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Nine-year-old raises money for first responders through poem book sales

May 27, 2020  |  Moreno Valley, California, United States  | 

Nine-year-old raises money for first responders through poem book sales

9-year-old poet donates snacks to the Loma Linda University Health emergency department. He bought the snacks with funds raised from selling his poetry book. [Photo courtesy of Loma Linda University Health]

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On May 18, Matthew Rushing, 9, from Moreno Valley, California, delivered dozens of boxes of snacks to Loma Linda University Medical Center Emergency Department staff, aiming to lift their spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In just a little over two weeks, Rushing raised more than $400 for his project by selling his book of poetry called “Poems for Hard Times.” He said he wanted to donate to emergency department workers at Loma Linda University Medical Center because his pediatrician works at Loma Linda University Health.

“It makes me sad to know people are dying because of COVID-19, and I wanted to find a way to thank all of the heroes working to save lives,” Rushing said. “I brought them snacks in case they are working so hard that they are too busy to take a lunch break.”

His gift encouraged the staff and brought a newfound sense of hope to the team, according to Loma Linda University Medical Center Emergency Department nurse Lesley O’Neill. “At only 9 years old, Matthew demonstrated compassion and kindness in such a creative and thoughtful way,” O’Neill said. “We cannot thank him enough for his kind contribution to our team. We should all strive to be just like him during these challenging times.”

Emergency Department clinical nurse specialist Megan Duke agreed that seeing all the boxes he dropped off energized her to keep moving forward. “Matthew is the real hero,” Duke said. “During these crazy times, the fact that there is a child out there who is so thoughtful to not only think of others but who actually works to help those he doesn’t know gives me so much hope.”

In addition to his donations at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Rushing donated to two fire departments and one police station in Moreno Valley.

 

This article was originally published on the Loma Linda University Health news site

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