11-year-old girl told to beg, but not sell, at market

December 2, 2013 9:30:53 PM PST
A Portland girl learned the hard way just how tough life can be for small business owners.

Madison Root, 11, needs braces and wanted to help her dad with the $5,000 orthodontic bill so she had the idea to sell mistletoe from her uncle's farm at the downtown Portland Saturday market.

But a private security guard put an end to the idea, telling her to leave because she didn't have a permit to set up shop. The city agreed. They offered a legal alternative ? begging, which is protected under free speech laws.

"There are people sitting next to me with big signs that say 'Got Pot?' they're raising money for pot," Madison said. "I don't want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg."

Merchants at the market say they're in favor of changing the rules to make an exception for children.

After hearing about Madison's story, people in Portland have been reaching out to her with dozens of orders for her mistletoe.


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