A kind-hearted 10-year-old girl has gifted over 1,500 art kits to children living in foster care facilities and homeless shelters over the course of the pandemic.
Chelsea Phaire, from Danbury, Connecticut, was driven to carry out her caring mission in the hopes of cheering up other kids who might be experiencing difficulties, and who would benefit from a creative outlet for their emotions.
The art kits are packed with all sorts of crafty goodies – such as crayons, paper, colouring books, coloured pencils and gel pens – and are distributed through Chelsea’s Charity, an organisation set up by Chelsea and her parents.
Chelsea’s mother, Candace Phaire, told :
Since she was seven, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity.
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.
Chelsea’s Charity was finally launched on Chelsea’s 10th birthday in August 2019, with party guests asked to donate art supplies rather than treating her with birthday presents.
Chelsea then used the donations to give away her first 40 art kits, with the supplies going to a New York-based homeless shelter.
The family went on to set up an Amazon wishlist for art supplies. Each time they receive enough donations, the kits are packed up and delivered to kids who might not be in a position to buy their own.
In the first five months of running the charity, Chelsea and Candace delivered almost 1,000 kits to kids living in homeless shelters, foster care facilities and women’s shelters, as well as those attending schools impacted by gun violence.
Prior to the outbreak, Chelsea and Candace were able to travel across the US to deliver the kits face-to-face, with Chelsea even offering a few drawing tips to help others get started.
Social distancing precautions have put a halt to this sort of in-person interaction, but this has not stopped Chelsea from wanting to help.
She and her mother are currently mailing the kits out to where they are needed and, since March, the family has sent more than 1,500 kits to schools, shelters and foster homes spanning 12 US states.
I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits. I have definitely grown as a person because of this. Now my dream is to meet every kid in the entire world and give them art.
Who knows, maybe if we do that and then our kids do that, we’ll have world peace!
Sadly, when Chelsea was just eight years old, her swimming teacher, who had been like a family member to her, was killed from gun violence during their swimming lesson.
It was at this point that Chelsea began to use her love for art as a form of therapy. Through Chelsea’s Charity, she hopes to help others who have experienced trauma deal with their feelings through accessible art projects.
You can find out more about Chelsea’s Charity here.