COPPELL (CBSDFW.COM) – A trip to the emergency room can be unsettling for a child, but a 3rd grader from Coppell is giving kids some comfort when they need it most.

Eight-year-old Chetana Kuchibhotla wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She likes caring for people, especially other kids toys-girl-1

when they are sick or hurt. During her class “genius hour” (when students work on a passion project once a week) at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School, she came up with a plan to help others, using her compassion for the hospital world.

She’s collecting new toys and delivering them to Las Colinas Medical Center, where children who come into the emergency department will be given a toy to keep as comfort.

“When [kids] are not feeling good, and the doctors are doing something, they can get their mind off the pain and play with the toys,” Chetana said.

Chetana made a donation box and set it up at the school, explaining her endeavor.

By Friday, December 13, she’d collected over 100 donations of games, dolls, puzzles, action figures and more.

The teachers and students at Cottonwood Elementary made it all possible.

“I’m really proud,” Chetana said.

Her parents are, too. Sarada and Krishna Kuchibhotla see this as a life lesson for their quiet, but determined daughter.

“I think what it has taught her, is if you want to do something, there are ways to do it. It’s a good learning experience for her that nobody is too small or little to achieve something,” Sarada said of her daughter.

When she arrived with the boxes at Las Colinas Medical Center with the boxes in tow, Emergency Services Director Jeremy Rountree was impressed by the little girl’s kind heartedness.

“She should be thinking about what she wants from Santa. Not what she’s going to get for other kids,” said Rountree.

Las Colinas Medical Center sees about 5,200 pediatric patients each year in the emergency department.

The hospital has established a special patient room for children within the ER, with bright paintings to help kids feel at ease.

Rountree says Chetana’s gift will be much appreciated.

“For a 3rd grader, especially during the holidays, this is unheard of,” Rountree said.

“It feels good that I have a lot of toys to give people,” Chetana said.

Donations can still be made by the Cottonwood Creek Elementary School community, or directly to Las Colinas Medical Center.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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