lawn at a time. (audience cheering) – All right y’all, please
welcome Rodney Smith! (audience cheers and applauds) So Rodney, first of all, thank you so much
for being a positive change. Like just a beautiful domino effect, it’s really, really
awesome what you’re doing. – [Rodney] I appreciate it. – But why is this so important to you? – I believe it’s my calling. When I first came out of high school, I went to a school in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida and God just told me, you know, I asked him what I wanted
to do and he led me this way and I’ve been doing it ever since. I’m just trying to encourage
kids to get out there and make a difference one lawn at a time and give back to their community because I believe it’s important. In this day and age, a lot of kids are inside
playing video games. So I’m trying to encourage
them with a lawnmower to get out there and make a difference one lawn at a time. (audience applauding) – [Kelly Clarkson] Yes! I love that you’re, you know, in essence, teaching kids selflessness. Like you’re doing something, you don’t get anything out of it except for just knowing
that you’ve helped somebody. And I think that’s a beautiful thing that we all need to learn,
when we’re young, especially. That’s really cool. (audience applauds) – It really is, ’cause I remember when I was young I disliked mowing lawns. But God took something I disliked and turned it into
something now I love to do and I’m doing it every
single day for free. – That’s so cool, look at that. – [Rodney] Yeah. – Look at life, I love life like that. So what do you think of Rodney’s mission? Like– – I think it’s incredible. I think it’s incredible. Here’s the thing though, as I was talking about earlier. About the good that you
put out comes back to you. So even though you’re out there doing it and you’re encouraging
everybody else to do it, the beauty of it is as much positivity as you’re putting out, look forward in your life. Listen here, here is the problem I had though. I didn’t know how to feel worthy enough to accept it when it came back. So as it comes back to
you and into your life be open to it. – That is so true. ‘Cause so much guilt comes with it. – [Tyler] Yes. – So much guilt. – With success, you mean?
– Yes. – [Tyler] Yeah with
having success, for sure. – Yes. – But what you’re doing, expect good to come back, bro. I think it’s wonderful, I really do. (audience cheers and applauds) – So how does the challenge work? – So The 50 Yard Challenge is the challenge that we have
issued to kids nationwide, and even worldwide, to mow 50
free lawns in their community. So let’s say you had a kid here in L.A. that accepted the 50 Yard Challenge. They would make a sign saying, “I accept the 50 yard challenge” and in return we send them a white Raising Men or
Raising Women’s T-Shirt, along with shades and ear protection. Once they mow 10 lawns, they get an orange shirt. 20, a green. 30, a blue. 40 a red– – [Kelly Clarkson] It’s like karate. – [Rodney Smith] Exactly.
(audience laughs) – You’re mowing lawns. – You’re working for that black one. – You’re cutting on lawns. – Yes! I love it! – And once you mow 50, I drive to wherever they are
in the United States of America and also present them a brand new mower, weed eater, and blower. – That’s so cool. (audience cheering) Here’s the thing I love
about that as well. Like, as a kid who came from nothing, like I mean it’s an important thing to have a lawnmower for a family and some people can’t afford lawnmowers. So it’s like, even the fact that they
can work towards that and then get that for their family, that’s a really cool thing you’re doing. You’re just a really cool individual. – Thank you. Like, just spreading
kindness and goodness. It’s really cool. But which homeowner story, cause I know there’s got
to be a lot of people that you’ve met that
have just changed you, but which one kind of
sticks out do you think? – Yeah so I’ve traveled to all 50 states seven times and one particular tour
I’ve done for the veterans is called Thank You For Your Service. So I run to all 50 states thanking veterans for their service. And I came across this veteran
who was a medic in Vietnam. He has five purple hearts. – [Kelly] What? – Five purple hearts. He has a silver star and a bronze star. And he told me so much stories. He felt guilty because
so many young people died in his arms. And he felt like it was his fault and it took a little while
for him to get over that. But stories like that, just hearing from our veterans and it’s just amazing
what they went through and what they overcame and how
they overcame it, you know? – I know we start thinking about our problems that
we think are problems. And you’re like, “That’s a real problem.” – [Rodney] Yeah. – Yeah that’s heavy. – It is. (audience applauding) – So Dante, what made you
sign up for the challenge? – So my step mom saw Rodney on Facebook and so she thought it was
a really awesome thing that he was doing and so
she sent me one of his posts and was like, “Hey, you
should consider doing this.” At first I wasn’t gonna do it
