A young girl has found a way to cheer up children during the coronavirus pandemic.
What We Know:
- Chelsea Phaire, a 10-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut, has sent more than 1,500 children in homeless shelters and foster care homes art kits to give them something uplifting to do when they’re feeling down.
- The kits include markers, crayons, paper, coloring books, colored pencils, and gel pens. They were sent to schools and shelters across the country as part of Chelsea’s Charity, an organization founded by Chelsea and her parents.
- “Since she was seven, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity,” Candace Phaire, Chelsea’s mom, told CNN. “She was so persistent, every couple of months she would ask, ‘Are we starting Chelsea’s Charity yet?’ When she was turning 10, she asked us again, and we decided it was time to go for it.”
- The rising 6th grader launched Chelsea’s Charity on her birthday in August 2019, when she asked party guests to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts.
- After her birthday party, Chelsea used the donations to send out her first 40 art kits to a homeless shelter in New York. The family then set up an Amazon wishlist full of art supplies. Every time they get enough donations, they pack up the kits and deliver them to kids in person.
- In just the first five months, Chelsea and her mom sent out nearly 1,000 kits to children in homeless shelters, foster care homes, women’s shelters, and schools impacted by gun violence.
When Chelsea was 8, she lost someone very close to her heart. Her swim instructor, who she said she considered family, was killed from gun violence in the middle of their swim season.That was the moment art went from being Chelsea’s hobby to her therapy. Knowing that other children have also gone through trauma inspired Chelsea to help make art more accessible to help others cope with their feelings.
- Before the pandemic, Chelsea was able to travel with her mom across the country to meet the kids in-person, and even teaches them some of her favorite drawing tips. Now, schools are closed, and social distancing precautions will not allow Chelsea to physically interact with the kids as much. Instead, she and her mom are mailing the kits.
Since March, when schools began to close, the family has sent over 1,500 kits to schools, shelters, and foster homes in 12 states across the US.