Nine-year old Joshua Smith is spending his evenings this week selling lemonade and organic popcorn to raise money for the City of Detroit. He’s specifically raising money for the parks that he’s noticed have grass nearly as tall as him. He heard a radio report about the city’s money problems on the way to his piano lessons and decided to do what he could to help.
The sale began Monday and runs through Friday from 5 – 8 pm at his family’s home at 4252 Leslie, in the Russell Woods neighborhood. He’s also selling fruit punch and water.
His story has gone national, with USA Today and other news outlets carrying the story.
Joshua’s mother, Rhonda Smith, told us that Joshua is handling the fame like a typical nine-year old. “He gets tired, or wants to play football, but he’s committed.”
Rhonda publicized the lemonade stand on Facebook and helped Joshua distribute flyers. Joshua’s original goal was to raise $1,000 and he’s already reached that mark but plans to keep the stand open through Friday.
The flyer for the stand says: “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.”
We think Joshua’s story is perfect to be turned into a movie, and his mother agrees. She says Joshua isn’t star-struck but when we suggested that Will Smith‘s son, Jaden, would be perfect to play Joshua she said “Oh, he does love him!”
WOMC mid-day host Jim Johnson visited the stand on Wednesday evening and said “This is one of the greatest things I’ve seen!” and that the popcorn is delicious.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing called Joshua and said instead of donating his lemonade money to the city, the mayor suggested he put the money toward his college fund so he can go to college and use his entrepreneurial skills to help Detroit.