Positively the Heartland: Omaha boy mows lawns for free

Posted at 5:59 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 21:57:39-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Atticus Hochstein often enjoys his spare time playing video games, but you'll also find him mowing lawns. He does it for free.

"Some people don't have lawnmowers so they can't mow their lawn, and it's also pretty expensive to get somebody to mow your lawn," Hochstein said.

He's taking part in the 50 Yard Challenge through the Raising Men Lawn Care Service.

More than 1,600 kids throughout the country have signed up to mow lawns for the elderly, those with disabilities, veterans, and single parents.

The simple gesture freed up needed time for single mom Amanda Schuman.

"Being able to spend more time with my children, just doing day-to-day tasks, not having to worry about mowing the lawn. Even one time is very beneficial," Schuman said.

Rodney Smith Jr. of Huntsville, Alabama is behind the challenge and nonprofit.

"It all started one day when I was leaving school in 2015 and I came across an old man outside mowing his lawn, and he looked like he was struggling so [I] pulled over and I helped him out," Smith said.

He then sought out to mow lawns in all 50 states. He met that challenge and is now on his 10th tour. 3 News Now has met up with him during past stops in Nebraska.

The 50 Yard Challenge is meant to get young men and women involved in this philanthropy.

"They're meeting people they probably normally wouldn't have met if it wasn't for the organization, and we're also finding that kids are bonding with the people they're meeting. They're really building these strong relationships," Smith Jr. said.

There are incentives, too. Right now Atticus wears a white t-shirt. He'll get a new, different colored shirt for every 10 lawns he mows. When a child hits 50 yards, Smith Jr. will hand-deliver a new lawnmower, weed eater, and blower.

The goodness seems to be spreading.

"One of my friends, I told him that I was doing this thing and he said, 'Do you know how I can sign up to do it?'" Hochstein said.

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