This 11-year-old girl cheers up isolated nursing home residents by bringing her pony to their windows

Eleven-year-old Jorja Boller wanted to cheer up older adults in the nursing homes around her hometown of Beatrice, Nebraska.And when she thought of wh...

Posted: May 6, 2020 3:11 PM
Updated: May 6, 2020 6:58 PM

Eleven-year-old Jorja Boller wanted to cheer up older adults in the nursing homes around her hometown of Beatrice, Nebraska.

And when she thought of who makes her smile when she feels lonely, she knew her little pony Peanut would have to pay them a visit while they are isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

'We brushed him and braided his hair with some colored pipe cleaners,' Jorja told CNN. ' And we put on a unicorn horn but he shook that off!'

Jorja and her 8-year-old sister Jurnee led Peanut up to the windows of the nursing homes. Staff on the phone helped facilitate conversations with the residents.

'I would talk to them ... and Peanut was acting up so he put on quite a show.' Jorja explained. 'And of course, my sister was dancing around.'

The residents really enjoyed seeing Peanut. Some would follow the girls and their pony from window to window.

A future therapy pony

Jorja visited three nursing homes with Peanut and has promised to return with him again. When the pandemic is over, Jorja plans to get the residents more involved.

'They really wanted more than anything to pet him.' Jorja told CNN. 'I am hoping I can have them do more with him soon. He was a little cranky but after a while he got used to it and liked it.'

Jorja is developing a program for the residents to be able spend more time with Peanut. There will be grooming, petting and plenty of treats to feed him.

A helping hand for older adults

Jorja is already well known at the nursing homes. She started volunteering at the facilities when she was about 7, when she helped out by opening doors and playing games. She also started her own annual fundraiser called 'Gifts for Grands' which raises money for Christmas gifts for the residents. Last year she raised enough to give out 550 presents.

Jorja has received recognition from the Good Samaritan Society and the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards -- but for her it's the smiles from the elderly that inspire her.

She is now teaching her younger sister Jurnee how to help out at the nursing homes.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1323312

Reported Deaths: 42134
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1651787958
Kings1622028176
Suffolk1340572677
Nassau1199332604
Bronx1105945327
Westchester884041836
New York791053490
Erie540971409
Richmond468611405
Monroe45706816
Rockland32948821
Orange30012661
Onondaga28797547
Dutchess17623336
Oneida17540369
Albany17287270
Niagara12718253
Broome11804270
Saratoga984289
Schenectady9131137
Ulster8129200
Rensselaer7349110
Putnam682476
Chautauqua594772
Chemung5782111
Oswego512375
Ontario490483
Steuben4740132
Cayuga465575
Sullivan399451
St. Lawrence393864
Herkimer389670
Wayne384556
Genesee3834102
Cattaraugus358162
Jefferson347629
Madison328876
Livingston284442
Tompkins281125
Cortland273855
Columbia269374
Allegany244275
Montgomery240078
Clinton236018
Tioga231354
Wyoming230344
Fulton229156
Warren224542
Greene217863
Orleans202471
Chenango188845
Otsego184324
Washington164427
Lewis161325
Seneca129847
Franklin12979
Delaware110027
Essex102521
Schoharie9606
Yates87522
Schuyler75110
Hamilton1611
Unassigned71110
Out of NY0168
Rome
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: 5°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
14° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 14°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: 5°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 11° Lo: -9°
Feels Like: 5°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve