Two weeks ago, CBS Sunday Morning shared the touching story of 11-year-old Ruby Chitsey of Harrison, Arkansas who sometimes joins her mom Amanda, a nurse, when she travels to local nursing homes to provide basic medical care. It was on one of those visits that Ruby started going into residents’ rooms with her notepad, asking them, “ if you could have any three things, what would they be?”
Ruby said she was mostly just curious what they’d say. “I was very surprised. I thought people would say money, houses, a Lamborghini. But, instead, they asked for things like an electric razor, new shoes, Vienna sausage. For some reason, a lot of people asked for Vienna sausage and other really basic items. Like, that’s all they wanted. And I really decided that I needed to do something.”
So Ruby did do something. She started a charity called, “Three Wishes for Ruby’s Residents.” And now, while her mom is caring for patients, Ruby goes room-to-room, jots down wishes, and then sets out to grant those wishes. Ruby has a GoFundMe to cover costs, but again, no one is asking for a sports car here. Her expenses are minimal, especially compared to the rewards.
A recent day found Ruby wheeling around a wheelchair full of sausages and other grocery items – each item to be given to a particular resident that had asked for that item.
I think we all know that this isn’t about Vienna sausages or electric razors or new shoes. Whether she knows it or not, Ruby is satisfying a much more basic human need – the desire to be remembered, to be cherished, especially by a child. And that is what Ruby does every time she sets foot in a nursing home – meets that deep need.
Ruby, thank you for your example; you might just inspire people reading this to come up with their own way of making others just a bit happier. And there sure are a lot of people who need to be just a bit happier, don’t you think?
And as Ruby says, “Who needs a Lamborghini when you’ve got home delivery of all the happy you can handle?!”