because I needed to make money from this summer mowing
because I wanted to start a lawn service this summer. – Yeah. – So originally my plan was not to do it because I needed that money. But I brought it to my mom because I wanted to talk with her about it and so we started talking about it and she brought up the point that I’m sowing seeds into the community that means more than the money that– – [Kelly Clarkson] I love your mom. (audience applauds) – Wow. – It means more than the money that I’d be earning from that summer – Yeah. – It is seeds that I’m
sowing into that community and it was so awesome to
like get that confirmation and that reassurance that
I should be doing this. – You have a very smart mama. – Yeah she is. – Very smart and kind mamma. Oh my gosh. Well Alana, how far into
the challenge are you? – I have done 13 yards already. – [Kelly] Right on. (audience cheers and applauds) Good job. – I have helped elderly,
disabled and veterans. – [Kelly] Wow, that’s really cool. – One of the people that stands out to me is one of my mom’s friends, Jeremy, because he’s disabled. He had a stroke and half of
his body doesn’t work anymore so he can’t do as much as he used to. So I’ve helped him with a lot of that. – Hey man, that’s so cool. (audience applauding) You truly are sowing those
seeds into the community and that comes back on y’all. Not that you’re doing it because you want anything
to come back on you but it will. I can’t wait to meet y’all
in like 10 years again and see where you’re at like as humans cause you’re starting off so just fresh and fun and beautiful. It’s really cool what y’all are doing– – [Tyler] And do you do stuck
up rich people’s yards too? (audience laughing) ’cause I got about 1200 acres in Georgia– (laughter drowns out speech) – [Kelly That’s not a push mower, that’s like a John Deere. – That’s a tractor, a tractor. Yeah, a John Deere. – You need a ride for that one. – [Tyler Perry] Yeah
that’s right, that’s right. – It was like I was pushing. We had like a () lawn. How many recruits do you
have here in L.A., Rodney? – We don’t have that many in L.A., but nationwide we have about 500 kids and we have two in Canada, seven in Bermuda and England, three in Australia, and two in Germany that are taking part in
The 50 Yard Challenge. – Wow. (audience applauding) – Catching fire. Yeah. – Once one act of kindness
grew into all of this – And I never would expect it would grow into all of this, you know? It’s just–
– Yeah …amazing. – I just want to make
sure I’m clear on this. So what you do is,
you’re challenging kids. – [Rodney] Yep. – To mow 50 yards of
people who are disabled– – So the elderly, disabled, single parents and veterans and it’s not just–
– Wait. Elderly, disabled, single
parents, and veterans. – [Rodney] Yes. – For free?
– For free. – That is amazing. – And it’s not just mowing lawns. (audience applauds) – It’s also raking leaves.
– Yeah. – Raking leaves and snow
shoveling in the fall and winter. – Oh that’s wonderful. – So it’s a year-round thing. And we can– – Oh that’s real! (audience applauding) Snow shoveling in the winter, yeah. That is some heavy duty work, yeah. Well the L.A. situation,
it’s all about to change because come on out guys! (audience cheering) (inspiring music) – [Kelly Clarkson] Yeah. (audience applauding) – [Rodney] That’s a lot of kids. These are, these kids from all over Los Angeles. Okay, they’ve all been inspired by Rodney. They want to sign up to
do The 50 Yard Challenge. Let’s hear from a couple of ’em. And y’all aren’t too small, I started young so you got this. Okay so, why are you
accepting the challenge? Who wants to talk? Anybody wanna talk? You, she got her hand too. Okay you go ahead first,
What was your name? – Leah. – [Kelly Clarkson] Leah okay. Leah what– – It’s because I think girls
can do stuff like boys cause– – Yes girl! (audience cheering) – [Leah] And– (audience applauding) And also, I would like to help out all the people that are getting
older because they need help and I think it would
just be really helpful. – That’s so beautiful. (audience applauding) How does this make you feel Rodney? Look at all these kids. – It’s really bringing me to tears just to hear the stories. – [Kelly] I know, you’re
bringing me to tears. – I mean, I woulda never woulda
thought this would happen. You know? When I first started I was just helping someone
out in Huntsville, Alabama and now it’s growing to all this. Now kids nationwide are taking… I woulda never thought. – You know what? It’s positive ripples man. Those ripples they’re gonna go and go, go. Especially with the internet now. Look at… You’re touching people in Australia. Where else did you say, Bermuda? – Bermuda, that’s where
I’m originally from. – Okay the islands, yeah. I’m just saying that’s a really, really cool thing– – It is, yes. – that you’re touching that
many people across the world. And look at these little young faces. – [Rodney] Yeah so– – You’re making an impression on them. – I’ll be back in California soon when they complete it. – [Kelly Clarkson] Yes.
(audience applauding)

