Albuquerque boy’s soap business to help homeless now has own store


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque boy who was once homeless has come full circle.

KRQE News 13 first talked to him three years ago. Now a national TV host paid the 14-year-old a surprise visit in a show called “Returning the Favor.”

The 14-year-old sitting behind the register is Donovan Smith, owner of this shop, “Donovan Discovers.”

“I run a soap business that also helps out homeless at the same time,” Smith said.

He’s come a long way. Donovan and his mom Casey, a navy veteran, were once homeless.

With help, they turned things around and Donovan took it upon himself to make a difference.

He learned how to make soap while being home schooled. From there, he donated thousands of soaps to local homeless shelters where staff says Donovan is giving much more than soap. He’s giving dignity.

“Currently, I am getting a lot of messages of people being inspired to do the best to help homeless people in their community,” Smith said.

Recently, he and his mom where surprised by TV host, Mike Rowe, filming a new show called “Returning the Favor.” Rowe returned the favor to Donovan by building him his very own retail soap store on Silver in downtown Albuquerque.

“As you see in the footage, we were complete speechless and he gave a tour of everything and we were just surprised,” Smith said.

Smith’s mom also didn’t have a clue.

“We were just taken by surprise this was all in the works for Donovan,” Casey Smith, Donovan’s mom said. “It’s a really really wonderful feeling to know your child is having a positive impact on the world.”

After seeing Donovan’s story, customers couldn’t wait to pay his shop a visit.

“Being able to support him and his endeavor, I just had to come,” Kelli Muwumba said, as she was shopping in Donovan’s new store.

They say the true celebrity in this story is Donovan who, at 14, continues to inspire.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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