Top Earning Bell Ringer is Full of Christmas Cheer
Published December 23rd, 2013
It's a very recognizable sound during the holiday bustle, small bells ringing out for those in need.
Chances are you've donated to a Salvation Army volunteer before but never one quite like this.
At first look, Kenyata Tucker seems to be your ordinary bell ringer asking for donations for needy people this holiday.
But those who have strolled their grocery cart past her on their way in to Publix say, she's extraordinary.
At the Publix on 39th and 13th, you normally hear this Salvation Army bell ringer before you see her.
And what you hear is more than a bell.
"She's actually quite delightful!," said Natasha Smith, Publix shopper.
"It puts a smile on your face and a dance in your step, doesn't it?," said shopper Kathy Barrow.
Kenyata Tucker is a 21-year-old single mother of three.
She wanted to share a part of herself.
"Knowing that I have joy inside of me and spreading it, it makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my purpose in life," said Kenyata Tucker, bell ringer.
Her purpose is more than just ringing a bell.
She sings, dances and even tells jokes...
But she's also known for something else...
"In order to learn Kenyata's most infamous move, you have to have beads on first and then you just shimmy forward and shimmy back. This is called the Christmas shimmy," said Lauren Lettelier,TV20 News.
Maybe it's the "Christmas shimmy," I don't know, but her charm has made her the top earning bell ringer in the city of Gainesville.
She averages $250 a day to help provide for those in need.
All this singing and "Christmas shimmying" has gathered her quite the following.
"I love her to bits and pieces! She's a ding-a-ling!.No, frequently she's wonderful!," said Deborah Kaminskas, grocery shopper.
"She's making money and singing and dancing and being happy, instead of all these crazy people I see walking around all the time with gloomy faces trying to say,
Merry Christmas!,"said Gainesville resident Jeff Arnold.
Her spirit of giving brings a certain kind of cheer to Publix shoppers but even to those she might never meet.
"I'm really proud of the work I do and I just love making people smile," said Tucker.
Her last day as a bell ringer is tomorrow.
After that, she says she's looking for a job and starting classes at Santa Fe College in the summer.
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