dōTERRA Executive Purchases Emotional Painting at Anti-Sex Slavery Gala

Mark Wolfert, dōTERRA Founding Executive/General Counsel, purchased an oil painting during the annual Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) gala in November 2016. During the gala, OUR Founder and CEO, Tim Ballard, shared the emotional story behind the painting.

During his search, he noticed a four-year-old girl following him. Concerned that he would draw attention to himself with her trailing him, Ballard pulled out a candy bar and handed it to the starving child, telling her to take it outside and eat it. 

Her reaction surprised him.

“If I were to give most children a candy bar, they would hide it and then come back later claiming never have gotten one,” says Ballard. “This little girl, who was on the verge of starvation, breaks it in half and runs over to me and throws the other half into the hands of this little boy I’m holding. And then I knew; they were siblings. And all they had was each other.”

Touched by this gesture, Ballard approached the orphanage director and asked if the two children were siblings. She denied it at first, only concerned about the money that she would make from the deal and afraid to lose the sale of the little boy. When pressured, however, she finally admitted that the two were indeed siblings. 

“But it doesn’t matter,” she told him hastily. “I will sell them separately.”

Ballard instead bought them both. “I couldn’t separate them,” he confessed to the audience. He went on to explain that the next step of the operation was to visit a hotel where the deal would be finalized. This is also the location where Haitian law enforcement would arrest the orphanage manager and her daughter, and consequently liberate all 28 children in the orphanage.

“We were all sitting together in the van when the little boy that we had just purchased came running towards me and jumped into my arms,” Ballard recounts. “And that is the painting you see.”

The image depicts this three-year-old, trafficked child, cuddled up to his rescuer. “I know that that little boy knew who we were,” Ballard said emotionally. “And as it turns out, this was the little boy’s first car ride in his life; it was his ride to freedom.”

The painting was one of the most coveted items of the entire auction. Bids kept coming in, higher and higher. Mark Wolfert, doTERRA Founding Executive/General Counsel, was one of the bidders. 

“I felt like we had to have this painting,” Wolfert said of his participating at the gala’s benefit auction. “Just two months earlier, we had announced to our members a new partnership between the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation and Operation Underground Railroad. Considering all of the work that these two wonderful organizations did together throughout 2016, I knew that we needed that painting hanging on the walls of our doTERRA campus.”

Mark Wolfert finally walked away with the painting. Proceeds from the winning bid, together with generous donations from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation™, have enabled Operation Underground Railroad to rescue many children. 

To see Tim Ballard tell this story himself, take a look at this video. For more information about Operation Underground Railroad, visit their website here

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