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There’s no denying that the city of Detroit has been hit hard by the national economic downturn, but 9-year-old Joshua Smith wants to do something about the lack of money in the city. Smith opened his very own snack stand Monday (July 30) selling lemonade, water, popcorn, and more.

After telling his parents that he wanted to help raise money for his hometown, the youngster opened up his business outside of his family’s home. “I heard the city was in crisis because the city is broke and I was really upset,” he said. 

His parents helped out by purchasing $100 worth of food and drinks for him to sell, alongside his friend, 10-year-old, Dwayne Durant. “I’m really proud of him,” said his father, Flynn Smith who works as a high school math teacher and associate pastor at Detroit’s Evangel Ministries “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.”

A freelance writer found out about Smith’s sale via Facebook, and helped him make flyers which read:

“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.”


After a few hours, Smith had only raised $69, but he is accepting public donations via For those in the motor city, Smith can be found at 4252 Leslie St.  His sale ends Friday (Aug 3).

Click below to see photos of Smith in action.


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Photos: Detroit Free Press

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