Last week I had the most amazing pleasure meeting three lovely ladies at STITCHES Midwest. Veronica and Nancy, the owners of Dream in Color, and Kelly King, a mother who lost her daughter from a heartbreaking circumstance.
In 2010, Kelly’s 17-year-old daughter Chelsea went missing after going for a run at a nearby park. Over the next few days over 4,000 people came out every day to search for Chelsea and unfortunately, she was found on day five, the victim of a convicted sex offender. This truly is a heartbreaking, but amazing story, and if you’d like to hear more about it then you can listen to the Podcast that Ben, founder of XRX, conducted with Chelsea’s family.
Amazingly, instead of living in anger, guilt and revenge, the King family decided to take action with the law and had a positive outcome: Chelsea’s Law. Chelsea’s Law was “founded on the belief that violent sexual predators who go after children are a uniquely dangerous problem. Signed into law in September, 2010, the newly-enacted California legislation ensures that the state does everything it can to keep violent sex offenders against children from engaging in even more atrocious crimes upon release, and that those who commit the worst violent sexual crimes against children are put away for life:” This is a serious matter that needs more attention as families in all states continue to grow. Being a parent myself, this really put a knot in my throat as I tried to hold the tears back. It’s unfortunate that we even have to think about putting laws like this into action, but with the help of the King’s and so many others, we are keeping our children safer. They have passed the law in a few states already and will continue their efforts until they reach each of the states.
When listening to Ben’s Podcast I heard Brent King, father of Chelsea, say this: “If you allow grief to swallow you, it really will. As a family, we decided to choose hope.” This story not only affected their community, but it made awareness grow. Behind this horrible story grew a beautiful story that I believe we should all help bring awareness to. As knitters, as crocheters, as a community, we can help. Chelsea’s Light Foundation was created to bring awareness for Chelsea and to unite and lead people who are passionate about protecting their children and inspiring positive change in their communities. Children shouldn’t live in fear and the foundation wants to create a voice to pass laws and strengthen laws. One of Chelsea’s Light’s programs is a scholarship fund for those who enjoy extracurricular activities, but don’t have the resources to do so. So far over $300,000 in scholarships has been awarded in the past three years. The King’s have become close to each of the scholarship winners and treat them as their own. I thought it was really neat that Kelly sent them care packages at the beginning of the school year as she would have with Chelsea.
Chelsea’s Foundation is where Veronica and Nancy of Dream in Color really helped out. They had been looking for a foundation to help out for a while and when a mutual friend had mentioned the King’s story, they knew this is where they wanted to be, this is who they wanted to help out. It just struck them as heartwarming; they wanted to help protect children and stand up and do something. “When we met with Chelsea’s mom she told us that one of Chelsea’s favorite sayings was “go big or go home” and it is in that spirit that we want to honor her life and support the foundation. We decided to create a one of a kind accessory dyed in an exclusive color.” That accessory became known as Chelsea’s Shawl which was graciously donated by Stephen West. The Akimbo shawl became the symbol of Chelsea because she had a bohemian, eclectic style and Stephen West’s design seemed to fit that style, perfectly.
To hear Chelsea’s parents talk about her story is truly heartening and difficult to listen to. It contains mature content and may require some tissues, but it’s a story we should all be aware of. The King’s and Dream in Color have turned a sad story into a beautiful one and they know that Chelsea is looking down on them with a smile on her face. I want to thank Kelly, Veronica and Nancy for taking the time to meet with me. It was an honor and I’m so proud of each of you for the incredible dedication you have put forth.
Dream in Color donates $10 from every kit sold to the foundation. Stephen West also agreed to donate the proceeds from his pattern. In selling the kits, working up these beautiful designs and bringing awareness to the foundation will help greatly for those we love. Kelly said to me, “It takes so little to give back so much. We can make a big difference if we pay attention a little bit.” Kelly and the girls of Dream in Color are doing extraordinary work and you can help out, too. You can buy the kits in any of these locations, but we are also giving ONE kit away to one lucky winner!
- 2 skeins inspired by Chelsea’s favorite colors
- The Stephen West knit pattern Akimbo
- Contest open to US and Canada residents 18+
- One comment/entry per person per blog post.
- Contest closes August 31, 2013 at 11:59p CST.
- Leave a comment on this blog post answering the below question to be entered to win.
- Winners will be posted on Stitch&Unwind.com and notified by email.
Leave a comment by answering this question and you’ll be entered to win a Chelsea’s Shawl Kit:
Have you ever helped out with a charity or foundation before?
Congratulations to Rikki who has won the Chelsea’s Shawl Yarn Kit. Rikki replied to the question: “I knit and crochet prayer shawls for my church.”
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and please continue your support with charity work and foundations.