January 2, 2007

Arts & Crafts Auction To Benefit The James Kim Memorial Fund

kim_family_auction_kitty.jpg kim_family_auction_robot.jpg

Over 40 artists, designers and artisans from around the world have donated their works to an auction to benefit the James Kim Memorial Fund. Bidding begins tomorrow [Jan. 3rd] on eBay, and will continue through Jan. 7th. 100% of the proceeds of the auction will go toward the fund set up for James Kim's wife and daughters.

At the risk of making a tragedy sound like a shopping opportunity, there are some really great things to bid on, which reflects the generosity of the donor artists and the auction organizers, but also the Kims and their community: shop owner/parents of young girls.

In addition to a couple of children's outfits, there are some wonderful-looking, handmade dolls, a customized set of letterpress stationery, and my absolute favorite: one of Jess Hutchison's knitted robots.

For information and links, check the Kim Family Benefit Auction site. For information on the Memorial Fund, go to the Kim family's site. [via boingboing]


okay, i know i'm going to get some flak here, but i just need to understand. i feel so horrible for the kim family. what a tragedy. they seem like a lovely loving family and i cannot fathom the pain they went through and continue to feel through the healing process.

that said, this financial outpouring to the family is curious to me. james kim was well-employed at c-net. the family owns 2 stores in san francisco. i believe they own a house. i have no doubt that james had a nice insurance policy set up through c-net, etc. as a small business owner, i know they don't necessarily make you rich, however this family seems to know how to make things work. by the way, james kim's dad is chairman of an aerospace corporation.

i know, i know. i feel horrible myself writing this, but at the same time it just doesn't sit well with me. i see that the james kim memorial fund has been established to support the family. seems to me that the funds would be better spent aiding people who *need* the financial assistance. i have to say that i hope that the kims are greatful for the outpouring of support, but see that others would benefit from the $$.

i belong to one of the local parents groups here in s.f. one of the moms spoke with kati kim shortly after the tragedy. kati herself said the best thing people could do to help them was to shop at their stores.

everyday i read a story in the local paper about some child who died after being tortured by a parent for months or years. every single day. it breaks my heart. they have no one to drop care packages to them trying to save them. they don't have a wealthy grandfather and a warm home with a mommy who smothers them in kisses. all people deserve to be found and brought to safety. the kims... and these other lost children.


[a fair point, though one that's obviously awkward to make. My take on these kind of things is that they're often/also mechanisms for helping (other) people grieve or work out their own feelings about what happened. -ed.]

I think you make a good point, curious. However, I think its OK for this art auction to happen and OK for people to buy stuff there. I do think Greg is right: its not just about the kims, really. Just because people want to do something nice for one family doesn't mean they also don't do nice things for other less well known families who've had problems. I don't know the organizers of the auction but I would venture to guess they help a lot of people in their community (or outside it).

Just because they are financially stable and not in the poorhouse doesn't mean they couldn't use the support.

Lets try to have a spirit of generosity about this rather than pointing out that they are somewhat wealthy. Would it be better if Kati Kim had to sell her house and stores? Would that be enough suffering?

Curious, I agree that this financial outpouring is a little strange considering how well-off the Kim's are. To me it's a little distasteful that they haven't insisted on passing the money along to a charity or truly needy family. But people love to shower celebrities and professional athletes with gifts, too -- it must be catharthic for the givers. And, to be fair, it was C-Net who decided to set up the James Kim Memorial Fund in his honor...Kati isn't doing this for herself.

It might be another sign of glaring social inequities but it seems like the Kim family tragedy resonated with a lot of us in ways that other sad news stories have not.

I think it's a little odd to dwell on why people would want to help financially since the family is well off. I am sure the girls will benefit from college trusts or the like and that the money won't be used foolishly. The Kim family site linked to above says that 529 plans have been established and suggests that well wishers send toys and other gifts for the girls to other organizations like Toys for Tots, since they have received so much already. It also mentions plans for some kind of public memorial service, which many people have requested, so maybe some of the Ebay proceeds will be channeled towards that effort.

As Greg pointed out, these types of things are a good way for other people to feel like they are contributing to James Kim's memory. Particularly since the goods are artisan-made, from folks who knew the family and had sold things through their stores. It's kind of a way to feel like you're doing something to help, even in a hopeless situation.

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