Cutting With Care: Charitable Lawn Mowing

volunteers cleaning lawn

For most folks, doing yard work is a routine chore, one that isn’t too difficult and only takes an hour or so. But, like other routine tasks many of us take for granted, doing yard work can actually turn into quite a challenge for some people. For those who are burdened with lawn care, charitable lawn mowing can help. 

One Lawn at a Time, a 50-State Challenge

mowing lawn with the help of mower
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Perhaps it’s the older neighbors who can’t get around as well as they used to. Or maybe it’s the busy mom who can’t find time because she’s living life as a single mother while her spouse is deployed. Or it could be the co-worker recovering from a broken leg.

Regardless of the circumstances, there comes a time when we all need help completing our chores. Thankfully, there are some big-hearted individuals, lawn care companies, and local agencies who are up to the task and mow lawns — for free — for those who can’t do it themselves.

In 2016, Rodney Smith Jr. of Huntsville, Ala., was driving down the road when he came across an elderly man mowing his lawn. “It looked like he needed help, so I pulled over and helped him out,” Smith said. That one small act of kindness got Smith thinking, and shortly thereafter, he started Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service (RMWLCS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Raising Men & Women to Give Back

Raising Men & Women provides free lawn mowing to the elderly, disabled, single mothers, and veterans. But Smith aims for the group to be much more than just a way for him to help others. He also wants the service to promote awareness for future youth to give back to their local community, hence their motto: “Making a difference, one lawn at a time.”

The 50 Yard Challenge

In fact, he encourages children to sign up for the “50 Yard Challenge,” wherein kids cut 50 lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single mothers, and veterans in their own communities.

To start, participants receive a t-shirt, ear protection, and shades when they sign up, along with a different colored t-shirt for every 10 lawns they cut. Once they complete the challenge, RMWLCS folks pay a personal visit, cut some lawns with the child, and give the child a new lawn mower, blower, and weed eater.

As of November 2022, 4,330 youth in all 50 states (and eight countries internationally) are taking part in the 50 Yard Challenge. This is up from only 350 kids in 47 states in 2019, when this article was first written.

How To Take Advantage of This Program

If you or someone you know is a senior citizen, disabled, a single parent, or a veteran and needs help mowing the lawn, look at their Where We Have Mowers page to see if there are volunteers in your area. 

Going Green for Others in Cleveland

person mowing a lawn
Photo Credit: Pexels

In 2003 in Cleveland, Project Evergreen started as a way to improve and revitalize green spaces for public benefit. In 2006, the group launched GreenCare for Troops to provide lawn and landscape services to military families during deployment.

“We know the spouse remaining at home has a lot to do with jobs, kids, homework, etc., “ Executive Director Cindy Code said. “The goal of GreenCare for Troops is to provide a safe yard for kids to play, a serene setting for families to unwind, and to prevent the yard and landscape from being overgrown, unsightly, and potentially vandalized.”

How To Take Advantage of This Program

The way the program works is volunteers sign up to help, and when military families sign up, they receive the name and number of a local volunteer. It’s up to the military family to reach out to the volunteer.

Since its inception, the organization has helped thousands of military families nationwide, but the group wants to do more. “We want to raise awareness of the nationwide program among military families so we can provide the gift of a maintained yard and landscape to families in need,” Code said. “We have volunteers all across the country who have not yet been matched and who want to help.”

A Helping Hand in Pittsburgh

lawn cutting
Photo Credit: Pxhere

For the fifth year in a row, the city of Pittsburgh has launched its City Cuts lawn cutting program, a free program for veterans, residents age 62 and older, and those with a disability without the financial or social means to assist with lawn care.

The program started in 2018 through legislation introduced by Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith and helped more than 950 seniors and those with disabilities in its first year.

Operating from May through October, 650 people signed up for the 2022 season, per Gisele Betances, Community Programming Coordinator. Although the program runs during these dates, participants can access the application portal as early as March.

How To Take Advantage of This Program

If you’re interested in applying for the program, check out the different ways to request City Cuts service on their webpage or call 311. The program may reach its capacity for free mowing annually, so put in your application early.


How Can I Support Charitable Mowing Organizations?

There are many ways to support charitable mowing organizations. Depending on the particular organization, you can donate funds, purchase merchandise, sign up to be a lawn mowing volunteer, and even buy needed items from an Amazon wish list. If you’re interested in giving, check out their website to see how you can give.

Who Offers Free Grass Cutting for Seniors?

There are many places to call that might have information or a connection to a local service group if you are in need of free yard work:

● Scouting groups
● Veterans groups
● Churches
● Senior centers
● Social Services departments
● Code Enforcement
● Civic groups (Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, Shriners, Rotary, and so on)

How Can I Minimize Lawn Care Chores at my Home?

For seniors, the disabled, and others, it’s ideal to choose low-maintenance grasses and low-maintenance or native plants to minimize lawn duties. 

Do You Need a Helping Hand With Mowing?

If you’re not in need but would like to hire someone to mow your lawn, call a lawn care pro near you. Our lawn pros mow, edge, and create a tidy, welcoming landscape you can be proud to call your own. 

Main Image Credit: Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Karon Warren

Karon Warren

Freelance writer Karon Warren’s work has been seen in USA Today, USA Today 10 Best, Curbed Atlanta, Apartment Therapy, and Best Self Magazine. She also is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Society of American Travel Writers. Her porch has the best container garden on the block.