NOBLE, Okla. (KFOR) – Think back to when you were a child and remember how excited you were when you received money for your birthday. Nathaniel Keener gets excited, too, but not for himself.
“He takes the money and buys gifts for the nursing home,” Louise Burrell said. “So, every year since then, we give him money, but I also try to buy him a gift, because I thought that was so sweet. He’s 13 now, so he started this three or four years ago. As a teenage boy he does this, and I was so impressed. I worked in schools for years, and this is the first child that I know of that I’ve ever met who is so selfless and giving.”
Burrell babysits Nathaniel’s little sister. They also go to the same church. Burrell nominated Nathanial for Pay it 4Ward.
“He’s a good kid, and I think the good kids need to be recognized, because all you ever hear about are the bad ones,” she said.
“Louise, on behalf of First Fidelity Bank, when we heard about what Nathaniel was doing, we were really excited to be a part of it,” Billy Reinhart of First Fidelity Bank said. “I’m going to present you with this $400. That is for Nathaniel, and he can keep doing what he’s doing.”
Nathaniel was in the Noble school gymnasium and had no idea about the surprise awaiting him.
“I donate it to the nursing home,” he said. “I buy stuff to give to them like blankets and soap.”
“Your such a selfless, giving young man,” Burrell said. “I would like to pay it forward and give you $400.”
Nathaniel’s acts of kindness started when he a fourth grader, and his fourth grade teacher brought her class to visit the nursing home during the holidays. Nathaniel never stopped.
“He just kind of took off with it after fourth grade.” Kimberly Romero said.
Since then Nathaniel has anonymously donated thousands of dollars in gifts, but the nursing home residents are not the only ones blessed by Nathaniel’s generosity.
“The last two years have been kind of hard for us teachers, and when you get something like this it’s a real boost to our morale,” Romero said.
“Like what you did made a difference.”
“Maybe not immediately, but years later you look back and see ‘I planted that seed.'”
And sometimes those seeds take root in ways we never imagined.