Join us in a year of celebration – marking the 10th Anniversary of Chelsea’s Closet! Throughout the year, we invite you to meet the people who bring the organization to life!
Lindsay Walker, Third grade teacher at Edy Ridge Elementary and Board Member, Secretary, and Volunteer Committee for Chelsea’s Closet:
I’ve always been passionate about kids, it’s the reason I became an elementary teacher. Ever since I was young, I felt pulled to children, specifically vulnerable children. In 2003 I lost a close family friend unexpectedly at the age of 5. During the heartbreak, we felt the need to do something to honor Michael and help others. Due to his love of stuffed animals, we started holding yearly stuffed animal drives for kids in the hospital. It was then that I realized how a simple act can make a big difference. It was also then when I realized a new purpose and mission in my life – in addition to educating third graders, I felt a deep need to do what I could to help kids who needed it the most. When I learned about Chelsea’s Closet, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it and I felt connected to Chelsea, though having never met her. The idea seemed so simple – giving a fun costume to brighten the day of a sick child. But once I got involved I saw just how important that simple act really is.
The most important thing I’ve learned through my involvement with Chelsea’s Closet is how powerful a costume can be. It’s not just about having something fun to wear, it’s more about being able to transform into something other than a sick child. I also now realize how important that is for the parents as well – not only the transformation, but the joy that appears for their child, who maybe hasn’t smiled in days. It’s so rewarding to see and hear how this “medicine” we provide really is making a difference.
I’m not the same person I was before I started volunteering with Chelsea’s Closet. I now look for unique ways to help kids in any setting, whether that’s my classroom, my school or the community. It’s a passion of mine to help kids who are fortunate enough to be healthy, to understand what a little kindness can do, and to always look for ways to make a difference.
My biggest hope for Chelsea’s Closet is that we will become a household name – that when people see costumes at the store, they think about the kids we serve and consider helping the cause whether that’s donating a costume, fundraising, giving of their time or even just helping get our message out. What’s unique about our organization is that everyone can relate. From young to old, we all know and remember the joy that comes with dress up and play.