As President of the Chelsea Hicks Foundation Board, I spend most of my volunteer time behind the scenes providing support, advice, and guidance to the CHF staff. I am pleased to report that the staff and board members are doing amazing and innovative things to strengthen CHF and Chelsea’s Closet. The volunteer program continues to grow, CHF secured more private and corporate funding while leveraging limited resources, and we continued to gain exposure through print, broadcast, and social media outlets.
More importantly, I want to share what I learned about CHF in 2012. My annual hospital volunteer visit happened the Monday following one of our country’s most horrible events, so I was extra sensitive, especially when it came to kids. But within minutes of my arrival, I was greeted by one of our little friends, who smiled, danced, and giggled with her girlfriend. I met a teenage boy with an amazing sense of humor who dressed up as Fred Flintstone and embraced the notion of silliness and play. I witnessed a sweet moment from a young woman who shared her exciting engagement news with Alison, while perusing the “bling” in the closet.
Through the eyes of these children and young people, I was quickly reminded of the importance of community and taking care of each other. The truth is, while I was there to inspire hope and healing through dress-up and play for seriously ill children and their families, they were helping me heal and gain a renewed sense of joy. CHF offers each of us hope, and the reminder that we are in this world together. I have witnessed that our greater Oregon community is a little bit stronger, kinder, more tender, and patient because of Chelsea’s Closet.
We are grateful for all of the financial donations and our volunteers’ time. Thank you for your trust in us. We look forward to continued partnerships and growth in 2013.
With sincere gratitude,
Kirsten Aird, Board President