04/06/09 — Store's greeter earns $6,000 for charity ... a dollar at a time

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Store's greeter earns $6,000 for charity ... a dollar at a time

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 6, 2009 1:46 PM

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Vicki Mozingo, a greeter at Sam's Club, shows her trademark smile. Mrs. Mozingo raised more than $6,000 by herself for the Children's Miracle Network by pinning a dollar bill to her smock and waiting for customers to ask why.

All it took was pinning a dollar bill to her smock at Sam's Club, and a few weeks later, Vicki Mozingo, who mans the doors at the warehouse club, had raised more than $6,000 for children with cancer.

Those funds -- as well as the $6,000 more the other 149 employees at the store raised -- were sent to the Children's Miracle Network to help the children in the Duke Medical Center cancer ward.

The idea was simple -- the store has a no solicitation policy, so employees could not tell customers what they were doing. So, they pinned dollar bills to their chests and waited for customers to ask why. And many of them did, Mrs. Mozingo said.

"When they ask about it, I explain, 'You're helping a child who's sick.' I explain how I love children and it's helping somebody's child get well. It's in the way you give, whether it's money or time," she said.

Mrs. Mozingo was so caught up in what she was doing that she didn't notice how the money was mounting up. She would plan to quit at $2,000, then at $5,000.

"Whenever I'd plan to quit, the people would keep giving," she said. "I've had parents come in with water in their eyes and say, 'Please don't quit.'"

She said she did not just collect dollars from visitors, but stories as well.

Customers would talk, she said, and she would listen.

"To look at a person, you never know what they've been through ... I've had people tell me they went to Duke when they were children or that their child goes. There for different health problems," Mrs. Mozingo said.

"I don't know how it feels to have a child of my own, but my husband and I kept a boy from the Falcon Children's Home from the time he was 8 years old until he turned 13. So I know how it feels to get attached to a child. Even when I was growing up, I always loved children. They have a way to your heart."

In 2005, Mrs. Mozingo raised $500 -- a lot of money, she thought then.

This year, before she knew it, she said, she had raised half of the store's donation on her own.

Her supervisors acknowledged her contribution by naming her Associate of the Year -- the second year she has won the title.

But for Mrs. Mozingo, it's not about the awards. It's about the children.

"I went to Duke and saw the children. I had no idea infants had cancer," she said. "When you see it firsthand, it makes an impact on your life, and you never forget it."