I was honoured and privileged to participate in a fundraising event held at Kelvin Grove, Newlands this past Saturday night in order to raise funds for Michelle (girl) and Milani (boy), ages five and six respectively who have suffered so much in their short years of life. Graeme Bunce and I were asked to do some magic for the guests before they entered the ballroom. We ended up staying a little longer and showing magic for the tables whilst they were getting their soup. The magic was great. The guests loved it. I had such a great time and I made a lot of new contacts. However that is not the focus of this post.
Michelle and Milani suffered extreme burns in separate incidents and spent many months under the care of the Burns Unit at Red Cross Hospital.
MILANI was burnt in a fire at the crèche he was at in June 2011 when the heater fell over. He has had to have many, many operations including reconstruction to his face and ears as his head was severely burnt. Although he has his down days, he is kind hearted and generally a cheerful little chap always ready to help any of the other little patients in the ward. Unfortunately, his family background is quite shocking and the hospital pretty much became his home as his mother does not want him anymore.
MICHELLE suffered 86% burns when their shack caught fire in April last year. Michelle and her mom lost everything. There were a few occasions when the doctors decided to just to keep Michelle ‘comfortable’ as they didn’t expect her to live . . . . but she had other ideas. She was called the ‘Miracle Child’ in the Burns Unit. Michelle is feisty and very bright and through everything she is still cheerful most of the time. She is slowly adapting to her ‘new way of life’ as her hands were also severely burnt and on one hand she just has stubs. Unfortunately, Michelle also has a very troubled home life and the people at the hospital became her ‘family’ as her mother doesn’t want her anymore either.
They are attending St Joseph’s Children’s Home, which has a school attached to it and the fundraiser was for their school fees as well as weekly visits to the hospital for redressing of the wounds.
The evening was well attended with representatives from many companies all coming to show their support for these two children. I was completely taken aback by the kindness and love that these people have for Michelle and Milani, whom they have never met. The magic wasn’t important. What was important was showing solidarity and unity for people less fortunate than us.
In essence that is what magic is… if done correctly that is. Magic is supposed to be an experience that says: “Let’s see what we can accomplish together”, as opposed to “Look what I can do” or “Look at the skill I have and you do not.” Magic gives people the opportunity to connect who seemingly wouldn’t under normal circumstances. Magic creates unity. That fundraiser created unity and hopefully they managed to raise enough funds for these two children. We can’t save everyone, but we sure as hell can try.
If you wish to donate please contact Anne Pickering on 082 809 8170.
So next time you perform, I want you to think about the type of environment that you are creating. Is the atmosphere one of unity or is it one of separation?