For Chelsea Cheek, it’s just one part of the money and time she gives to the Strong Kids Campaign.
Chelsea is a biology major at University of Detroit Mercy and works two jobs, one of which is serving as a lifeguard at the Macomb YMCA. She’s been there two years. Shortly after starting, she was inspired by a little boy going to swim lessons to help out with the Strong Kids Campaign. He wanted goggles before going in the pool, and Chelsea was able to find some for him to borrow. She suggested that he ask his mom to get him some of his own.
“His eyes started getting all red like he was starting to cry, and he told me they can’t afford things like that,” Chelsea said. “Even if I can’t help him get goggles, I have been fundraising based on that one little boy.”
She’s held a few fundraisers for the Strong Kids campaign since then and raised about $100-$150 each time; among her ideas have been a euchre tournament, a bottle drive and a rubber duck race.
Chelsea also donates $10 out of each paycheck to the Strong Kids Campaign, for a total of about $240 per year. For a college student, $10 can go a long way, but Chelsea says she thinks donating is a better use of the money. “If it wasn’t taken out of my check, I’d probably just go to McDonald’s. I think I can skip out on McDonald’s if I can send a kid to camp for the day.”
She comes from a giving family — her mother holds an “all-comers” Christmas party every year that routinely draws a huge crowd.
“I can’t do that, but I can volunteer,” she says.