Helping Detroit, One Glass of Lemonade at a Time

Joshua Smith wants to help his city get out of debt.

After hearing on the radio that his home city of Detroit, Michigan, faced a $200 million budget deficit, 9-year-old Joshua Smith decided to do something to help. He decided to set up a lemonade stand outside his home on the city’s west side. His parents, who supported his desire to help their city, gave him $100 to purchase the supplies. According to Fingerprint Projects, “Joshua offered water for $1.00, lemonade and punch for $1.50, and popcorn in sizes small, medium and BIG for $1.00, $1.50 and $2 a bag.”

Joshua set himself the goal of $1000, which he reached after only 3 days, and by the end of the first week he had made almost $3,400. He has asked city officials to “use the proceeds from his stand to maintain a park and playground in his neighborhood.” Not only has his drive to help his hometown gained Joshua national attention, he has received contributions from all over the country, but international attention as well. Donations have been sent to him from Canada, South Africa, Uganda, and the UK. He was also visited by several basketball players from the University of Michigan, who brought him signed T-shirts and hats.

A local council woman wanted to recognized Joshua for his ambition, so they awarded him the Spirit of Detroit Award. He has also been awarded a $2000 scholarship from the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation, which he will receive after graduating from High School. Joshua is the youngest person to ever receive this scholarship, which until now was only awarded to high school students.

Photo: amy.gizienski/Flickr

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