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Today, I’m excited to talk to the inspiring 10 year old, Chelsea and her mom, Candace. Chelsea started a charity that provides art supplies and art lessons to children that have been through trauma because as Chelsea says "Art Is the Start!"! So let’s go talk to Chelsea and her mom.
All right. Hi, Chelsea. How are you?
Hi! I am well, what about you?
I'm good. Thank you. I've been following you on Instagram and you're doing amazing things, so I'm excited to ask you to tell us more about it.
Chelsea's Mom, Candace: Oh, thank you. We're trying.
How old are Chelsea,and what grade are you in?
I am 10 years old. I'm in fifth grade.
So Chelsea, you started an art charity? How did you come up with the idea? And what is the charity about?
So I came up with this idea because when I was five years old, I went to, um, Washington DC for an Easter Egg Roll. And, I saw a lot of homeless people and they looked so sad and it made me sad. So my form of charity, I chose art, because it helps me communicate, helps me heal, just overall just it's just good for me! I really like art, so I thought everyone should have that too.
So tell me about your T-shirt. Did you draw that?
Candice, Chelsea's Mom: Yes, so on her shirt we made shirts because she made her own, I guess, brand emblem. Here is a peace sign and inside the peace sign, she drew giving hands because she's giving away art supplies, she drew art and even drew herself, with all of that we have a piece in the in these moments. So, she's she's taught herself a lot of this stuff because her parents are not great artists.
Can I show you some?
I'm really good at drawing cartoons, but I've taken a break from those to do some painting. I'm working on drawing realistically.
I love those. Are those on paper?
No. There are recycled cardboard from the boxes.
Candice, Chelsea's Mom: When she gets our supplies delivered, she takes some of the boxes and she used, recycles them and makes her own art out of them.
So what art supplies do you put in your art kits?
We put in crayons, paint, colored pencils, markers, something special sometimes we'll put canvases, construction paper, uh, a little glue glitter, glue of a small regular glue and smocks, paint smocks and paint brushes.
So where do you raise the money to buy these art supplies?
I have my own website, www.ChelseasCharity.com. We have an Amazon wishlist where you can donate art supplies or give money.
I love that. We'll have to put that up on my website so people can hope donate.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: That would be helpful. Yeah, we've been quite busy during this time, because now she's mailing her art kits, since we can't physically go and bring them to kids anymore. So that is a big project she's working on.
So how has it changed now that you have to mail the art supply kits versus when you got to deliver them to the kids?
It's changed financially a lot. It's way more money now. Ah, who were sacrificed. Really, I really miss seeing the kids reactions. It's harder for me to not be able to see their happy faces and not to personally give each kit to each kid. That makes me sad.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: But we are still getting them there, but the little touches aren't there but at least they are getting the materials.
So do you. Mostly deliver them to foster kids?
We mostly deliver it to kids to live in shelters, kids that have gone through dramatic events like school shootings, um, human trafficking and all that stuff, so we give them kits the kind of help them cope.
That's amazing. Have you heard any stories from any of the kids or any of the people that run the organizations on how it affects them?
There was a little girl who, like, made me this picture and said, I love you very much, thank you so much. Yeah, I guess there was another kid who, like his sister was sick and like she wasn't in school, can I have two? Remember?
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: Yeah. Yeah. Wait, what? Do you remember the site where they made you that really big book? That was so nice. The kids at the shelter each did a page and mail us a book saying thank you. And that was really she loves that, she has held onto that a lot.
I also saw on Instagram, you teaching a class? Maybe have an after school program?
Yes. I'm learning how to do art classes and teach art lessons because my mommy has good classroom management and I think I've taken on some of that.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: At each distribution, she gets to do a little art lesson to help kids draw some of the characters that she makes it and she also talks to them about how art has affected her and life art why art is important to her.
Yeah, and why do you think art is so important?
It's a good tool for healing. It helps me express myself and communicate when I can't. And if I'm sad or upset at my little brother and I were doing something I'm not supposed to do... per se...I'll go to my sketch pad and it's always there for me. So yeah!
What would you tell another 10 year old girl that might be too nervous to try to do art because she thinks she's not good enough?
I tell tell kids this all the time, they always say, "Chelsea, don't waste all your art supplies on me." There's no such thing as bad art. Your art is your own, it doesn't have to look a certain way as long as you think it's good. And as long as you tried, it's better than not doing anything at all.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: She tell adults that too because we have overcome that as well.
I hear that from plenty of adults. They just don't even want to try because I don't think they're gonna be good enough.
Yeah, yeah, just really matter!
Yeah, not at all.
