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When Rodney Smith Jr. learned that an elderly woman in his community was mowing her own lawn, he wasn't about to let that fly.

"We did this sweet lady's lawn today," the Alabama man wrote on Facebook, in addition to posting the photo below. "She is 93, the neighbors told us that she been out [there] trying to cut her own lawn."

The sweet photo began to spread, fast.


Since it was posted on April 23, 2016, the image has been Liked by 1 million people and shared more than 175,000 times. 

"So proud of you guys," wrote one commenter.

"Bless her," wrote another. "Good work, fellas."

Clearly, Smith's photo is tugging at heartstrings both in and far beyond his Alabama community.

Smith is the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, a group that's lending a hugely helpful hand to neighbors in need.

Smith, a student at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, launched his organization so elderly folks, single parents, and people with disabilities — those who may not "have the time, resources and/or money to manicure their yards" — could still have well-kept lawns free of charge. 

"The typical response is tears of joy," he told Upworthy of his group's impact.

Since it launched in December 2015, the group of about 20 young people have mowed over 300 lawns, according to Smith.

As Smith notes on the Raising Men's Facebook page, the group's not just about helping others, either — it's about helping the youth who get involved as well:

"I want to restore the importance and understanding of giving back to the community. I want to show our children (our future) that by helping others they too will receive a sense of accomplishment, self-esteem, moral value, and purpose in themselves."

Folks in Smith's community may even return home to a sweet surprise without having signed up for the service.

His group of mowers has a habit of dropping in unexpectedly when neighbors aren't home to mow their lawns and leaving a note on the front door (they've done it time and time again). 

Raising Men Lawn Care Service decided to raise funds on a GoFundMe page so they can continue to expand their impact.

Funds raised through the page will go toward things like lawn equipment, refreshments for the mowers, and T-shirts with the group's logo.

As of April 27, 2016, the group had raised more than $10,500 of their $11,500 goal. 

"When we come and cut their lawn and let them know we will be back every two weeks to cut it, they are so happy," Smith explained to Upworthy. "Words really can't describe it."

It sounds like plenty more lawns — and even more hearts — will be changed for good if the Raising Men team has anything to say about it.

Learn more about Smith's story and help his group reach their goals on GoFundMe

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Science

Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

It uses AI to edit his work emails into "polite, professional-sounding British English."

via Pixabay

An artist's depiction of artificial intelligence.

There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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