PINELLAS PARK, Florida - Sidney Hogan has a smile that is infectious. So for her 7th birthday, instead of a party with a cake and presents, Sidney wanted to do something that would help other kids her age smile.
She decided to raise money for an organization that helps children born with cleft lips and palates by selling handcrafted artwork for donations to her cause.
"What an impressive idea that a 7-year-old would come up with this and be purposeful about a birthday," said Carla Bristol, who stopped by to support the first grader from Starkey Elementary School.
From piggy banks to paintings, even handmade custom birdhouses, Sidney spent the past eight months working to produce all the artwork in time for Saturday's sale outside the Pinellas Park Michael's. All the money raised goes directly to the non-profit Smile Train organization to help needy children pay for surgery to correct cleft lips and palates.
"We've only been here for a couple hours and we have a stack of donations," said Sidney's mother, Renee Hogan.
"They're saying, 'Can I have this, can I have that?'" said an excited Sidney about the popularity of her artwork.
Sidney's paintings and amazing heart put a smile on the face of just about everyone she met Saturday. By 4:00 p.m., she'd already raised more than $1,100. Soon that money will help the smiles of kids she's never met, all around the world.
If you'd like to make a donation through Sidney's Smile Train page, click here to help the first grader reach her goal of $10,000.
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