It's ok to mess up.
Yeah, well, that's where all magic happens is in the mistakes.
Yes, and it's okay. It's okay to my teacher tells me this all the time. She says It's okay to not know, but it is not okay not to try.
What's your typical day look like now that you're staying home because of COVID 19?
I have a schedule, usually in the morning, we'll work on math and writing and school work in the afternoon. We have a brain breaks, lunch, recess and snacks...all sorts of stuff. We tried to make it a similar school, as possible.
That's nice. Is it hard trying to get your homework done or do you feel like you're in your routine and it's going well?
I think it's going really well.
And you wrote an April Fool's prank poem for your dad. Are you also a poet or a writer?
My teacher says I am an exceptional in writing. I get straight A's every semester when it comes to writing. I have discovered I have a poet and I'm very good at rhyming.
Have you thought about making songs like writing songs that rhyme?
Em, I haven't really found like a rhythm like...
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: Yeah, it's coming.
Yep, you seem you seem like a super positive person, so I love that we get to talk today. What advice would you give to another girl your age, that might not be so positive that might be feeling down during these times?
I'll give her some tips, like trying to make the best of its been time to family. These are tough times, but if stick together with your loved ones and do some art, run around outside and just enjoy yourself. I think everything will be better! And look at the glass as full and not half empty because that will really help.
That definitely helps, doesn't it?
Yes, because when you look at it half empty, you kind of feel half empty inside. And that feeling is not great.
That's great. But if you're looking at the glass half empty, you feel half empty inside.
When you're teaching or delivering your art kits, do you ever feel little scared or nervous inside? And if so, like, What do you tell yourself to say, "Hey, I'm brave enough to get over this and do this?"
I told myself, it's not all about you. Most times, as long as you're helping kids, everything will be fine, even if it's a tough crowd. I mean, tough crowd is a tough crowd, but, just be yourself.
Have you had a tough crowd?
Not really, but I've had some kids who just seem like a really cool. And I felt like I wasn't cool enough to be in their presence
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: ...and they love you anyway. They were a little older than her.
Yeah, that would be intimidating wouldn't it.
But I was also intimidated when we gave kits to veterans they seemed so big and mighty and respectable. But they they were way older than me and big and...
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: And they loved it too!
They were so sweet though.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: They were.
How did you come up with the idea of giving them to veterans? The art kits to veterans?
On my mom's side, our families built off of veterans, like a lot of veterans! Most of our cousins are veterans, a lot of our relatives are...
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: from great uncles great grandparents. So we were trying to find a way to support veterans and so that's why we created the adult art kit. And that was that was such a wonderful experience.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: They actually called again and ask for some more.
And they gave me cookies!
Did they cook them themselves? Do you think?
No, but I think the person who was like the boss of the program, I think his daughter it was selling cookies.
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: Yeah, There were Girl Scout cookies.
This podcast, I named it GIRLBRAVE, can you tell me your definition of being brave? And do you think you are brave?
Yes. I think I am brave because I have will power. I'm able to be resilient. Being brave to me as a growing girl, I think it means being able to do what some say is the impossible. Being able to know what it truly means to be a strong and independent woman. That's what being brave means to me.
I love that. Thank you for that. All right, So what's next for you? Do you have any new projects or new ideas on the horizon?
I plan to continue with my poetry. I write a lot of books, especially graphic novels and I'm working on one right now..
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: She's working on a new graphic novel, it that she just finished cover for..
.. it's called Bubble Pop Princess.
Candice, Chelsea's Mom: So she's got a lot of, she writes. A lot of these...
Yeah, art is really my passion, I can't imagine a world without art, like even the arts like music and drama is SO for me!
How can people help you?
If you have any friends that might like this or knows some people who could really promote it, please post about it and share the word spread it among the world!
Candace, Chelsea's Mom: We are definitely still in need of some art supplies and some help getting them shipped out. We've received a lot of requests recently from some shelters and foster homes, and we're trying to meet all those requests and then some. So that would be a great people would help in that way.
Give me your URL again.
Thank you so much.
Candice, Chelsea's Mom: This is so fun.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for being amazing and sharing your art and doing your art and helping people, it just gives me the goose bumps.
Candice, Chelsea's Mom: Oh my goodness. Oh, my way. Appreciate you.
Thank you. Always remember, you are a strong, independent woman. No apologies.
Yes, I will. Thank you so much.
Well, thanks so much for listening. You can hear more GIRLBRAVE podcast episodes at PincurlGirls.com. I'd love your support by subscribing to this podcast and leaving a five star review. Thanks so much. Bye.