10-year-old Chelsea Phaire has dedicated her time in self-isolation to helping others. Since March, the little girl has shipped over 1,500 art kits to homeless shelters, schools affected by gun violence, women’s shelters, and foster homes.
Chelsea had been begging her parents to allow her to start a charity since she was just 7-years-old, and in 2019, the sixth-grader launched Chelsea’s Charity out of the family’s home in Danbury, CT.
She began the project at her birthday party last year, requesting donations of art supplies instead of birthday presents. She used the donations to assemble kits.
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Dedicating so much love to @ambermhowe ! Thank you for starting your OWN fundraiser for @chelseascharity and shipping 3 boxes full of art supplies JUST in time for our big art kit distribution for children in Jersey City this week! We appreciate you sooo much! Follow us @chelseascharity #art #love #artsy #charity #positivity #helpingothers #philanthropy #girlpower #artist #paint #coloring #painting #BlackGirlMagic #kid #chelseascharity #education #fundraiser #support
The kits include markers, gel pens, coloring books, colored pencils, paints, and other supplies. Her parents helped her create an Amazon Wishlist so Chelsea’s Charity can collect donations and facilitate continuous mailings.
Before lockdown, Chelsea and her mother traveled across the country, delivering donated art supplies personally. Chelsea also taught mini art classes and shared drawing tips with the young people she met. In the charity’s first 5 months, Chelsea and her mom distributed nearly 1,000 kits.
Now that schools are closed and self-isolation is necessary, all kits have to be shipped, but Chelsea remains optimistic.
“I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits,” Chelsea told CNN. “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!”
Art served as a vital emotional outlet for the young girl when she was 8 years old and witnessed the tragic death of her swim instructor who was a victim of gun violence. Chelsea hopes the kits will help promote art therapy and a love of art among other children.
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Yay, it's #GivingTuesday! Please share, tag others and follow @chelseascharity so she can make more art kits for kids . Link in bio for donation website😊😍 #inspiration #motivation #charity #charityforchildren #artistsoninstagram #BlackGirlMagic #artoftheday #philanthropy #girlpower #girls #givingback #artlover #love #art #artforkids #artlovers #charitywork #charitywork #inspire #inspired #kid #kidart #kidartist
“Art therapy is being prescribed a lot more to support the mental health of young kids, especially those with social and emotional deficiencies,” Chelsea’s mother, Candace Phaire, an early childhood education professor and former teacher, told CNN.
“Now with COVID-19, a lot of kids in shelters and also children in foster homes might not have access to art supplies they usually find in school.”
Chelsea’s art kits make a huge difference for kids in less than ideal and potentially extremely difficult living situations, especially now that schools are closed and they’ve possibly lost access to space and supplies.
Stacy DeWitt, executive director of James Storehouse, an organization that supports kids in the foster system was thrilled to receive kids from Chelsea for her kids:
“When a child or youth enters foster care, they usually have no belongings of their own. It’s been a great addition to be able to offer the art kits, so the children and youth have a creative outlet to process their emotions during this traumatic time in their lives.”
“It gives the children and teens a fun creative outlet to channel their energy because they can’t be in the classroom right now,” she said. “Chelsea’s kits have been a blessing to many children in hard places and have brought them joy.”
So young, and so inspiring— gifting art to every kid in the world is a big dream, but if anyone can do it, Chelsea can.