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'MOW 'EM DOWN': 8-year-old Muskegon boy cutting 50 lawns for free to 'help people'

JR Achterhoff has embarked on quite the summer side-gig. He's accepted the challenge offered by a nationwide nonprofit organization to mow 50 lawns this summer.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Name some summer jobs kids do.

Back in the day, there was a paper route. Remember setting up a lemonade stand on a street corner? How about the old standby - lawn mowing.

For an 8-year-old boy from Muskegon, cutting the grass has become more of a fulltime job, as he plans to spend the entire summer of 2021 mowing 50 lawns...for free!

JR Achterhoff really wanted to start helping his dad cut the grass this year, but the two acres they live on would likely be too overwhelming for him to mow, so his dad found a way to get the experience.

"JR is participating in a nationwide challenge being offered through 'Raising Men Lawn Care Service,' which is based in Alabama," said John Achterhoff, JR's father. "We had an old red push mower that we were able to get running for him."

Raising Men Lawn Care Service is a nonprofit organization that encourages kids nationwide to help within their communities. Since this annual challenge launched in 2017, the nonprofit says over 15,000 lawns have been mowed for free across the country.

"There's no time limit for JR to complete the 50 lawns," John said. "Each time he cuts a lawn, I take a picture of him and that's how we prove he did the 50."

When JR completes the challenge, the owner of the nonprofit will travel up to Muskegon to meet JR, and will give him a brand new lawn mower, weed whip and blower, John says.

JR and his dad are looking for more people in the Muskegon community who'd like help getting their grass cut. He's set out to help veterans, elderly, people with reduced mobility and single parents who work a lot, John says.

"He really loves doing it and he does a great job," John said.

Anyone seeking lawn care can contact JR directly through the 'JR's 50 Yard Challenge' Facebook page.

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