Young philanthropist donates art kits to MacArthur

At just 10 years old, Chelsea Phaire is one of the world’s youngest philanthropists.

Chelsea, a Mount Vernon, N.Y. native, created Chelsea’s Charity to share her love for art across the country by giving children tools to be creative and express themselves. On Wednesday she decided to share this passion with other children here in El Paso.

She stopped at MacArthur Elementary/Intermediate on Wednesday to personally hand out 130 of her specially-created art kits to the second- and fourth-graders at the school. She wrapped her visit with quick drawing lesson using their newly acquired supplies.

“A year ago someone gave me a super expensive art kit. I love to do art,” Chelsea said. “It really touched me and I wanted other people to feel the same happiness I felt that day.”

So, this year for her 10th birthday the budding artist asked people to buy selected art supplies on her Amazon wish list so she could begin Chelsea’s Charity.  She and her mom set up Chelsea’s Charity on Facebook and Instagram with links on how to donate.

“When she turned 10 instead of birthday presents, she asked her friends to buy art supplies,” said her mom Candace Phaire. “It started with her birthday party and it spiraled off and went viral on social media. She’s gotten over 2,000 messages from strangers encouraging her. It’s a good opportunity for other to see you can make a difference even at 10-years-old.

So far, Chelsea’s presented art kits to children in her home state of New York and Connecticut but selected El Paso and specifically MacArthur because of its proximity and role the school played in aftermath of the Aug. 3 Cielo Vista Walmart shooting. The Phaires also have family in El Paso.

“The kids here are ecstatic and very appreciative,” said counselor Julie Pedregon. “Words are so minimal to describe what she’s doing. It means a lot coming from someone her age who is putting aside her wants and asking for gifts for others.”

Chelsea also gave the students a lesson on how to draw a character with what she called ‘Chelsea eyes.’ Then she walked around the room visiting with the students and checking out their creativity.

“I love it. I love art,” said Sebastian Avila as he finished up his drawing. “I’m going to use it for drawing.”

His classmate Hayden Smith joined in: “I love art, too.”

When asked if they’d like to say anything to Chelsea, they said: “Thank you. Thank you for all this art.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD