Born and raised in Holtville, Fannin has two grown children, Kim Fannin of Holtville and Butch Fannin of Imperial. Another son, Eddy Fannin, died in 1990. She has two granddaughters.
"Sometimes I hang out with the residents who are night owls," she said. "Sometimes it is just fun to play a game of checkers or listen to their stories. Everyone has a story. Everyone has endured something. They have all had struggles. I just have so much admiration for them. We have people here that just keep things lively and keep everyone laughing. I get to socialize with the visitors, too."
She said she couldn't ask for nicer people to work with.
"They are so encouraging. I have worked in places where I cried going to work and coming home," said Fannin. "The employees are often there on their days off. They just bond with all the residents. At Christmas an employee came when the residents were asleep and sneaked into their rooms and left a gift for each one.
"My supervisor, Rebecca Silva, often does the residents' nails during her breaks. So many of the people who work here give of their time to the residents. When they see someone might be a little troubled, they immediately try to get them to talk and see what is bothering them. Kim Toten, another employee, often takes the residents shopping."
Fannin said the care-givers who take care of the personal needs of the residents are "angels."
"When I am running late with my work at night they always come and help me. I think we have all the good people working here. This is an environment that needs people that care," she said. "The Holtville Soroptimist Club, and many people in the community, remember the residents all year long."
Losing 35 pounds recently has been an added bonus to working at The Valley Inn, she said. She even ran in the Carrot Festival Relay.
"That's what I like about Holtville," Fannin said. "When I am out running and people drive by, I hear: ‘Way to go, Donna.'"