Ruby Kate Chitsey

One day as my mom and I were leaving the nursing home, a patient named Pearl was glued to the exit doors staring for a long time  at something.  I figured  whatever  it was  must be pretty exciting because I hadn’t seen anything exciting all day. So  I hurried  to  catch  up  to  her  before  whatever this was disappeared. I thought maybe it was a baby bird? A wreck in the parking lot? Ambulance?

I get up there  and there  is a  normal dog  being led out on a leash to  a car by a normal lady. That was it!  Boring.  I asked her what was going on and she said that was her dog of 12ish years.  The dog  had come  to visit  for the  day and  she was staring at the door because she didn’t know the next time she would see her dog again.

Pearl’s face was so sad.  I thought of all the things in this world Pearl could have,  she would probably  just ask for more visits with her dog. 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.

After my encounter  with Pearl  in the  nursing home,  I started thinking.  Just $12  didn’t seem like much,  but after  talking to my mom  and  some of the  nursing home residents, I learned that many of the people in the nursing homes are on Medicaid and  while  their daily  care is  covered  by Medicaid,  they are given only $40 in cash  to  purchase those extras each month. 

I started  spending  more  time  with the  residents, and began asking  them  a simple  question:  “If I  could  bring  you  three things  in   the  whole   world,  what  would  those   be?”   The answers   were  surprisingly  simple …  fresh   fruit,  haircuts, snacks, or a book.  And Ruby began keeping a notebook.

One man said “I want some pants that fit!”  My mom said she has  known  that  patient  for  over  18 years  and  never even realized that his pants were all too tight. “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.”

Most  of  the  wishes  were  very  simple.   Some  people  just wanted prayers.  Others fast food or snacks. A pair of pants or shoes that fit. One person asked to go to a water park to watch children at play.

I visit  the nursing  homes (5 in total) a few times a week while my  Mom  makes  her  rounds, but  to  fill  in  the  gaps, I have recruited a helper, one Marilyn Spurlock, who says …

“It gives me something to do. It took away a lot of my depression — because I felt worthless and couldn’t do anything to help anybody. I’ve been here so long, I was no longer useful. Every day that goes by, I get a little more excited. I go out into in the hub — the areas where people sit. I look and talk to them and ask if there’s anything they need.” 

This moment led to my project of “Three Wishes” and I started to raise money help these patients get more “extras” than their $40 dollars can buy. With the help of my mother, I set up a GoFundMe account  that took off like wildfire, Cont'd at right...

surpassing the hefty goal of $250,000 since it began November 21, 2018

NOTE: Being a young woman of action there is so much more you can read and share about her (see resources) as well as continuing to donate to keep her kindness spreading far and wide. even giving her the ability to recruit more volunteers to keep this going.
"Ruby Kate Chitsey is only 11 years old, and yet she has discovered something that many people my own age still don’t understand … a simple concept that there is much joy to be gained from helping others.  I hope never to be in a nursing home, but if ever I am, I hope there is someone like Ruby Kate to bring a ray of sunshine into my life! 

As I often do when writing about the very young who are doing good things, I have to give partial credit to Ruby’s parents, Dr. Blake and Amanda Chitsey, for they have obviously been superior role models.  And I give a huge thumbs-up to this young lady for dedicating her time and energy to helping so many people!" 

 A visit to The Three Wishes Facebook page tells of the many special projects Ruby has done, such as the day she handed out over 100 candy bars to residents, some of whom said they had not had a candy bar in years.  And the first week in February, Ruby and her mom delivered McDonald’s Happy Meals that were a hit with all!Ruby has also begun creating artwork to adorn the residents walls.

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