PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A woman in a senior living facility in Peoria surprised a 10-year-old girl in Mesa with a brand new sewing machine after learning the 6th grader was making and selling hair ties to raise money for healthcare workers.
Reagan Kooiman used the money to buy about seven meals for nurses and doctors working in East Valley hospitals.
A 10-year-old girl in Mesa started making hair ties to raise money for nurses and doctors working in hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It was getting very crazy, but we still got a lot of food to the nurses," Reagan said.
"I was so impressed that she wanted to take the initiative to do something for someone else, and she did," said 73-year-old Cheyenne Miller. Miller saw the broadcast that night and knew she had to help this budding seamstress.
"Years ago, I had a fabric store in a small community in California, and over the years I just acquired things," Miller explained. "I had this machine, and I don't know what I was planning on doing with it to start with, but it was brand new, and the box had never been opened, and when I saw that, her name was on it!"
For the last two months, the two have been coordinating on how to meet. Labor Day was perfect since Reagan was off of school.
"Oh gosh, she's so cute, so personable, and she's so honest," Miller said. "I didn't have to have her take her mask off; I could tell there was a smile. She smiles with her eyes!"
The two met in front of Garden Ridges, where Miller lives in Peoria. Reagan unwrapped the brand new sewing machine, which she is excited to learn how to use.
"You'll be able to understand it real easy because you look like you're a smart cookie," Miller said to Reagan.
"I want to make masks for either nurses or kids or socks for my uncle," Reagan said.
Cheyenne also gave Reagan spools of fabric to get started and practice sheets to learn how to use the sewing machine.
"If she can make other people smile and feel good, she's accomplishing something," Cheyenne said. "If this will enlighten other people to want to do something for other people out there, that's one thing I can ask. I came out of the woodwork; somebody else can too."