Pueblo West’s Kaden Ravencamp gives back to his community with yard work
With a caring heart and an innate desire to give back, 10-year-old Kaden Ravencamp has dedicated his summer to helping those within the Pueblo West community.
After witnessing a heated political climate and a global pandemic throughout the past year, Kaden told his parents before school ended this year that he wanted to help make the world a kinder place.
“Kaden was just like, ‘Why is everyone fighting in the world?’” his mother Christy Ravencamp said. “(Then) he expressed to us that this summer instead of playing video games at home and just focusing on baseball, he wanted to do something he could give back to others – maybe bring neighbors together again.”
To help their son, the Ravencamps began looking for ways Kaden could accomplish his goal. That’s when they found Rodney Smith Jr.’s 50-yard challenge.
Smith Jr. founded the ‘Raising Men & Women Lawn Care Service’ in 2015 after witnessing an elderly man attempting to mow his lawn.
In a testimony about the service, Smith Jr. said he pulled over to help the man, and an idea was sparked. He was going to help those in need by mowing 40 lawns before the end of the winter.
Smith Jr. quickly realized there was an opportunity for children to know the importance of giving back to their community. He decided to challenge kids ages 7 to 17 to cut 50 lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single parents, veterans and anyone in need in their hometown.
Six years later, there are 1,850 kids within eight countries who have dedicated themselves to their communities.
Christy said when the idea of becoming a part of this challenge was presented to Kaden, he was instantly on board and he was already doing something similar.
“We have an elderly neighbor,” Christy said. “I think he saw that she didn’t really have family that lived here and could help her out. He has shoveled her driveway for years; he’ll do her driveway before he does ours. So, he just wanted to help people who couldn’t help themselves.”
Now seven lawns into the challenge, Kaden said it’s hard work and it’s very hot, but at the end of each lawn he does, seeing the relief of those he’s helped makes him happy.
Atop of the incentive of giving back to the community, the challenge will give participants a new shirt for every 10 yards they complete.
“It’s kind of like karate,” Christy explained. “You get a different color belt at each level until you get a black belt. When he (completes) 50 yards, he’ll get a black shirt.”
Once 50 yards have been cut, Smith Jr. will also come out to Pueblo West to mow a couple lawns with Kaden and gift him with a brand-new lawn mower, weed eater and blower.
For his parents, helping Kaden accomplish this is rewarding and fills them with the utmost pride.
“It makes me a little emotional because I feel like we are raising a good kid,” Christy said. “We have three boys and he’s our oldest. As a parent, you just want to put good people out into the world, and I think we are doing that.”
Those who are interested in helping Kaden can reach out to him through a Facebook page Christy started at.facebook.com/groups/310548167275670.
Chieftain and Pueblo West View reporter Alexis Smith can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @smith_alexis27.