A nine-year-old boy was inspired to help his city after hearing a radio report about Detroit’s money problems.
Joshua Smith decided to help his city by selling lemonade and other snacks on his front porch. From 5p.m. to 8p.m., Smith sells lemonade, organic fruit punch, and popcorn in an effort to put a dent in the city’s $100 million deficit.
"I heard the city was in crisis because the city is broke, and I was really upset," Joshua said.
His parents Flynn and Rhonda Smith, both 43 said that they can’t bear to tell their son that it’s going to take more than a lemonade sale to fix the city’s financial problems. However, his parents and many others are inspired by Joshua’s motivation.
"I'm really proud of him. He wasn't asking how can he make money to buy himself something. My wife and I were talking about this earlier: Neither of us ever thought to do anything like this when we were kids," said Flynn Smith, a high school math teacher and associate pastor at Evangel Ministries here.
"He's always been a conscientious child about what's going on around him, and we want to encourage him with whatever he wants to do as long as it's positive and God honoring," said Rhonda Smith, a freelance writer.
Joshua’s items range from $1 for a bottle of water to $2 for a large bag of popcorn.
Rhonda helped her son create fliers about the sale which reads: "May you please help the City of Detroit. Please buy this popcorn and drinks. It's not so expensive. I didn't make it expensive so you would have to spend all your money. The money will help clean up trash on the ground and cut the grass in the parks."
The park near Joshua’s home contains broken water fountains and grass that is almost taller than Joshua who stands at about 5 feet.
Joshua and his mom distributed the fliers at a local jazz festival and posted information about the sale on Facebook. Through the Facebook post, friends of the family also began spreading the word.
"I posted it, and my friends posted it. I had friends as far as Oregon asking how they could contribute," said Kim Trent, Rhonda’s childhood friend.
They’ve also received donations from people around the country via a PayPal account.
Joshua’s first customer was his next-door-neighbor Robert Rucker, 60.
"The city really needs all the help it can get, so I wanted to help out," Rucker said. "Somebody needs to try something; the adults too."
People can donate to the City of Detroit by visiting the city teller on the first floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. The money will be added to the city’s general fund unless a particular department is specified.
Joshua plans to send Detroit Mayor Dave Bling a note with the donated funds stating:
"Dear Mr. Mayor, I'm sending this money because I hear the city is broke and I'm hoping to raise $1,000 or more so we can have lots of money, so we can cut grass and fix the water fountains in the park."
During the first few hours of being in business, Joshua made $69.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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