Kids & Family

Girl Grants Wishes to Nursing Home Residents

Her story about the power of kindness across the generations has gone viral

This is a story about the power of kindness and how age is just a number when it comes to giving and receiving it.

11-year old Ruby Kate Chitsey has started an amazing one-girl ministry to people in nursing homes in and around her hometown of Harrison, Arkansas. She grants wishes to those residents, some of them challenging, but most of them very small.

Pearl's joy over a visit with her dog gave Ruby the idea to grant wishes to nursing home resident

Ruby Kate came up with the idea after she met a woman named Pearl at a nursing home where she and her mother, a nurse practitioner, were visiting. Pearl was by the front door of the home anxiously waiting for something. "I figured whatever it was must be pretty exciting because I hadn't seen anything exciting all day," said Ruby Kate. It was Pearl's pet dog, coming to visit for the day. Pearl told Ruby Kate she was worried because she didn't know the next time she would see her dog again.

"I thought of all the things in this world Pearl could have, she would probably just ask for more visits with her dog," said Ruby Kate. I know it costs $12 for a pet sitter/visit. I'm eleven and I have enough money saved in my piggy bank to get Pearl a few visits with her dog."

From that launched her project "Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents. Ruby Kate and her mom started a GoFundMe page to raise money help patients get some of those "extras" their nursing home fees don't provide. Then Ruby Kate went around with a notebook and asked: if she could bring a resident three things in the whole world what would they be? Her first resident asked for a pair of pants that fit. Others asked for simple things like a pair of shoes, a warmer blanket, even some McDonald's fries.

Other requests were deeper. A number of people said they were missing out on what was going on around them because they couldn't afford hearing aids and couldn't hear. Another woman was crying when she explained how having her own phone would allow her to talk to her family about personal business without having everyone else listen in when she had to use the nurse's station phone.

Here, Ruby and her assistant resident, Marilyn, discuss using Amazon ECHO DOTs to help stroke patients in their facility regain their speech by repeating words and phrases. As Ruby's Facebook page put it: "The power of 2 generations, 2 minds working together!"

What the residents also get from Ruby Kate is something intangible: a visit and a hug. Some of them don't get a lot of that. You can see it from the pictures here how much that means to them.

If you'd like to support Ruby Kate and her Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents, go to her GoFundMe pag e and make a donation. As of this writing, Ruby was close to her $250,000 goal! The organization also has an Amazon Wish List for specific items that are needed. And click here to keep up with the goings-on at the organization's Facebook page .

(Images & video: Three Wishses for Ruby's Residents GoFundMe & Facebook pages)

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