Making a difference one drawing at a time

A Chilliwack boy raises $4,000 for Canuck Place through the sale of his drawings.

Carter Holek

Carter Holek

Like a true artist, Carter Holek doesn’t think before he draws. He lets his crayons guide him.

From bucktoothed green monsters, to a school of rainbow fish, even a walking mustache.

Not the typical masterpieces you’d normally see purchased by the masses, but that’s exactly what’s happened.

In four months, the six-year-old Chilliwack boy has sold 70 handmade drawings, all by donation, raising funds for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

On Monday, Carter hand delivered a $4,000 cheque to the Vancouver children’s hospice.

Carter’s drawing campaign, entitled Carter’s Kids Care, all started following the Terry Fox run held at his school in September.

While his family had experienced cancer prior, it was all adults. Carter didn’t realize kids like him could also be attacked by the disease.

When he heard Terry’s story, the Watson elementary Grade 1 student wanted to do something.

Talking a mile a minute, Carter told his parents how horrible Terry’s death was, and how horrible it was other kids were getting cancer too, and how important Terry’s cause was, and how it had to continue.

With Terry gone, he asked, who’s going to help the kids?

From there, Carter realized, ‘I can do that. How can I do that? Well, I’m a good artist, how about I sell my pictures.’

Carter started drawing mermaids, fish, monsters, cavemen, babies, portraits all with the touch of a six-year-old’s hand. The heads are large, the crayon markings regularly fall out of line, and the concepts are sometimes completely nonsensical. He goes against every basic art rule out there.

Which makes it that much more brilliant.

“He’s a super creative kid,” said mom Crystal Holek, laughing at some of the pieces her son’s created. “He loves drawing. He loves art.”

When asked how he comes up with his drawings:

“I don’t know, I just draw,” he shrugged.

To get the word out, Carter created business cards in which he and his parents hand out wherever they go.

T-shirts were made with the Carter’s Kids Cares logo so Carter could be his own walking advertisement.

A Facebook page was also made where Carter’s prints are uploaded. He has over 500 likes.

He’s sold pictures locally and internationally with orders coming in from as far away as Australia, China and the United States.

Carter’s art has sold for as little as $1 and as high as $200. All donations have been matched, dollar for dollar, by a retired Chilliwack businessman.

For Carter, the campaign is simple.

“I’m selling all my pictures to help kids who have cancer,” he said. “There needs to be somebody else to help the kids.”

Monday’s tour through Canuck Place was both emotional and rewarding. Carter met a family with a child suffering cancer; he gave away two of his pictures to siblings he met; he saw the facilities; took in the art room; and handed over a “really big cheque.”

Carter’s relentless determination was no surprise to his parents.

“He is such a special kid, he really is,” said Crystal.

“The most difficult part of this whole process was trying to, as parents, let him run the show but also teach him the value of his efforts. Canuck Place was one of the few organizations I reached out to that would actually take the time to show him where his money was going.”

And likely gave him a memory he won’t soon forget.

The fundraiser isn’t stopping.

Carter has recruited friends to join the cause, meaning more pictures, more donations.

“Really, it’s not hard for him to do this,” said Carter’s dad Adam. “And it’s not hard for others to step up and do their part as well.”

For more information, visit Carter’s Kids Cares Facebook page at