Fifth-grader Chelsea Phaire runs Chelsea's Charity and fills boxes with markers, crayons, paper, and other art materials and ships them out to kids in need around the country.

By Kristi Pahr
May 19, 2020
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Fifth-grader Chelsea Phaire could teach grownups a thing or two about kindness. Phaire is spreading joy to kids in need during the coronavirus pandemic by handing out art kits to children in homeless shelters and foster care. For her birthday last year, 10-year old Chelsea requested art supplies so she could provide art kits to kids who had been affected by gun violence but when the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the nation, she pivoted her mission and started distributing the kits to children in homeless shelters and foster care.

Credit: Stefanie Hiebl/Getty Images

As part of Chelsea's Charity, a charitable organization she created to help support the mental and emotional wellbeing of children through art, she established an Amazon Wishlist where those wishing to contribute can purchase and ship art supplies. When Chelsea receives enough donations to fill a kit, she fills a box with markers, crayons, paper, and other art materials and ships them out.

Chelsea turned to art to help cope with bullying at school and the loss of her swim coach to gun violence. In a video message she recorded for a class at a Hartford, Connecticut school, Chelsea said, "Art is important to me because no matter how bad I'm feeling...my art supplies are always there for me...so no matter what happens, know that art is a start!"

Her parents help her out with packing and distributing the kits. Chelsea's mom, Candace Phaire, a former teacher and now early education professor, told a local Fox News affiliate that it's become a family project. "We make assembly lines," Phaire said. "My husband and I are both service-oriented, we serve in our community and our church, so to see that in our children ... makes me really proud."

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic stay-home orders, Chelsea has distributed over 1500 art kits to children in 12 states. For those who would like to donate supplies, Chelsea's Amazon Wishlist can be found here.

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