With a firm belief that everyone could use a little kindness right now, SPAR leveraged the power of social media to create a wave of positivity with #SpreadSmiles – a unique initiative aimed at promoting goodwill to support vital causes and positive community changes.
The campaign came to an end on the 8th November, with a total of R1 million handed over to four worthy organisations - The Smile Foundation, Susters For Life, READ Educational Trust and Meals on Wheels. Each organisation received a cheque for R250,000.
“We have no doubt that these organisations will continue their remarkable work in their communities and pay it forward, addressing critical social issues related to nutrition, education, and gender equality. Each a core focus of The SPAR Group’s ongoing upliftment efforts”, said Maxine D’Amico, Promotions & Advertising Manager at SPAR Inland.
In a world grappling with challenges and uncertainties, the #SpreadSmiles challenge was simple. Social communities were asked to create a piece of content that showed how they have encouraged kindness, spread joy or happiness, or have made a positive change, however small, in their community and to others. For every time the hashtag #SpreadSmiles was posted to social media alongside a video that shows how the participant brought a smile to the face of another, SPAR Inland would donate R10 (per hashtag) to each of the four beneficiary organisations.
“#SpreadSmiles was more than just a hashtag; it was call to action that aimed to uplift communities and support those in need. The thousands of shoppers who participated helped us generate awareness and smiles, while making a positive change to countless lives, all resulting in the donations here this evening”.
The #SpreadSmiles hashtag was used over 112,314 times across Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and 23,157 took up the challenge by submitting their unique submissions.
“The ethos of SPAR has always revolved around making a difference, not only in terms of providing quality products and services but also in actively contributing to the betterment of the individuals and communities it serves. SPAR Inland is proud to have initiated a campaign that sought to enhance lives, instil a spirit of goodwill and inspire a sense of well-being”.
Over six weeks, the campaign transcended digital boundaries by using local landmark buildings in Pretoria, Mbombela, Rustenburg, Bloem and Kimberley as temporary billboards to deliberately draw attention to the campaign, and actively recruit South Africans to be become a part of the movement.
“In the face of the very many challenges that South Africans are facing right now, we hope the #SpreadSmiles feeling continues in our homes, our workplaces and our communities, and that spreading kindness will become an everyday practice because, as we’ve seen, smiles have the power to uplift, inspire, and create positive change”, concludes D’Amico.
To view some of the remarkable random acts of kindness that drove waves of positivity over the past 6 weeks, search #SpreadSmiles on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter or Instagram.