Taking the 50 Yard Challenge

Springville Youth Mows Lawns of Those in Need as Part of Nationwide Challenge

Boston Housley, 12, of Springville was recently awarded a lawn mower and leaf blower for completing a challenge to mow 50 lawns to those in need. 

The challenge is in conjunction with a nationwide challenge known as The 50 Yard Challenge that was created by Rodney Smith Jr. of Alabama. Smith visited Boston this past January when he took the trip to Utah to personally deliver the yard equipment, along with an award for completing the challenge.

Smith began the challenge that operates under the nonprofit organization titled, “Raising Men” and “Raising Women” in an effort to encourage the youth to give back to their communities. Kids and teens from all over the nation take on the challenge to mow 50 lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single parents, veterans, and anyone in need of help in their town. 

Courtesty photo.
Boston Housley is presented his lawn mower and leaf blower by Rodney Smith Jr., who created the 50 Yard Challenge.

According to Boston, the 50 Yard Challenge was a lot of work, but he enjoyed it and learned a lot.

“My mom was the one who learned about the challenge, and she asked if I wanted to try it,” Boston said. “I’ve only mowed my lawn before, but I thought it would be good to do it for other people. It was hard, but it taught me a lot about serving others, and it helped me feel like I was doing something good.”

Boston’s dad, Rhett Housley said that it wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be to find people in need.

“I started by emailing our church bishop to see if there were individuals in need, and we got lots of names that way,” Housley said. “We went down to St. George, where my mom lives, and Boston mowed some lawns down there, too. It was really neat to see Boston serve others and witness the lives that were touched.”

Not only was Boston able to serve people in need in the community, but his dad said that his son got really good at mowing lawns.

“Boston committed to the challenge in May of 2020, and mowed his last lawn in October,” Housley said. “We figured that Boston spent about 29 hours mowing lawns, which means he got a lot of practice. He has gotten really good at it and has even said that it is something that he might want to do as a job.”

Boston was one of five youth in the state who completed the challenge in 2020, with 49 from Utah having completed it since the challenge began in 2016. According to Smith’s records (published on his site), to date, more than 1,400 children have taken part in the 50 Yard Challenge, with that number growing nearly every day. 

To learn more about the 50 Yard Challenge, go to weareraisingmen.com/the-50-yard-challenge/, and on Instagram @rodneysmithjr @raisingmenlawncareservice and @weareraisingwomenlawncareservice. (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)

Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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