Detroit Boy's $3,400 Lemonade Stand Inspires Others, Raises Needed Funds

A Detroit boy, hoping to raise money for his city, has been able to donate $3,400 from sales to help Detroit through its financial crisis. The boy had hoped to raise $1,000 but managed to more than triple that amount thanks to donations from well wishers over the weekend.

Joshua Smith, 9, began selling fruit punch, water and popcorn, as well as organic lemonade. He started working last Monday and finally shut down the stand on Friday, though that didn't stop the money from rolling in as more people heard about the young man's efforts.

Three members of the University of Michigan's basketball team visited Joshua and dropped off T-shirts signed by the entire team as well as other souvenirs for the boy. They also donated $20 to the stand. But the goodwill didn't stop there.

The Detroit Mower Gang assembled a caravan in order to mow the parks near Joshua's home. The city had been unable to pay for lawn maintenance and Tom Nardone, founder of the group, wanted to do something to help.

"I definitely feel like we have influence on a lot of kids," University of Michigan player Trey Burke told the Detroit Free Press. "Seeing a 9-year-old try to make a difference in the city and clean up the parks and make the city look like a better place, it says a lot about the kid and the maturity he has at an early age."

Of course, the University of Michigan was not the first to recognize Joshua's efforts. The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation announced that Joshua would be the recipient of a $2,000 scholarship when he graduates high school. It is the first time someone other than a high school senior has won the prestigious award.

"Special consideration for a scholarship was given to Joshua because, at such a young age, he is an enterprising, civic-minded young man who shares Mrs. Parks' spirit of service and commitment to building a brighter future in his community," foundation president Delora Hall Tyler explained.

As for Joshua, he's just happy to be able to do something for his beloved city. "I'm getting a lot of support, and that makes me feel good," he said.