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Pay It Forward: 50 Yard Challenge

reia taylor
Nate and Gwen Taylor
Eleven-year-old Reia Taylor of Blackfoot accepts the 50 Yard Challenge

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KXPI) - Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz found a local seventh grade girl who wants to mow a lot of lawns this summer, but there's a reason for it, and Eyewitness News 3 wanted to help her. Time to Pay It Forward.

This summer, when she's not playing soccer and running, you will find Reia Taylor mowing lawns, a lot of them.

"The elderly and veterans and just people who can't," said Reia, referring to the types of lawns she is looking to mow.

She has accepted the 50 Yard Challenge. It is an international movement started by Rodney Smith Jr.

"The 50 Yard Challenge is a challenge that we have issued to kids nationwide and even worldwide to mow 50 free lawns in their community. Once they mow 10 lawns, they get a orange shirt, 20 earns a green, 30 a blue, 40 red, and 50 lawns earns a black. And once they mow 50, I will drive to wherever they are in the United States. I will do lawns with them and I will also give them a brand new mower, weed eater, and blower," said Smith in a prerecorded video.

"What made you think, 'I want to do that?'" Kunz asked Reia.

"Helping the community," she replied.

"Just profoundly proud. She goes above and beyond. Pardon me," said her father, Nate Taylor, standing next to her and smiling with admiration. He choked up.

"To date, over 50 kids nationwide have completed this and currently we have over 1,000 kids nationwide taking part in this 50 Yard Challenge and we also have kids in eight other different countries," said Smith, as the video continues.

"It incentivizes them. It helps them get out into the community. It promotes just this strong growth and work ethic that a lot of places aren't seeing anymore," said Nate.

Reia had to write a letter to join the challenge. She has already mowed several lawns, so she's well on her way. But it's not easy for an 11-year-old.

"It comes with it's challenges huh?" said Nate to Reia.

"Yeah," replied Reia.

"What are some of those challenges?" Kunz asked.

"Them not watering their grass," replied Reia.

Mon and Dad take care of the phone calls and scheduling. And Dad does help a bit with the equipment.

"Well, he helps with the trimming the edges," said Reia, smiling and looking up at Nate.

Time for us to help. Time to Pay It Forward.

"Who takes care of your own yard?" asked Kunz.

"Me, and Dad waters it," replied Reia.

"Reia, how are ya?" said a man walking up to the interiew.

"Good," said Reia.

"Good. My name is Kory (Carling) and I'm with Mountain America Credit Union. And we heard about you and the incredible person that you are and we had to come here and Pay It Forward. So we're here today to bring you $500 in cash, that we know that you can use to continue to take care of the community around us to touch as many lives as you can and mow as many lawns as you can to continue to fulfill your goal that you set out to make. And so on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we'd like to Pay It Forward and give you $500 to continue to do all the amazing stuff you are doing," said Carling, pulling money out of an envelope and handing it to Reia.

"Thank you," replied Reia.

"You're welcome. Awesome," said Carling.

"Thank you so much," said Nate.

If you or someone you know needs lawn care, contact Reia through her parents' Facebook page or call Nate Taylor at 208-406-2456. Reia will mow a yard from Rexburg to Pocatello.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.


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