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Ben Ashley works with Chelsea Hicks Foundation to bring joy to kids in need

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First Tech Insurance Sales Agent Ben Ashley is helping to bring the party to some kids that need it most.

Ben recently joined the Board of the Chelsea Hicks Foundation (CHF), which operates Chelsea’s Closet. As CHF states on their website, Chelsea’s Closet provides ‘hope and healing to seriously ill children through therapeutic dress up and play.’

Chelsea’s Closet was founded by Alison and Jason Hicks and was inspired by their daughter, Chelsea. In 2007, at the age of 3, Chelsea was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilms’ tumor cancer. Even after multiple surgeries and treatments, Chelsea was always able to put a smile on her face. She loved to dress up and host tea parties and parades on the oncology floor. In 2009, Chelsea lost her battle with cancer. Her parents were inspired to provide dress up and play opportunities for other patients, and their families. Playing dress up brings smiles to faces and momentarily takes their attention off of the struggles facing them.

Today with the support of volunteers, CHF provides patients and their siblings the chance to pick a new costume to wear while parading around the pediatric oncology floor with families and hospital staff. They also provide craft projects for families to work on together.

As a small non-profit organization located in Tigard, OR, CHF has a “working Board” which means all of the Board members are hands-on helping with the operations and events. Each member is required to log volunteer time and help with event planning and setup. With that, there is always a need for volunteers, which provides a great opportunity for organizations and companies like First Tech to have group volunteer days. Recently the Portland Timbers volunteered as part of their Stand Together campaign, in preparation for the annual gala.

The organization’s goals for the future—besides getting back to in-person celebrations—include expanding their partnerships both locally and nationally. Creating partnerships and collaborating with like-minded organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation helps the Chelsea Hicks Foundation grow and support more kids who could use a few hours of joy and happiness in their day.

Chelsea’s Closet serves more than 2,200 seriously-ill children in Oregon and SW Washington at Doernbecher’s and Randall’s Children hospitals.

“As a parent, hearing Chelsea’s story is both heartbreaking and inspiring,” Ben says. The impact CHF has on the families and kids battling illness is huge. These kids and families endure so much; if you can play a part in bringing a smile and helping them make positive memories, why wouldn’t you?”

For more information about how to get involved with the Chelsea Hicks Foundation and Chelsea’s Closet, visit www.chelseahicksfoundation.org.