Detroit’s Joshua Smith, 9, just wanted to play in the park in the summer. But Detroit, you might have heard, is a little short on cash right now, and one of the consequences of that budget gap is that parks like the one in Smith’s neighborhood do not get mowed all that often. With the grass so tall, the park had become a bit of a trash dump, and Smith’s mom didn’t want him playing amidst god-knows-what garbage.
Instead of moping and watching TV, though, Smith took matters into his own hands. He started fundraising, using an age-old childhood entrepreneurship tactic: the lemonade stand. The Detroit Free Press reported last week:
Joshua set a $1,000 goal. By Wednesday, he topped it.
Then he set a $2,000 goal. By Thursday, he topped that, too — gaining $2,175.64.
By the end of Friday, Joshua had made a $3,392.77 profit, and donations continued to come in Saturday, said his mom, Rhonda Smith.
All that money came from selling lemonade (ORGANIC, no less), popcorn (ALSO ORGANIC. With sea salt. Who IS this kid?), water, and fruit punch (guessing this one’s not so organic).
That’s impressive enough. But Smith’s drive also inspired other people to pitch in to his cause: The volunteer Detroit Mower Gang swung by and dealt with the grass at the parks in his neighborhood. Time for Joshua to take a vacation from his highly lucrative job!
As any good 9-year-old lemonade salesperson knows, people don’t care so much about the quality of your product — they just like how cute it is that you’ve gone into business. Given that Smith is not just adorable and enterprising, but motivated by community spirit, we’re not surprised he cleaned up like a banker before the financial crisis.
Detroit boy's desire to help city with his lemonade stand inspires others, Detroit Free Press.