NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic has made it extremely difficult for everyone this past year, particularly children in homeless shelters who are faced with isolation.
Chelsea Phaire is an 11-year-old is using her passion for art as a vehicle to spread joy to disadvantage youth.
For the young philanthropist from Danbury, Connecticut, art has become her safe space during these difficult times. She started Chelsea’s Charity when she turned 10.
Instead of asking for gifts, she asked family and friends for art supplies to give to children in need.
Since then, she has made over 13,000 art kits and has delivered them to foster homes, shelters, hospitals, and children who have gone through traumatic experiences.
Angie Caraballo is the director of the Bound for Success program at The Coalition for the Homeless in New York City. Over the last 40 years, the organization has given more than one million homeless New Yorkers a way off the streets.
She said with many children in homeless shelters dealing with isolation, partnering with Chelsea’s Charity provides relief in more ways than one.
“The pandemic has been really hard for them; they haven’t been able to socialize the way that they normally would. Wi-Fi and remote learning has been extremely challenging for them in shelters as well. So, this is a great partnership because it gives something to do and makes him feel that they’re not forgotten,” Caraballo tells PIX11 News.
As for Phaire, she says she’s grateful for the friends she’s made and the lives she’s changed along the way. Her plan now, is to continue her work as an arts activist and wants children to know there’s no limit to their imaginations.
“I feel like [with] art, you can paint a doorway into your own magical world where you can be you, and you can open the door, and just have fun and get away from all the stress,” she said.