Today, Donovan Smith is being spotlighted for his humanitarian efforts.
In some aspects, Donovan is just like any other 13-year-old: he loves to play with his friends and to play video games. But what sets Smith apart from most kids his age is the fact that he’s been a guest on talks shows such as The Queen Latifah show & has even had a role in the movie, Independence Day.
But most importantly, Donovan owns his own business which he invests lots of his time, creativity & energy into helping others, especially child abuse victims. His humanitarian efforts led him to win the Youth Choice Award sponsored by the McDonald’s 365Black Community Awards.
This formerly homeless teen entrepreneur is working selflessly to give others a fresh start. In 2011, Donovan and his single mother found themselves living in a homeless shelter when she lost her job and their apartment, due to health reasons. When Smith’s mother began receiving disability benefits a few months later, they were able to move into special housing for veterans. It was then that the greatness inside of Donovan began to manifest.
Donovan has spent the last two years to help those affected by homelessness, as he and his mother once were. First, his mom taught him the basics of soap making and he figured out the rest through a series of classes. Then he began to sell his bath products in person every weekend at the Rail Yards Market. “Every week,” his mother commented to The Washington Post, “he was up at 4 a.m. on Sunday, packing his wagon with all of his soaps.”
The products for which Smith became known are elaborately designed and look like glazed doughnuts, corn on the cob, cupcakes, cookies, hamburgers, eggs and snow globes.
Shortly thereafter, his business went from the Rail Yards Market to his own Etsy Store called Toil and Trouble. Donovan used his earnings to help others that were less fortunate. “People helped us and now I want to help others,” Donovan says.
Donovan’s commitment has compelled many—including celebrities—across the county to donate their time, energy and money to help others in need. bath products to shelters.
Congratulations, Donovan, on all of your endeavors!