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About the Author: John Markowski


  1. We as Bermudian are so proud of you congratulations Rodney, we love you your one in a million bless your Big Heart ,God be with you world wide your a big inspiration to our young children.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™God be with you and keep up the good work โคโคโคโค.

  2. Such a wonderful man! Cannot find ONE young person to help mow my yard after the stroke…i love to work in my yard but cannot do it anymore. And they would be using my mower, my gas, my weedwhacker and make cash. Nope.They all tell me…we dont have to work our parents pay for everything.
    So sad. This young man and what he has started is AMAZING!! Thank you so much for showing what it does to HELP OTHERS! It makes your heart and mine so happy! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    Send some kids this way please!!!

  3. Big up Bermy. So proud of Rodney and everything he is doing. Proud he is shining a positive light and representing the island so well.

  4. Thank you for doing this and giving of self and time !! Iโ€™m not able to even able to be alone for 45 minutes to an hour, thanks to my health has gotten so bad. Thank you so much !!

  5. Wow great ,love all of it๐Ÿ˜Š just one thing,securety boot for the fett and thoes ,my father felt he had onely snkikkers on.

  6. There is nothing more beautiful than the heart of those in service to others.

    What a difference for good they are making! May Godโ€™s blessings overflow.

  7. Annnnd here come the tears. So proud to see a fellow Bermudian being selfless and making moves. I pray Godโ€™s blessings over his entire life and those connected to him โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฒ

  8. I am SO glad Rodney is finally getting the recognition he deserves for doing such an amazing thing!! OF COURSE, the beautiful Kelly comes through!!!!


  10. I love you Kelly, but your guest Tyler Perry I can not get with. And as I heard you once say if you can't say nothing nice don't say nothing at all. Xxx

  11. Tyler Perry sitting there with millions. What could be a more worthy cause for him to donate to . he should have been on Ellen.

  12. People don't need to give money IN PUBLIC if they aren't just showing off. I am pretty sure Tyler asked all thes questions to organize some donations AFTER

  13. For the people that click on the thumb down this is an amazing & such encouragement to teach and help others. Thumb up all around. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  14. Really…"God" led you to lawns…help me Kelly…i really could use a hand in paying my rent…and if you're only doing this to have good come back to you Tyler Perry…thats pretty disingenuous and fake…you should do it without expectation…

  15. Thought maybe a donation for work to keep growing I'm sure Tyler Perry did it after the show since they didn't reward him anything. This is amazing ๐Ÿ˜

  16. Great idea๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฟ I love to c ppl genuinely lend themselves to help others๐Ÿ˜, while Tyler Perry's on the show, & can Mr. Perry b knighted..Sir Perry ๐Ÿ’‚๐Ÿคด๐Ÿ‘‘

  17. I'm absolutely thankful that I got to know Dante! Day one in a new school he reached out and inspired me daily. He truly does brighten the lives of people around him. He pushed me to find the motivation to become a better person and even taught me valuable lessons to help me push on. To see him on here being the person he is meant to be just amazes me. Keep being awesome!

  18. Kelly has this natural talent as a host making each of the guests so connected to her in conversion and relevant to audience.. shes improved as a talk lady

  19. Stop!Stop!Stop Kelly. Quit saying that's so cool, it's not cool anymore if ur the one watching ur show n u keep saying it a thousand times. Find more cool expressions aside from C O O L. cool off. Annoying!!!!

  20. such a good idea. I do home care for the elderly and disabled. my job is usually light housekeeping and the medical side, but I definitely mow lawns, weed eat, shovel and rake too. company doesn't have to know that lol but frankly it needs to get done and my clients don't have money to pay someone to do it. I've also refinished a porch and power washed a place at one point lol I just go into it like ok what do you want, I know what you need but tell me something you really want done around here. seeing kids this young be excited about this is amazing.

  21. Proud of these kids!! Was hoping one of those "stuck up rich people" on the stage would've donated to their cause! But hey. Not surprised.

  22. This is so awesome!! I do agree that Tyler Perry should step up with $$$ to keep it going! Kelly use your connections to get lawn mowers, leaf blowers, snow blowers and $$ donated to keep this going!! Awesome job, Rodney!

  23. We can clean America up block by block if we all pushed our sleeves up. We should not have a dirty, and unclean property on the block or road.

  24. When I read the title I thought…now how can mowing the lawn bring u to tears…as soon as the videos started so did the tears!! This is beautiful and so is he. God bless all those who accepted the challenge!

  25. Kelly you to girl! Thank you for having Rodney on your show; I would never have heard about this otherwise. I'm sharing this video everywhere possible. I challenge Texas to have the most kids involved!!

  26. I totally love your program. I need to see your show in the afternoon so I can hear you sing. I've been watching you since American Idol. I even taped it way back when so I could watch it over and over when you won!!! Being disabled I'm always going to some sort of doctor & now my husband is sick and we're still trying to find out why. So, thank God for your show because it really keeps my interest and makes me feel better. HUGS

  27. God bless you for what you do your such an Angel God bless u and what you are doing we need more people like this in the world that we live in today what you do really touch me ๐Ÿ™

  28. My mom used to make me volunteer at an old folks home. I used to play bingo with them and make christmas ornaments and I'd volunteer with metropolitan ministries to donate food to families during the holidays that couldn't afford it. My mom did really good raising me to be helpful and humble. I love seeing this kind of thing continue. This is beautiful.

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