Michigan 8-Year-Old Takes ‘50 Yard Challenge’ to Mow Lawns for Elderly, Veterans, Disabled in Need

By Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
July 28, 2021 Updated: August 8, 2021

An 8-year-old boy in Muskegon County, Michigan, is on a mission to mow lawns for veterans, the elderly, single parents, and people with disabilities this summer for free.

JR Achterhoff, who will soon be a third grader, decided to take the “50 Yard Challenge,” a nationwide charitable activity challenging kids to mow 50 lawns for free, and get a jump on learning to help their community.

The 50 Yard Challenge is part of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, which started with just one man who wanted to help a neighbor and then spread across the nation.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of JR’s 50 Yard Challenge – Helping Veterans, Elderly, Reduced Mobility)

On June 25, JR accepted the challenge and mowed the first lawn of his life. Initially, he’d been using an old mower that did not self­-propel, but thanks to a good Samaritan, he now has an awesome mower.

“He loves helping people. He loves shoveling. He loves raking,” said John Achterhoff, the boy’s dad, MLive reported.

“He loves doing whatever he can to help people that struggle.”

Though he enjoys mowing and helping the needy, JR, who has since completed mowing two lawns, said the challenge is a bit hard to complete.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of JR’s 50 Yard Challenge – Helping Veterans, Elderly, Reduced Mobility)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of JR’s 50 Yard Challenge – Helping Veterans, Elderly, Reduced Mobility)

The family is scouting for more people who might want help mowing their grass, as the boy continues with the 50 Yard Challenge. “Really hoping to be able to connect with some veterans, police officers, firefighters, people with reduced mobility, elderly,” said John.

They’ve been at work posting flyers at American Legion in Whitehall, the White Lake Eagles, and VFW posts in North Muskegon and Montague.

Kathy People is one of the beneficiaries of the challenge. Her front yard was mowed after she saw a post on social media advertising the boy’s service.

“It was cute. He had such a great demeanor about him,” she said, according to ABC.

“Anything that you can do to encourage the kids to do respectful things. It’s a good thing.”

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Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.