Like many young girls, Rowyn Thyne has a love for animals and painting. This seven-year-old has combined the two and found a way to help out TAAG (The Animal Assistance Group).
Thyne has been taking the time to paint pictures and sell them in order to raise money for the group.
TAAG is a local, volunteer-run organization that focuses on helping homeless cats stay healthy and eventually get adopted. The group relies on fundraising, sponsorship and donations from the community.
“It was her idea, with the school closures and COVID, she was looking for things to do, so we found these things online called paint parties and she really enjoyed them,” said DJ Thyne, Rowyn’s father and owner of Thyne’s Family Bakery.
Rowyn started painting and selling in March of 2021 and has sold around 15-20 paintings so far. She paints her pictures by joining paint parties – Facebook Live videos that guide painters step-by-step on how to create certain paintings.
“We’re pretty close with the owner of TAAG, Cheryl Alberta, who was telling us how they couldn’t do fundraising like they used to, so we realized that COVID was taking a big bite out of the fundraising abilities for TAAG. It’s something that’s really close to all of our hearts here so she jumped on that right away and asked if she could start selling paintings for them,” Thyne said.
Supporting an organization like TAAG means a lot to Rowyn and her family.
“This is something really dear to us. We’re trying our best to get our new bakery set up and turn half of it into a cat cafe where people can come in and sit with the cats that are up for adoption and hopefully adopt them,” Thyne said of the new bakery they’re working on opening as soon as possible.
“I was super proud of her when she said she wanted to do this. It was almost tearful,” Thyne said. “We do our best to try and be charitable so it made me feel like we taught her well.”
“To see her following our footsteps and finding something she believed in enough to want to do this, especially with finding out that the shelter had a hard time getting the fundraising that it normally gets, was a very proud moment,” he said.
“I think it’s important for everybody to help out organizations that are meaningful to them. In our case, organizations that help out animals and children are things that my wife and I have always sponsored. We’re very happy to see our children following suit,”
“I’m very proud of her for enacting change in our community,” said Bobbi-Lee, Rowyn’s mother.
Rowyn’s paintings can be found on TAAG’s social media pages, or you can reach out to the Thyne’s if you would like a painting of your own.
“I like all of the animals there and if they didn’t have enough money they couldn’t buy food for them all,” Rowyn said of the inspiration behind her idea.
So far, Rowyn has painted a dragonfly, a frog, two bunny paintings, and more.
The Grade 3 student at Queen Elizabeth Public School has nine cats of her own, all adopted from TAAG.
“I like cats but I also like guinea pigs and bunnies and fish. But out of all of them, I think I like cats the most,” she added. “I have a few more people who would like paintings, and I hope even more people ask for them."