Selfless sacrifice: How #KeepfightingChip saved Charles City County
*Dedicated in memory of Chelsea “Chip” Crawley.
When I write editorials, they cover an array of topics and areas. Some are generic, some are specific, and some are off the wall. But today’s editorial is about a young lady who possibly saved Charles City County and didn’t know it.
I knew Chelsea “Chip” Crawley when she was very, very small. My godmother was her babysitter and many of her earliest friendships were developed there. From that point on, she continued to grow, and I had the opportunity to work with her as a high school student. While she was related to me, Chelsea was beyond special.
How did Chelsea save Charles City you may ask? If you want to think of it as metaphorical, you may do so, but I can’t even begin to tell you how impactful this young woman was.
As a sister, Chelsea supported her sister in her athletic endeavors. To her high school friends, she was a bandmate, an ear to listen to, and a smile that brought hope to others. To her son, she was a hero and inspiration to open doors for him to show him that he can conquer anything put in front of him.
And deep down inside, only the closest people knew she was fighting a battle every day of her life.
Chelsea was involved in several community functions and activities. She was a team mother for athletic teams, and she was the catalyst of keeping the bond of several recreation programs that were on the edge of fading away. Chelsea gave most of her free time to these organizations, all while battling several medical diagnoses that were draining her life every day.
But that’s what made Chip special. She saved Charles City County in several areas because she connected the community. She continued to give back to others and make a way to make sure the next generation had their needs. Her comrades and involvement in programs with parents made her the life of the party, but the love of so many hearts.
Chelsea also saved the community when she had her setbacks. Even when she was going through them and not in the best of times, she would tell everybody to look out for her family, the recreation teams, and others. Chelsea cared about herself and she kept fighting. And then, the community fought with her.
Chelsea’s setback bonded Charles City County. Community dinners, fundraisers, programs, and several outpourings of love united the county. It didn’t matter your race, belief, ethnicity, political party, sexual orientation, or even if you were a native or Charles City, the outpouring and the #KeepfightingChip bonded this area. It was the power and love she had spread through her selfless actions and her ramifications of her good deeds that were reciprocated to her.
Are there stories of others having similar circumstances? Yes. But when you’re in a small community like Charles City, the impact is greater and ten-fold. If you heard the name “Chip”, you knew the story, you knew the background, and you knew the heart of a woman.
Chelsea finally took her rightful place on April 5, 2021 as her fight here in this world is done. But the way she locked this community down with her unselfishness, her fight will not be in vain. Charles City became stronger with her, and there is no doubt that at least one person, this person, became better because of her.
The words I write are to celebrate Chelsea for not only saving Charles City County, but for interlocking several heartfelt communities because she was a fighter. She was a fighter not because of her health condition, but she was a fighter because she was filled with love for others.
To the Crawley family, I’ve been in your life for several years and I will continue to be that way, but sometimes you have to use available platforms to let others know that you care. Thank you for allowing Chelsea to be part of my life and for allowing her to unite Charles City County on so many levels.
We will always #KeepFightingChip because you never stopped. And we won’t either because you showed us that we can all live under one accord and in peace. Rest well my dear. #WegotTae