Mowing with a mission: Iowa man cuts lawns for people with medical needs at no cost

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Robert Rasmussen loves to work with his hands, but more importantly, he loves to do that work to make the lives of other people easier.

That’s why he started cutting lawns for free 20 years ago, a service he does every spring and summer.

“I go help people out that have a medical illness free of charge to them,” Rasmussen said.

He estimates he has mowed more than a thousand free lawns since he started his mission. He mowed the latest yard after watching a WHO 13 report about a home repeatedly reported to Polk County Weed Commissioner Bret VandeLune.

“We get people on both sides,” VandedLune told WHO 13 on Tuesday. “We get some that are really passionate about a neighbor not mowing their yard or somebody not taking care of a property, and then we deal with property owners that have some extenuating circumstances.”

Rasmussen decided to take the circumstances of one particular Des Moines home into his own hands on Wednesday morning. He said it took him about two hours to mow the yard, but he has no regrets about taking the time to do the work.

“It just makes me happy that I can help so they don’t have to worry about getting fined or being charged expensive amounts to get their yard done,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said he’s inspired by the work it took to care for his father when he was dying of dementia. He hopes his free lawn service can help others struggling with similar scenarios have one less worry on their minds.

“A lot of people need to help volunteer,” Rasmussen said. “It helps the elderly and people that have medical illnesses. It makes this town and state a lot better.”

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