My name is Ruby and my friends and I fulfill small wishes to nursing home seniors across America. I am 13 years old and kindness is my hobby. I feel like everyone forgets about the nursing home senior and I am on a mission to change that. Our kid heroes have fulfilled over 9000 wishes since 2019 and we don't plan on stopping.
Michael is a Ruby's Resident and he is my friend.
This is his story. No one can show you our worth more than a man like Mr. Michael. He is one of 1.4 million nursing home seniors in America. I recorded an interview with him last year and he has never gone without the small stuff again.
"My name is Michael and I've lived in a nursing home for 16 years. My kids see me at Christmas. I get my check on the first day of every month. I get $40 a month to cover my personal expenses. The very first thing I am gonna do this month is buy a 24-pack of Pepsi. I ran out a week ago and I'd almost rather go without food than Pepsi. Smart people here ration their sodas but I can't seem to get mine to last the month. I have to pay something towards my cell phone bill or they will cut my service. I'm hanging onto my cell phone as long as I can. I like to call my kids and I really like it when they call me. My last phone bill was $120. That is not what I pay a month but that is what I owe. If I make some kind of payment they don't turn my service off. There is no such thing as a phone in your room here. I either pay for a land line, pay for my cell or use the facility phone at the hub (nursing station). You asked me about my hair and I was military- buzz cut all my life. I'm old, but I still have hair. I gave up decent looks 15 years ago. I allow myself about one haircut a year. It's $13 for men's cut ($10 for cut, $3 for facial hair/beard) and I forgot that I give $1 tip. Haircuts are way out of my league. I have accepted that I look just a little better than a hobo. My hair looks wild and everyone can see that I don't groom myself like I did all my life. I don't like the way I look. It makes me feel like crap but I can live with it for Pepsi and a good phone. You asked me what I'd want most if I had more money right now? I want some hazelnuts. Can it be a tie? Because I want a real cup of coffee - fresh, black with steam coming off it. Man, I miss real coffee! I want cards and a small gift to mail my daughter on her birthdays. I was not the best Dad early on. You think about these things when you get older. The last thing I'd do right now is buy a resident I know here some decent shoes. I was always the man to lend a hand. I can't do that anymore- money or physically. That is probably the worst feeling. So, yeah, I'd buy him some shoes."
We bought Michaal everything he needed and gave him the first Starbucks he ever had! His smile seems real now and I love that more than anything.
We are a youth-led nonprofit organization that has helped fulfill over 9,000 wishes for people like Michael since 2019. We fulfill wishes here in Arkansas and to every state in the US. We have even fulfilled wishes in Newfoundland and care homes on the Caribbean Islands. Every year we host an international wish drive with youth all over the world.
"Spring $7 for Seniors" is our first annual fundraiser. Every dollar raised will go towards a senior in need.