9-year-old donates food, gift cards to Kettering nurses

Miami Valley News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – A local 9-year-old is showing her support for Kettering health care workers by raising money for them with rocks from her front yard. Katie McAlpine, who wants to be a nurse when she grows up, said she sees how hard nurses are working to fight the pandemic, and she wanted to help.

“We had a lot of rocks in our yard and I love to dig and I love art,” Katie explained.

With the help of her father and sister, Lily, Katie decided to put her creativity to good use, advertising her decorated rocks to friends and family on social media.

“She found all these rocks and she loves painting and she just came up with the idea to paint rocks and ask people on Facebook to buy them and make a donation to benefit nurses that are fighting coronavirus,” said her father, Chris McAlpine.

Katie’s fundraiser brought in more than $600, which she donated to nurses in the form of snacks and gift cards. In return, hospital staff, including Kettering Health’s president and staff from the COVID-19 unit, met with Katie to show their appreciation.

“The nursing staff and the respiratory therapists decided that we would purchase the rest of Katie’s rocks that she had not yet sold. So we in turn, then raised some money for Katie and today Katie brought the rest of the rocks that she had painted and we presented her with a thank you note and the money for the rocks, as well as a donation for her next project,” said Clinical Nurse Manager, Lisa Hill.

She added, with everything going on in the medical field, a gesture like Katie’s was a breath of fresh air.

“Just that she took the time to paint the rocks and have such a big online presence on Facebook to get that money raised for us, it has meant more than I think anyone will ever realize. Obviously it’s not easy working up there. The nurses are working 12 hour shifts, long days, they’re not allowed to leave the unit once they’re on there. So to have this story, we talk about it every day and it’s just been so inspiring.”

Katie said she plans to donate some of the money she received from the hospital staff to a local non-profit that helps children in need. The rest, she said, she’ll use for her next venture.

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