Two Gulfport teens helped their community by mowing lawns for free. Now they’re getting national recognition.

Brothers Caleb and Nate West started the 50 Yard Challenge in January.
Two Gulfport teens just joined an exclusive club of people across the county doing good in their communities with the help of a lawn mower.
Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Two Gulfport teens just joined an exclusive club of people across the county doing good in their communities with the help of a lawn mower.

It all started when brothers Caleb and Nate West took on the 50 Yard Challenge to provide lawn care services to those in need.

“I think our mom saw it and asked it we wanted to participate and then, obviously, agreed,” said Nate West.

“That’s just kids going out in there community mowing 50 free lawns for the elderly disabled single parents for veterans.” said Rodney Smith, who started the challenge back in 2015 with a single act of kindness.

“I was leaving school one day and that’s when I came across an elderly man outside mowing his lawn,” said Smith. “It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over and helped him out. And that night I decided I would start mowing free lawns for the elderly, disabled, single parents, and veterans. That night, that one act of kindness changed my life forever.”

And it’s still changing lives across America. Smith has since inspired more than 4,000 kids in all 50 states to pass along that same act of kindness.

The 50 Yard Challenge is open to both boys and girls ages 8 to 17. Here’s how it works: If a kid decides to accept the challenge, they send Smith’s non-profit organization a photo of them holding a sign saying “I accept the 50 Yard Challenge”. In return, Smith sends back a white shirt, shades, and ear protection to get them started. For every 10 lawns they cut, participants get a new color shirt.

Caleb and Nate started their journey in January.

“We thought this would be fun and it was. Everyone was thankful we would cut their lawns for free and most of the time they would try to pay us,” said Caleb West.

“It’s always a good feeling cause you always get to see a picture of the fellas and all the other kids and the parents send the picture of each lawn they do. So to get to meet them is a pleasure,” said Smith.

Saturday, the eight months of hard work paid off for the boys. Smith drove to Gulfport to personally deliver each of them their own set of brand new lawn equipment. The lawn mower, weed eater, and blower are enough to take their lawn care business to the next level. But the real prize is knowing they’ve made a difference in their communities, one yard at a time.

If you’d like to learn more about the 50 Yard Challenge, visit

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.