Any mother would be proud of having a son like Joshua Smith. And any city would dream of having a resident like the 9-year-old boy. Back on July 30, he set up a lemonade and popcorn stand so he could raise money for his cash-strapped hometown of Detroit. In one week, he earned $3,600 and today he presented a check to his city in the amount of $2,832.64. But how was he able to raise so much money selling lemonade in front of his home?

Well, word of Joshua's good deed got out and his determination must have been contagious because he got people from all over the city, from University of Michigan athletes to Navy sailors and grandmothers to come help his cause. 

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And that's what his mom, Rhonda Smith, says is most amazing about her industrious son, as she told the Detroit Free Press:

It's not really been about the money. It's been about his spirit being contagious and allowing people to know that we all can do something to change where we are ... It's bigger than just making money for the city. It's about changing hearts and minds.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing called Joshua last week to congratulate him and suggested he save the money for college. But the boy's idea was always to help save his city from its financial woes and that's where all the money's going.

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Joshua's parents have obviously done a tremendous job raising their boy, especially at a time when most kids his age are usually just concerned with playing video games. It's so important for parents to teach their kids about the value of belonging to a community and the responsibilities that come with that. The truth is that if we were all willing to pitch in a little bit more--not only monetarily, but also with our time--we'd all be better off.

What do you think of Joshua's drive to help his city? How do you teach your children about the importance of belonging to a community? Leave us a comment with you opinion. 

Image via Detroit Free Press

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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