LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A television commercial has inspired an 11-year-old girl to use colored string to create artwork -- and it's all to raise money for local health care workers.
And she's more than tripled her goal.
Megan Chelliah's father says it all started with a commercial.
"Well, my daughter Megan came to me one day during this and said that she saw a commercial -- a Lowe's commercial -- and there was a project on the beginning of it that she said she wanted to see if we could do," explained Brian Chelliah. "We happened to have some wood glue. We just happened to have everything we needed to make the first one."
Megan says what began as a simple art project creating designs with wooden boards and colored string turned into a labor of love when she saw the health care workers around her scrambling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"So we have a lot of nurses around here, and I kind of see them constantly working," Megan said. "And they were all wearing masks with their face breaking out. And it kind of broke my heart that we're like -- we're all home when they're waking up early, going to bed late -- working their butts off just to save lives."
Megan says she set a goal of creating 300 string designs, but that was quickly exceeded. Then she passed 1,000.
"I'm like, "Wow!' I feel like I've accomplished this big achievement," Megan said.
It's an achievement that is in no way lost on people like Marcy Shelbyn, a U of L Health nurse.
"It's unbelieveable," Shelbyn said. "It's unimaginable that somebody that's 11 years old could be so selfless and want to give back and care enough to call and say, 'What is it that you guys need? What would benefit you? What would benefit your crew?'"
Megan's father says his daughter's spirit of giving has made an impact on him -- and he says he's happy that working on the project is an experience he can share with her.
"The thing I know I'll remember most about this time is not the facemasks and not being able to go to the stores I want to go to. It's gonna be these things we've made," he said.
"When we walk by and we're having a down day, we're going to see these hearts," Shelbyn said, referring to heart-shaped creations Megan made with strong. "And we're gonna know that Megan is with us, and is gonna uplift us through any moment that we're going through, and we're gonna feel that love, and that's going to be forever."
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