by Maren Schober
Nity Oris, 65 of Gales Ferry, is a most remarkable woman. Recipient of numerous humanitarian awards over the years, her list of accomplishments is so long, I hardly know where to begin. She lives a truly selfless life and is loved and appreciated by all who know her.
Nity was born in the Philippines in 1945. Greatly influenced by her late parents, Demetrio and Juana Valenzuela, Nity spends her life sharing, caring, loving and giving. It is what she is all about.
“Of course, I don’t do all these things by myself,” Nity is quick to say. “People help me all the time. It takes a team of people and I have lots of help.”
Nity is a nurse. Shortly after being trained in her native Philippines, she joined a student exchange program and came in the United States in 1967 at the age of 22. She chose to live Philadelphia where she was hired as a nurse. Her life soon changed when she met a young navy man named Roland Oris.
“After we married, we moved to Norwich in 1969 where I went to work as a nurse at Backus Hospital. Roland worked at the Navy Base in Groton.”
Nity is still at Backus Hospital after 40 years working as a nurse supervisor!
“We live in Gales Ferry now and we have two children, Roland and Jennifer. They are both grown and have spouses and children of their own. I have seven grandchildren and we are active members of Our Lady Of Lourdes Church.”
Space does not allow me to share all of Nity’s acts of giving but I will mention the highlights.
Nity spends her life helping patients and underprivileged people from Eastern CT to southeast Asia. She creates gardens that feed malnourished children and sends Philippine children to college through the Foundation she created.
What does Nity remember as the highlights of her volunteer efforts?
“What means the most to me is helping the children in the elementary school of my home town in the Philippines. In 2000, with the help of my friends at Backus Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes, I adopted the Sagasa Elementary School in Bago City, Negros Occidental. We have annual collections of vitamins and dried milk which are sent to the children. My sister who lives in the Philippines supervises the stirring of the milk. When I visit the school each year, I see the children growing healthier. This makes me very happy.”
“Also my parents were so wonderful I wanted to do something in their name and honor. In 2005 through fundraising I was able to donate $36,000 to build a library near the Sagasa School. This is the Demetrio and Juana Valenzuela Public Library and it is the first library in the entire area. Each year, I send boxes of books and eyeglasses.”
In June, Nity was awarded as a Healthcare Hero in CT by the CT Hospital Association. She joins a long list of other awards.