Flower Hill’s ‘Growing Kindness In Sunshine’ shines a light on giving back

Flower Hill's 'Growing Kindness In Sunshine' shines a light on giving back

A Feeding San Diego garden planted at Flower Hill Promenade as part of the “Growing Kindness in Sunshine” program. (Karen Billing) Flower Hill Promenade has been refreshed for the spring and summer with its “Growing Kindness in Sunshine” program. Starting May 1 through August, the four-month long program will feature activities, community and charity events at the center meant to promote good and inspire acts of kindness—not to mention the Instagram-worthy art installations like “Noodling Around with Color,” a rainbow-colored canopy created entirely of re-purposed pool noodles and interactive features like a piano, a Wishing Tree and “Today I Feel,” encouraging people to take an emoticon button from the wall outside Core Power Yoga. The center has partnered with five impactful charities including Feeding San Diego, Cake4Kids, Word Rocks Project, Charity Wings and Voices of Our City Choir. Events throughout the spring and summer will raise awareness for and support those charities. “Growing Kindness in Sunshine was created to celebrate the many acts of kindness and to acknowledge those individuals and groups that have contributed and make a difference in our community,” said Rose Jabin, longtime manager of Flower Hill. “It was designed to provide an incredible environment where the community could gather, explore and be inspired.” A piano beckons at Flower Hill Promenade. Jeffrey Essakow, Flower Hill’s owner, is looking to build on the success of last year’s In Bloom program that activated the center with events and filled Flower Hill with butterflies, playhouses and namesake flowers, winning an award from the California Landscape Contractors Association. “This year we’ve taken it up a notch,” Essakow said. “We’ve all witnessed and seen the tragedies and chaos throughout the country so we thought this year we’d do something different. We developed the concept of Growing Kindness in Sunshine, the concept that sunshine is to flowers what kindness is to humanity.” Essakow hopes the good created at Flower Hill will permeate throughout the community and spread the “consciousness of kindness.” “We can all play our little role in making this a better world in which to live. They say every 10,000 mile journey starts with one small step,” Essakow said. “We want Flower Hill right here in Del Mar to be the first step to create this world.” This year Essakow is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the charity he co-founded with Bob Babbitt, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). The effort started out by just wanting to help one friend who was injured to buy a quadriplegic accessible van. CAF has now grown to over $100 million in donations, including a record 2,806 grants this year to give people with challenges the tools they need to pursue active and healthy lifestyles. Growing Kindness in Sunshine, much like last year’s In Bloom, is also an extended effort toward transforming Flower Hill to combat the ever-growing shift in retail. “With the onslaught of Amazon and internet retailers, it’s made it very difficult for shopping centers like this…We as landlords have to reinvent themselves […]