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9-Year-Old Tries to Solve Detroit’s Financial Crisis With a Lemonade Stand

Joshua Smith
Detroit Free Press Video

By now the sad tale of Detroit is well known. The city, which was once a symbol of American industry, has fallen deeply into debt and decline. But thanks to the efforts of 9-year-old Joshua Smith Detroit may be creeping its way back to financial solvency.

On a recent drive to piano lessons, Smith heard on the radio that his city was facing a budget deficit of more than $200 million. As a proud resident, Smith decided he had to do his part to alleviate this debt.

So on Monday Smith set up a stand selling homemade popcorn and organic lemonade in front of his parents’ home, pledging to contribute all of the proceeds to paying down Detroit’s debt.

After one week he earned a $3,392.77 profit. Not only that, but Smith’s gesture has united Detroit and folks from all over the city drove out to Smith’s stand and contributed to the cause.

For his efforts, Smith got a thank you phone called from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. He also received $2,000 toward future college tuition from the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation.

Detroit still has a long way to go before it’s back on top, but with enough industrious youngsters like Smith it just might make it.

Watch Smith explain his fundraising technique below.

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