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City of Detroit Gets Nearly $3,000 Donation From 9-Year-Old and His Lemonade Stand


"This money is going to the mayor of Detroit and this money will also help people cut grass..."

Kim Trent buys popcorn from Joshua Smith and his friend Dwayne Durant in Detroit. (Photo: AP)

A 9-year-old boy from Michigan has become the most recent youngster to make national news with his lemonade stand, taking matters into his own hands after hearing about Detroit's financial woes.

"We're doing a popcorn sale...and juice sale...Will you please help support our sale?" Joshua Smith asked in a video.

(Related: Mich. Teen Starts Hot Dog Stand To Help Disabled Parents, Shut Down by City Almost Immediately)

"This money is going to the mayor of Detroit and this money will also help people cut grass...and pick up trash on the ground...Will you please help support me?  The hours are 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday...Thank you.  Bye-bye."

Watch the video, below:

And Smith's efforts were not in vain.  The child raised nearly $3,000 to clean up local parks, according to CBS Detroit/WWJ, and he chose to give the money to the local government with the hope the parks near his home would be better-maintained.

The Detroit Free Press has the latest:

Joshua was given a Spirit of Detroit award last week for his youthful entrepreneurship by Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, who this morning called Joshua a superstar and “wonderful young man.”

But the modest youngster had few words, saying “Thank you!” for his award and leaving it to his parents to explain the larger significance of why Joshua’s lemonade stand brought out people from all over metro Detroit, from Navy sailors and University of Michigan athletes to suburban grandmothers, to pitch in to his cause.


Mayor Dave Bing called Joshua at home last week, thanking him but suggesting he put the money into a college fund. But his family said they’re already saving for him to attend college, and he raised the money from selling lemonade, water, fruit punch and popcorn specifically to help his city.

But Smith's story contrasts strongly with that of Nathan Duszynski, a 13-year-old who tried to start a hot dog stand in the same state.  According to reports, Duszynski was trying to earn money for his disabled parents while times are tough, but was shut down by the city of Holland mere minutes after he set up.

Had Duszynski chosen to give all his profits to the government, would he have gotten a ceremony and a call from the mayor, as well?  Or is it purely that, because of particular zoning laws, Smith was able to operate for days while Duszynski was shut down after roughly ten minutes?

(Related: Call the Cops! Did Van Jones' Son Set Up an 'Illegal' Lemonade Stand?)

Back in June, it was becoming such a trend to "shut down" lemonade stands across the country that Glenn Beck organized a national "Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale Day."

"Here's what I fear," Beck explained: "Our kids are learning...that if you want to make money, you need permission...they're learning to be passive.  Our kids are learning...that if you want to make money, you need to pay powerful people first."

It remains to be seen whether the city will be a better custodian of Smith's $3,000 than it was with the rest of the state's budget, and while the response to his hard work has been overwhelmingly positive, one Huffington Post commenter noted: "I salute his entrepreneurial skills, but would advise him not to donate money that will be squandered."


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