DENVER - Some gifts you can't really buy. Some gifts are straight from the heart. For three months, every school day, Alyssa Schneider spends time making wooden rocking chairs for charity.
"When you donate time and when you donate actual things that make a difference, it doesn't matter how old you are," Schneider said.
The eighth grade student at Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences also volunteers once a week at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora. She is building six rocking chairs from scratch to donate.
"I think it would add to the rooms and the experience of being there," Schneider said. "Their goal is to make it feel more like home and less like a hospital."
Her parents, Charles Schneider and Hyla Feder, are proud of their daughter's dedication.
"I was impressed. I felt that she had a charitable spirit," Charles Schneider said. "She doesn't shy away from a large undertaking like that."
Feder says she knows first-hand the value of a gift like this.
"Her younger sister spent three weeks at Children's Hospital when she was a newborn," Feder said. "So, I know what it's like to sit in one of those rooms and want a place of comfort."
Alyssa hopes her gift is more than just a piece of furniture.
"I want the families to be able to be comfortable and be happy and for it to bring them joy in a place where there's not always joy," Alyssa said. "When you rock back and forth, it's soothing. It helps to calm yourself down."
Alyssa says she decided to do this project, which is taking a third of the entire school year, because it's been done before.
"Mr. Scott, my teacher, had donated 20 years ago six chairs to the hospital," Alyssa said.
Greg Scott is the school's Career Technology Education teacher. He says this is what teaching is all about.
"I feel a little piece of me is with her," Scott said. "She rocks."
Alyssa is finished with four of the six chairs. She plans to finish the last two rocking chairs and deliver them all to Children's Hospital sometime next month.
"I think about the kids in the hospital enjoying these chairs once they're there and that's what's important," Alyssa said.
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