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London Traylor, 10, accepted the Raising Men Challenge and has received a lawn mower for his initiative. Shown at Saturday’s event at the Okolona Carnegie Library are Okolona Mayor Sherman Carouthers, Raising Men director Rodney Smith, Traylor and his grandmother Debra Metcalf.

OKOLONA – London Traylor has work to do this summer and is seeking the names of the elderly, disabled, single moms and veterans who need their yard mowed.

Traylor, 10, received a brand new mower Saturday as part of Raising Men Lawn Care Services, a ministry of founder Rodney Smith.

“It started when I asked the Lord to show me how I could minister to others,” said Smith. “Less than an hour later I saw an elderly person having a hard time mowing their yard and I got out of my car to help.”

And the idea for his ministry and program formed as he made couple of round in that yard.

Smith, based out of Huntsville, Ala., said the program is simple.

Youth are asked to take the Raising Men Challenge and make that declaration public. They then agree to mow yards, rake leaves or shovel snow for those in need in their neighborhoods.

The program is open to kids age 7 to 17. Churches are urged to sponsor it and get men involved with mentoring those who take the challenge.

Kids mow yards and get a different T-shirt when they complete 10, 20, 30 and 40 yards. At 50 they get a new lawn mower and can also get a weed-eater and blower. Just signing up for the program gets you a Raising Men Lawn Care Services shirt along with protective sunglasses and ear protection.

Traylor, a third-grader at Okolona Elementary said he already has a list of people in his neighborhood who he can help. Taylor is sponsored by his grandmother Debra Metcalf.

Patsy Gregory, Eonomic Development Liaison with the City of Okolona said she found out about the program and invited Smith to host an event at the Okolona Carnegie Library.

Okolona Mayor Sherman Carouthers said Saturday’s event was sponsored by the City of Okolona and urged people to contact him at 447-5461.

Smith has visited all 50 states promoting his platform of community service and entrepreneurship among youths. For details about Raising Men Lawn Care Services go to www.weareraisingmen.com.

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