Ruby Kate Chitsey spends a lot of her time talking to the residents at an Arkansas care home where her mother works as a nurse.
So when the 11-year-old discovered that one of them was not able to afford the $12 for their pet dog to visit — Ruby Kate stepped in.
She discovered a notepad left over from school and asked the residents just one question:
“If I could bring you three things in the whole world, what would those be?”
Ruby Kate’s mom, Amanda, informed the BBC how the residents “didn’t want anything big,” but rather “fresh fruit, haircuts and snacks.”
After Ruby Kate set up a GoFundMe page titled “Three Wishes” project — it is has since raised over $62,000 to help give things that “make life sweeter” for elderly folk.
Ruby Kate shared with the BBC how she understands some people “have very little” and she “just wanted to help them.”
Ruby Kate was then nominated as “Kid Hero,” by GoFundMe — and the project received a boost.
Amanda shared how it “humbled” her to hear what the people she took care of, wanted.
“I have been working in this field for 25 years, and you get used to caring for people’s medical needs, but you can forget about the need for joy,” she shared.
“I have known one resident for 18 years. He asked for some pants that fit him properly. It broke me that I hadn’t realized.”
Amanda shares how folks are too willing to accept the fact that less fortunate old people will not be able to access these things, “but it took a child to see that it’s not OK”.
She is hoping that Ruby Kate’s kindness will “shine a spotlight” on the funding gap elderly people face.
“Medicaid looks after room and board, and that is great. But they only get $40 a month for everything else. The assumption is that family members will step in to provide money to help them. That just isn’t happening.”
Amanda shares how when her daughter informed her about the project how she “wasn’t at all surprised”.
“She is a normal kid in most ways, but her ability to care for others is so mature. I have always been proud of her.”
Ruby Kate shares how she has been “amazed” by the reaction, as well as “overjoyed” the project has as much success as it does.
Marilyn Spurlock is 74-years-old and has lived in a nursing home for eight years — almost a decade.
Amanda describes her as the “eyes and ears” of the project.
“Every day that goes by, I get a little more excited,” Spurlock shared with CNN. “I go out into the hub – the areas where people sit. I look and talk to them and ask if there’s anything they need.”
Amanda shared how she became emotional when Marilyn told her that being busy and “treated like a normal person” had restored her “self-worth.”
Ruby Kate’s message to other 11-year-olds is:
“Don’t let anything hold you back. If helping out helps you or someone else – just do it.”
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