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Teen takes on ’50 Yard Challenge’; helps elderly, disabled with free lawn care

A Cedar Rapids teen is using his free time this summer to help those who are older or disabled with their lawn care.
Updated: Jun. 27, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Thirteen-year old Logan Haines likes helping people. And he likes mowing. Two activities he’s been doing in his free time all summer for a good purpose.

The Cedar Rapids teen has been participating in the 50 Yard Challenge since May.

“When I first asked Logan about it, he’s like, no, I’m not doing it. The next morning, he was like alright I’ll do it,” said Logan’s mom, Amber Kirchhoff.

It’s a nationwide challenge for kids to provide free lawn care to the elderly, disabled, single parents, and veterans. Kids can start participating as soon as they receive a challenge shirt.

So far Haines has mowed 22 lawns across the community. “A lot of them have been saying great job, and you’re doing great,” said Haines.

He now has 28 lawns left to complete the challenge. A goal he thinks he’ll accomplish before summer ends. “Each week I’m booked out like every day. So everyday I have one to do so we should get it done pretty fast,” Haines added.

Raising Men and Women Lawn Care Service, a nationwide non-profit, has been offering the challenge to kids ages seven to 17 since 2016.

Every kid who completes the challenge gets presented a new mower, weed eater and leaf blower, delivered right to their doorstep from the non-profit.

Rodney Smith Jr. is the Founder of Raising Men and Women Lawn Care Service. “When Logan finishes I’ll be driving out there to present him a lawn mower, weed eater and blower,” said Smith.

His mom says he’s learning different techniques, like how to get closer to fences and clean up the excess grass off the street. But she says it goes beyond the mowing.

“It’s teaching him how to open up with strangers. Like especially the elderly, going to ask if he can mow for them or say thank you to them,” said Kirchhoff.

“When we can come now for free, that frees them up, and now they can use those extra funds for food and medication. And things they really need. That’s one of the things we’re trying to teach kids,” said Smith.

And after the challenge is over he doesn’t want to stop there.

“I’m gonna keep mowing peoples yards because a lot of people want me to keep coming back,” said Haines. “For people who haven’t done it and want to do it, I think you should cause it’s really fun. And just helping people makes you feel good.”

Smith says right now, Logan is one of 10 kids in Iowa are participating in the challenge.

Logan’s mom says people can contact them through her Facebook if they’re in need of Logan’s lawn care assistance this summer.

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