Chelsea Phaire is a 10-year-old girl who has spent her quarantine committed to raising money as a means of providing art supplies to those less fortunate. Chelsea knows first hand of art’s therapeutic capacity and has been working to ensure that others have access to the same experience. Recognizing the need for a calming pass time during COVID-19 especially, the young philanthropist has been able to provide over 1,500 art kits since March to children in foster homes and homeless shelters, as well as those affected by gun violence in schools.
Turning Tragedy into Kindness
Since the age of seven, Chelsea had wanted to start a charity of her own. Having had personal experience using art as an emotional outlet after witnessing the death of her swimming coach in a tragic gun violence accident, Chelsea learned to value the psychological benefits of creative expression and believes that everyone deserves access to these resources.
With the help of her parents, the sixth-grader was finally able to launch what they coined Chelsea’s Charity in 2019. Chelsea’s initiative aims to “provide her homemade art kits to children
that may not have access to art supplies or children that have gone through a traumatic experience. She wants to help support the social-emotional development of as many children as possible because ‘art is a start!’”
The project officially began at Chelsea’s 10th birthday party where the young girl asked for art donations instead of gifts. Eventually, her parents helped her cultivate an Amazon Wishlist to ensure donation variety and facilitate a more streamlined system, allowing for continuous mailings of art kits to those in need.
Chelsea’s Kindness During COVID-19
Prior to nationwide lockdowns in response to COVID-19, Chelsea was traveling cross country with her mother, hand-delivering art supplies and sharing drawing tips to kids all over the US. Of course, now that self-isolation standards have been implemented, art kits are being shipped to ensure distributor and recipient safety.
Chelsea’s mother elaborated on the issue in an interview with CNN stating, “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,” further reinforcing the need for this work. Now more than ever, children must have resources to help them cope with recent changes and emotions, as we navigate this new normal nationwide.
Hopes for the Future
Despite the uncertainty of recent times, Chelsea has been able to maintain a sense of optimism knowing that she is doing her part, offering kindness and support to children in need. “I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits,” she told CNN. Chelsea expanded upon her experience and future goals, stating, “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!”