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11-Year-Old Girl Barred from Selling Mistletoe But Told Begging Okay

Hundreds of offers of support pour in after young entrepreneur is kicked out of Portland Market for attempting to sell items to fund her braces.

Photo Credit: KATU


An 11-year-old business-savvy girl from Portland, Oregon was told that while she could not sell mistletoe at a public market because a city ordinance bans such commerce without proper approval, begging is acceptable, KATU reported.

Madison Root and her father were selling bags of mistletoe that the girl had hand cut and wrapped herself in downtown Portland in a bid to raise funds to pay for braces on her teeth. That is, until a security guard told them a city order banned such activity in a park except with a permit. 

The security guard went on to explain to the girl that she could sell her mistletoe outside the boundaries of the park, away from the crowds or she could simply ask for donations.

Madison wasn’t impressed.

"I don't want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg," Madison told KATU. "It's crazy. People can get money for pot. But I can't get money for braces. I'm working for this! They're just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot."

So why is begging considered okay? Well, according to a Portland’s Parks Bureau spokesperson, begging is a form of free speech and is protected by the First Amendment.

Nonetheless, it looks like the young entrepreneur’s efforts may have paid off.  Fox News reported that since her story went public, hundreds of mistletoe orders poured in to support Madison’s cause which means she may just be getting those braces in time for Christmas after all.

What's more,  Oregon Live reported that the market has now decided to send an invitation to Madison and her dad to become members of the Portland Saturday Market without having to pay the fee.




Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.


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