(CNN)Ruby Kate Chitsey asked the woman in the wheelchair why she was staring intently through the glass doors. Her answer broke the fifth-grader's heart.
A 5th grader's boredom while visiting her mom's job led to $70,000 for the elderly in need
Ruby Kate spends a lot of her summer at nursing homes near Harrison, Arkansas. Her mom's a nurse practitioner and Ruby Kate likes hanging out with the residents.
But the 11-year-old admits it can get boring.
That's why she approached the woman in the wheelchair as she sat watching her dog of some 12 years walk away. A friend had just brought him by for a visit, and the woman didn't know when she might see her dog again.
"It was very sad. We have a lot of dogs and I could feel her pain," Ruby Kate told CNN.
Ruby knew it cost money to get a pet sitter to bring the dog to the resident more often. Many in her hometown of 12,000 don't have extra to spare.
That encounter last summer led the little girl to think: how many other residents couldn't afford simple things that brought them joy.
She decided to do something about it.
Ruby Kate started a project and Facebook page called "Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents."
Her mother helped her set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for those wishes.
The girl began asking residents what three things in the world they wish they had right now. She wrote down their answers in a spiral notebook that she had left over from the 3rd grade.