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Delta backs Rodney’s dream

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Keep climbing: Rodney Smith Jr sets off to complete his goal of taking his charitable lawmmowing to all 50 of the United States. Delta Air Lines has donated tickets for flights to Alaska and Hawaii. Here Mr Smith meets the pilots of his flight to Anchorage, Alaska (Photograph from Rodney Smith Jr/Twitter)

A Bermudian received two first-class tickets this week to complete his goal of mowing veterans’ lawns across the United States.

Rodney Smith left Anchorage, Alaska, yesterday and is headed off to Hawaii on an all-expenses paid trip sponsored by Delta Air Lines.

The 29-year-old said: “They were familiar with my work and what I do for the community and they were more than happy to help me out.

“So it feels good to have Delta look out for me. I’m very appreciative of what they’ve done.”

Mr Smith said that he had dedicated the past month to mowing the lawns of veterans for free, and reached out to the airline to finish the last leg of his project. He added that he had initially requested a sponsorship to Hawaii, but was shocked when he was told that all of his flights would be paid for.

Mr Smith explained: “When I reached out to them they responded a day later saying they were ‘working on things’.

“The next day they said that they covered all the trips and I’d be travelling first class the whole way. I was very appreciative for them to even consider helping me out; I was looking at tickets before contacting them and they were about $3,000 altogether.”

Mr Smith started his charitable work in 2015 after he decided to mow lawns for seniors while studying computer Science at Alabama A & M University.

His efforts expanded into the “50 States, 50 Lawns” campaign in May 2017 where he travelled across the United States to mow lawns for single mothers as well.

Mr Smith started his fifth lap across the country, in which he has been mowing lawns for veterans as a sign of appreciation, in May.

Throughout his travels he received multiple sponsorships for room and board.

He explained: “Random kind people have said that they’d like to sponsor my room, so usually they just put a room in my name and pay for the expenses.”

He added: “A company called Custom Ink donated all of the T-shirts that I’m wearing and all the other T-shirts that I’m giving to the veterans.

“There have been a few other companies that have donated to me, but Delta has been the largest out of all of them.”

Mr Smith flew from Hawaii this morning to head back to his home in Huntsville, Alabama.

He said that the next step in his plan was to take his project to a global stage.

Mr Smith explained: “One of the goals that I’m working on is mowing over seven continents, Seven Continents, Seven Lawns. Once I get to Antarctica I’ll shovel snow.”

Keep climbing: thanks to the donation by Delta Airlines of airline tickets to Alaska and Hawaii, Bermudian Rodney Smith Jr is nearing his goal of taking his charitiable lawmmowing to all 50 of the United States. Here Mr Smith is shown in the cockpit of a Delta jet before a flight to Anchorage, Alaska (Photograph from Rodney Smith Jr/Twitter)
Rodney Smith Jr off to his last two states. First up state 49, Anchorage, Alaska (Photograph from Rodney Smith Jr/Twitter)