In the midst of the global health crisis, there are uplifting stories that illustrate the power of community. According to Atlanta Black Star, Huntsville, Alabama resident Rodney Smith Jr. is on a mission to help the city’s most vulnerable groups amid the pandemic.
Smith—who hails from Bermuda—has rallied around those in need in his community far before the COVID-19 outbreak. For the past five years, he’s mowed lawns free of charge for senior citizens, the disabled, veterans and other residents in his neighborhood. After the virus spread throughout the city, he decided to take his efforts a step further and began providing people with care packages in addition to mowing their lawns. Aware that many of the individuals he serves are homebound, he wanted to ensure they were equipped with items needed to make it through the pandemic. “Every day, I go to the grocery store and buy four or five of everything,” he told the news outlet. “I think it’s important we get out and help.”
Smith’s lawn mowing has gained him national acclaim. He founded a nonprofit organization dubbed Raising Men Lawn Care Service that empowers youth to give back by volunteering to provide lawn services for the elderly, disabled, single mothers, veterans and other groups. He embarked on a journey to mow lawns for people in need in every state a few years back and has done it five times.
Many people are stepping up to provide support for residents in North Alabama. WAFF 48 reported that NFL player and North Alabama native Johnathan “Rudy” Ford donated $10,000 to address food insecurity amongst senior citizens and youth in Madison County. According to WSFA 12, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is near the 4,000 mark.