Man cuts grass for elderly Portland woman in tour across U.S. to mow lawns for free

Posted at 2:45 PM, Sep 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-01 20:13:12-04

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — A man — who also stopped in Utah last year — is traveling the country mowing lawns for veterans, seniors, people living with disabilities, and single parents.

His mission is to do something for others that they may not be able to do for themselves.

Rodney Smith Jr. first started mowing lawns for free in 2015.

“I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn, it looked like he was struggling so I pulled over and helped him out,” Smith Jr. said.

On Friday as part of his sixth 50-state tour, he visited 90-year-old Ramona Baurer’s home in Portland.

“Makes you feel good knowing you’re making a difference and impacting someone’s life. You know it’s a pretty big lawn, a regular lawn company might charge her a few hundred dollars for this size lawn when I could come mow it for free, she can now use her extra funds for things she really needs,” Smith Jr. said.

Baurer has lived at the same home in southwest Portland for more than 50 years.

But recently, upkeep of the yard’s become more difficult.

“I’ve done a lot but I can only do so much at a time,” Baurer said.

She’s an example of the people Smith Jr.’s been helping for several years.

This is his first year including police to help in his efforts.

On Friday, Portland police helped mow Baurer’s lawn along with Smith Jr.

“Using lawn care as a way of building relationships between officers and their communities,” Smith Jr. said.

While Smith Jr. and police mowed Baurer’s lawn, she just couldn’t let him do all the hard work.

Looking like Batman with special goggles Smith Jr. gave her, Baurer made sure to help and show her gratitude.

“You know, makes me feel like there’s still some good people in this world,” she said.

“There’s many ways to make a difference, I’ve chosen a lawnmower to make a difference with, and I hope to encourage kids around the world to make a difference one lawn at a time,” Smith Jr. said.

Smith Jr. still has several states to visit in his lawn mowing tour this year.