THE DALLES — A 10-year-old girl has donated a box of fidget toys to the Mid-Columbia Medical Center emergency room for kids with anxiety.
Natalie Morgan, fifth-grader at Colonel Wright Elementary School, used her allowance from mowing the lawn and doing chores around the house to purchase a bunch of “Pop Its,” a popular toy that features little silicon bubbles that can be popped back and forth. They’re considered a “fidget” toy in that they can be used to focus or cope, much like a stress ball.
Natalie, who wants to be a traveling nurse when she grows up, said her parents had encouraged her to do something good for other people. She had decided to donate Pop Its specifically because she thought they could help other kids relax despite being in the emergency room.
“It could help them not be stressed or have anxiety from it,” she said. “So they could calm themselves down with the satisfaction of popping the bubbles and the sound of it.”
Natalie said she wanted to donate the toys to the ER because she was hospitalized before and remembers it being really stressful.
“I had to have surgery and I was really scared because I was really young at the time,” she said. “And I didn’t have anything to help me feel better.”
She believes having something like a Pop-It would’ve calmed her down, Natalie said.
“It would’ve helped take the scariness away,” she said.
Natalie said she has Pop-Its now and she uses them to calm down when she’s stressed with school.
When picking out Pop-Its for the ER, she said she picked a bunch of fun ones. They come in different shapes, from a pineapple to characters from video games, and she was excited to get to share them, she said.
The toys donated will be given to children in the ER for them to keep and take home with them.
“I hope it helps make them less anxious,” she said.