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Dallas teens create 'chalk bomb' fundraiser to help feed neighbors in need

Dallas teens create 'chalk bomb' fundraiser to feed neighbors in need

Quinn Graves, Trevor Godkin, Stella Wrubel, Chalk4Change
Quinn Graves, Trevor Godkin, and Stella Wrubel working on a sidewalk chalk project. Photo courtesy of Chalk4Change

One of the simple joys of staying close to home has been seeing neighborhood kids get creative with sidewalk chalk art. Driveways, sidewalks, even park trails have become canvases for colorful creations and inspirational messages. Now some Dallas kids are turning their chalk art talents into a "chalk bomb" fundraiser for folks in need during the pandemic.

Fourteen-year-old Stella Wrubel, along with friends Quinn Graves, Isabella Dickason, and Trevor Godkin, have launched an initiative called Chalk4Change to benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

In just a few weeks, Chalk4Change has raised thousands of dollars, and it's no wonder. These 14-year-olds know what they're doing. They're the creative minds behind holiday season-favorite Jingle Bell Mistletoe — a group that sells mistletoe each year to raise money for the food bank.

The premise of Chalk4Change is fun, kid-friendly, interactive, and in keeping with social distancing protocols. Here’s how it works:

1. You challenge your neighbors, family, and friends who live nearby to donate $20 or more to the Chalk4Change GoFundMe page.
2. In return to those who donate, you "chalk bomb" them, meaning you decorate their driveway with sidewalk chalk (this can be anything from a cheerful drawing to an inspirational message, the founders say).
3. You "pay it forward" by encouraging those who participate to then challenge their own neighbors, family, and friends to donate and decorate.
4. Share your chalk art on Instagram using the hashtag #chalk4change, and tag @jingle.bell.mistletoe.

“We hope Chalk4Change will not only help those in need, but will also brighten our community – one driveway at a time,” Stella says.

She and her friends launched the effort when they realized that the food bank needed additional supplies to help the growing number of children and families affected by COVID-19. 

Already, they've raised more than $9,600 — just shy of their initial fundraising goal of $10,000. More than 20,000 people have been fed by their efforts, they say.

One hundred percent of donations goes directly to the North Texas Food Bank; just $1 provides three meals, they say. 

Stella created her original fundraiser, Jingle Bell Mistletoe, in 2012 to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy by selling boughs of mistletoe. Since then, she and her "Mistlecrew" have raised more than $250,000 for charity. Most of this money has been used to feed over 750,000 hungry North Texans.