Kids in shelters find joy amid coronavirus thanks to Chelsea Phaire and her art kits

Theodora Aidoo May 24, 2020 at 08:00am

May 24, 2020 at 08:00 am | Art Attack, Opinions & Features

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

May 24, 2020 at 08:00 am | Art Attack, Opinions & Features

Chelsea Phaire, 10, founder of Chelsea’s Charity, poses with art kits she made for children - Pic Credit: Candace Phaire/CNN

Chelsea Phaire has found a great way to put smiles on the faces of other kids during the coronavirus pandemic – art. The 10-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut, has sent more than 1,500 art kits to kids in foster care and homeless shelters.

As part of Chelsea’s Charity, a charitable organization devoted to providing art supplies and art lessons to children, the kits, which include markers, crayons, paper, coloring books, colored pencils, and gel pens were sent to schools and shelters across the country.

According to Candace Phaire, Chelsea’s mom, she begged her and her dad to start a charity when she was seven years. “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,” Candace Phaire told CNN.

The 6th grader launched Chelsea’s Charity on her birthday in August 2019. She requested party guests to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts.

Chelsea sent out her first 40 art kits to a homeless shelter in New York using the donations she got from her birthday. Her family subsequently set up an Amazon wishlist full of art supplies. Whenever they get enough donations, they’d deliver the kits to kids in person.

Within the first five months, Chelsea and her mom were able to donate almost 1,000 kits to children in homeless shelters, foster care homes, women’s shelters, and schools impacted by gun violence, according to CNN.

Chelsea and her mom, before the pandemic, traveled across the country to meet the kids in-person. She would share and teach the kids some of her favorite drawing tips.

Pic Credit: Instagram/chelseascharity

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Chelsea is unable to physically interact with the kids. So, she and her mom are mailing the kits. Since schools closed down, the family has sent over 1,500 kits to schools, shelters, and foster homes in 12 states across the U.S.

“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!”

Her love for art was borne out of an experience she had at age eight. She lost her swim instructor to gun violence. She used art as her therapy. She then decided to use art to help other kids with trauma.

The youngster believes that “Art should be available for everyone!”

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