A 10-year-old made and distributed 2,500 art kits for kids in shelters and foster care

Twitter | Chelsea's Charity

When it came time for Chelsea Phaire to celebrate her tenth birthday last year, she decided that it’s better to give than to receive. In lieu of gifts, the Danbury, Connecticut sixth grader asked guests to bring art supplies to her birthday party in August of 2019. She then took the markers, paper and colored pencils she received and made them into 40 individual kits, which she donated to a New York City homeless center.

That was just the beginning for this generous young girl. She launched her own nonprofit organization, Chelsea’s Charity, and has since donated supplies to more than 2,500 children in need at homeless shelters, foster care agencies and school districts in more than 23 states.

Here she is putting together her kits in a photo posted to Twitter at @CharityChelseas during her 11th birthday week.

Chelsea is currently celebrating the first anniversary of her charity. Her family, including her nine-year-old brother, Corey, all contribute to the cause.

Chelsea’s family helped her set up an Amazon wishlist for the needed supplies, and every time she receives enough, they personally deliver the kits to the kids. She also accepts monetary donations on her website.

She has also used other methods to collect art supplies, as in this Twitter post where she set up a table at the local Staples store:

“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!”

Since coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, Chelsea and her mom have been mailing the kits instead of delivering them in person. During this challenging time, she’s more motivated than ever to help give kids a creative outlet to cope with stress.

Here she is working on her own art in a photo posted to Facebook on June 8.

In the post, she expresses some sadness at missing events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but notes that making the kits helped boost her mood.

“The lockdown really heightened Chelsea’s motivation to keep making the kits,” her mom, Candace Phaire, told “Good Morning America.”

The young philanthropist knows firsthand about the power of art to heal and transform.

“I painted a lot of pictures and drew a lot of new characters,” she told “GMA” of how she’s been spending her time during the pandemic. “Art really helped me get through those disappointing times.”

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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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