‘Tis the season for giving: Ten Oaks Middle School teacher looks to give back to nearly 90 seniors

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – One Ten Oaks Middle School special education teacher is gathering donations to make sure each one of the nearly 88 residents at the PruittHealth Conway nursing home get a present this Christmas Eve.

That teacher, Shannon Nininger, says there’s one special lady in her life who’s the inspiration behind the project.

“I really just want them to know that they are thought of, and that’s really all this is about,” said Nininger.

Nininger’s small gesture of wanting to give nearly 88 nursing home residents holiday gifts has turned into a community project.

“It was just like a, just like a good feeling to do something nice for other people,” she smiled.

She’s taken care of Shirley Bottrel, her 84-year-old grandmother, for awhile now.

Miss Shirley was diagnosed with early on-set dementia in her sixties, but she hasn’t let that stop her.

For Nininger, her grandmother is what’s inspiring her to give back.

“She’s a great person,” she said. “I just, I strive to be more like her everyday, and I know that I got everything that I have in my heart from her.”

When Nininger asked the “Residents of Carolina Forest” Facebook group which nursing home she should give to, the one that popped up the most was PruittHealth Conway.

“It’s really exciting when we get donations from the community, because it means our elders have not been forgotten,” said Laura Fowler, the nursing home’s administrator.

So far, around 10 people have donated nearly $300 worth of stuff, things like eyeglasses, candy, body wash and other things.

“Sometimes when they get certain gifts, like maybe a handmade gift that’s maybe a lap blanket, or something like that, it may bring back christmas memories from year’s past, like maybe their grandmother used to knit, or their grandmother sewed,” said Fowler.

Nininger and Miss Shirley will deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve.

“There are so many people that don’t have visitors, and you know, you don’t have to go out and buy something for them, but maybe spend some time, like maybe go visit a nursing home, and go, you know, read to them, or sit with them and talk to them, because honestly, my life growing up with my grandmother has taught me, you know, just to be so humble and to remember where we came from,” said Nininger.

If you want to donate to this cause, you can bring gifts to Ten Oaks Middle School on behalf of Shannon Nininger.

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