Thoughts from our Founder - Rachelle Kearns

Buy Art Not Kids - There's Fruit!

Discussions about planting a garden started a couple of years ago. The kids debated what kinds of fruits and veggies they wanted. Kindergarten bean plant projects, apple picking trips, and even pulling weeds from our lawn led to countless conversations about what our garden would look like one day. Then finally the trip to the garden centre. Seedlings were planted, we prayed for sun and we watered daily. As the days passed, our plants began to grow. But despite our best intentions, it soon became completely clear that we had no idea what we were doing. Within a few weeks, our teeny tiny plants morphed into one giant mass of stems and leaves that looked like this:


It was way overgrown and completely outta control. But to our delight, there was fruit! No cucumber or green pepper had ever tasted better!

As I pondered our adventures in gardening, it felt parallel to the adventures of founding the ‘Buy Art Not Kids’ art auction. This summer, our family moved to Austin, Texas. The decision to move sparked many a conversation about how to move well and how to let go. My husband Stephen and I realized that we would no longer be able to lead the BANK committee and although it was confusing to us, we knew we needed to let it go. But an incredible thing happened. Two weeks after saying ‘goodbye’ to the committee, I received a phone call that changed everything. And now, I’m delighted to report that the BANK committee has two new leaders at the helm ready and willing to fight the injustice of child sex trafficking through raising funds and awareness. BANK very much felt like our garden; this exciting, highly anticipated thing, lovingly plotted and planned, growing rapidly and bearing fruit.

As Founder & Ambassador of ‘Buy Art Not Kids’ I’m excited to continue working with the committee from afar. On behalf of the committee, we’re thrilled to announce that the 2016 ‘Buy Art Not Kids’ Art Auction will be taking place on November 1st at The Burroughes in Toronto. I will be there, and I hope to see you there too!

Our committee is already hard at work, planning and preparing another extraordinary event. Let me introduce our new co-leaders and committee. Gabrielle Peacock and Tess McLean are women I knew peripherally through Waddington’s, the auction house that the gifted auctioneer for our last BANK gala, Stephen Ranger, works. Gaby has extensive experience in the art world, including most recently as CEO of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. Tess has worked in communications and marketing, and currently works at Waddington’s. Gaby and Tess spent a month in Cambodia a few months ago, each assigned volunteer responsibilities with Cambodian NGOs based on their skills and background. While in Phnom Penh, they had an enlightening meeting with my friend Lisa Cheong, who works for Ratanakl Int'l; BANK's beneficiary charity. Over dinner, Gaby and Tess's hearts for Cambodia were enlarged. Little did I know that a couple of months later, their enlarged hearts would be used to continue the work of BANK; building awareness and raising funds to fight sex trafficking. With their enthusiastic leadership, the committee is back in action, and I'm eager to do whatever I can to continue to support and cheerlead from afar. You’ll learn more about our new co-chairs in the near future when they post their first blog.

Rachelle Kearns

Founder & Ambassador, 'Buy Art Not Kids'