It is no doubt that December is the time for giving. One local shopping centre in Rosebank, Johannesburg has not only embodied this sentiment but also helped put smiles on the faces of local children.

In the spirit of true neighbourliness, The [email protected] Rosebank shopping centre, between Cradock Avenue and Oxford Road, managed to raise R10 000 for The Smile Foundation, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that improves the lives of children with facial impairments.

Young Artists

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The local shopping centre, which has serviced the community for 20 years, started an art project that allowed children from as young as three years old to create artistic works of art that was auctioned off to their parents.

Marketing Manager for the centre, Kelsey Redelinghuys, described the artworks as “riots of colour, budding abstracts and classically inspired portraits” as 100 learners from Pridwin Preparatory School participated in the project called “The Boulevard Kids Gallery” fundraiser.

“It was so moving to see children engage wholehearted with their creativity. These great works were then proudly displayed along The Zone’s Boulevard in a store window,” said Kelsey.

Art Jamming, an entertainment company focused on artistic activities, supported the project and assisted the children with the painting on the day.

The Exhibition

The artworks were displayed at The Zone @ Rosebank for ten days before a charity evening was hosted recently.

At the event, the participating children’s parents had the opportunity to buy back their children’s artwork.

Making us Smile

They managed to raise R10 000 and all proceeds went to The Smile Foundation.

“The Smile Foundation has been outstanding in its championship of underprivileged children living with facial conditions such as burn scars or cleft palates,” said Kelsey. “These corrective surgeries are vital and in need of critical funding. It was heartwarming to see the generosity that was shared on the evening.”

Hedley Lewis, the Executive Director at The Smile Foundation said it was an incredible initiative where children from all walks of life came together to express their creativity in order to raise funds for children requiring facial reconstructive surgery.

“We would like to commend Art Jamming and all other partners involved. It was humbling to see children supporting other children,” he added.

Kelsey said the project was an ideal opportunity to extend their reach into the surrounding communities who have been supportive over the years.

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