A Lineage of Giving - Interview with Ruby Kate Chitsey

Ruby Kate Chitsey is the daughter of a nurse practitioner in and around Harrison, Arkansas. Every summer, she tags along with her mom visiting nursing homes, something she admits she used to find boring.

She no longer feels that boredom. One day last summer, as she explored one of the nursing homes, she saw a resident named Pearl sitting in her wheelchair and staring at the door.

Chitsey curiously peeked out that door and saw a dog walking to a car. Pearl’s 12-year-old dog had come to visit for the day, and she didn’t know the next time she would see her dog again.

“It was very sad,” Ruby told CNN in a recent interview. “We have a lot of dogs and I could feel her pain.”

Chitsey knew a pet sitter charged $12 an hour, and she also knew that many of the residents have limited resources. This made her think, ‘how many others couldn't afford simple things that brought them joy?’

She decided to do something about it. And she would be bored no more. She decided to ask residents what three things in the world they wish they had right now and wrote them down.

We recently interviewed Ruby Kate about her lineage of kindness and giving.

Who is your inspiration to help others?

I think I was born this way. I’ve always wanted to help people, animals, anything and anyone. Now that I’m older I am figuring out how I can.

Do you ever feel you’ve inherited ideals or characteristics from family members that have helped you?

I’ve always heard I was just like my great great great grandmother Catherine Davis. I was named after her. Ppl still talk about her today. All the girls in our family have the name Kate for this woman. During the Depression Catherine gave food from her store when she could. She helped raise other people’s kids. She was a great leader and business owner and she was a girl.

What’s the best vacation memory you’ve had?

The coast of Oregon was amazing. I liked the seals. I loved the tall cliffs. tide pools are my favorite things about a beach and they had a million. I liked being able to run in all directions and there were no people, just us.

If your entire family were to dress up as one group for Halloween, who do you think you all would best embody and why? (Examples: The Incredibles, Partridge Family, etc.)

Swiss Family Robinson’s. We like to travel, we are adventurous and this is one of my favorite movies ever. I could see this happening to us. My brothers are little mischievous too and would explore and build forts. This family is like a Wolfpack and our family has always called ourselves the Chitsey Wolfpack (my brother’s middle name is Wolfgang).

When you’re no longer around, what legacy do you hope to leave behind for your loved ones and friends?

This is a hard question, but I want them to know I left the world better and I gave it everything, but I had fun too.

Do you have a cherished sentimental item in your life passed down from a family member, or one you hope to pass down?

I have a pink blankie and my great great great Catherine Davis wedding ring that I will totally give to my child, just like all the moms before me.

How do you envision your retirement years?

Gosh, I don’t know but right now I can see myself living in one of those “tiny houses” and just being the best grandmother EVER.

What’s a bucket list goal you hope to achieve in the next few years?

I want to perfect the clear slime recipe bc that’s impossible

I want to run for class president

I’d like to go to a Ariana grande concert

I’m definitely going to keep speaking for my elderly friends! I need them and they need me. We are taking this to other states.

If you were to write your autobiography, what would the title be?

Kindness is my superpower

What’s the greatest piece of advice you ever got from a mentor or loved one?

Don’t listen to bullies. They bring nothing to the table but they take so much.

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