Wakithea Tucker
News 12

Wakithea's Photos

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December 23rd, 2008

Meet Wakithea "Kiki" Tucker from Brooklyn,
New York

We are so proud to introduce our $100,000 Holiday Grant Winner! Wakithea “Kiki” Tucker lives in Brooklyn, New York, is a single mom of four, and works a full time job as a hospital medical biller. Kiki applied for the $100,000 grant to help all 350 children who live in her N.Y.C. Housing Development. She has lived there for 16 years and says, “I have come to see that almost every family is struggling. I wish I could bring smiles to these children for a very long time.” You can see why Kiki was the clear choice for this grant.

Her Christmas gifts for the children are just the beginning. Kiki, along with Santa, showered the kids, from newborns to teens, with warm coats, clothing, book bags, toys, and games. She did all the shopping herself and since she knows all her neighbors, was able to personally select things they need most. She only spent part of her grant to provide a spectacular Christmas and now she plans to continue providing for the needs of 350 children well into next year, right up until the fall when school supplies will be topping her list.

Kiki’s four children range in age from 6 to 19 years. They are:
Tayveana, 6
Jalen, 9
Ottavia, 15
Paul, 19

She is a hard working single parent who struggles every day to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. “I teach my children that not having what you want is not what life is about,” said Kiki in her application. “It is about trying to give the ones that don't have a little something to look forward to.” This lesson to her children is now a reality they can see as they learn what a blessing it is to help others in need. I hope her children know what an outstanding role model they have in their mother.

Diary Starts Here

August 16th, 2010
Kiki finished up last Saturday with a festival for the entire neighborhood. She provided all the children and families in her housing development with a family day they will never forget. The streets were blocked off and she brought in carnival games, rides, entertainment, food, even a cotton candy machine! I just spoke to Kiki and she said everyone had a great time. The kids' favorites were the climbing wall and the teacups. Kiki even welcomed kids from other communities to join in the fun. She worked very hard on each of her events even though she works full time, and every event was organized and fun for everyone. Kiki was the perfect choice for this grant and I am so very proud of what she has done for her community.

click the image to see a slideshow

December 19th, 2009
Kiki did it again! Today she put on her second Christmas Extravaganza for hundreds of children at her housing development. We had to rent a truck to bring over all the toys and games she bought at Toys "R" Us. Kiki is such a bargain shopper, she still has enough left after today for yet another big shopping spree - maybe two -- next year. We love Kiki, our Christmas angel.

December 15th, 2009
Kiki's next big event is a Christmas Holiday Party for all the kids on Saturday, December 19th. Below are some photos from Kiki's recent shopping spree at Toys "R" Us...

click the image to see a slideshow

September 1st, 2009
Kiki held her Back-to-School Extravanganza last Saturday, August 29th. It was a huge success with hundreds of children receving new school supplies including backpacks, binders, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, erasers, etc.

click the image to see a slideshow

August 21st, 2009
UPDATE: We just heard that Kiki had a family emergency so her Back-to-School event tomorrow has been postponed.

August 21st, 2009
Here are some pictures of all the school supplies Kiki is storing in her apartment... Her Back-to-School Extravaganza is tomorrow.

click the image to see a slideshow

August 19th, 2009
It's back-to-school time, and Kiki and her crew are holding a giant Back-to-School Extravaganza this Saturday. It should be a fun and exciting time for all, and we can't wait to see pictures of all the kids with their new backpacks and school supplies.

April 13th, 2009
Kiki sent us some pics of the thank you cake she presented to the V.I.M. staff. They were instrumental in helping Kiki put together her shoe give-a-way.

click the image to see a slideshow

April 3rd, 2009
I just received a note from Kiki and a thank you card. Kiki wrote... "Hi Jenny, Some of the children signed this card to send their thanks to you. Thank you from me, Kiki"

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March 28th, 2009
Well, today was the big day! Kiki's Shoe-a-palooza! Kiki gave a brand new pair of Nike's to every single child in her complex - that's 350 pairs that she personally selected and then stored in her apartment until this morning. I spoke to her last night and she was so calm, but that's because she's organized. She had a plan, and provided color coded wristbands for each child so they would each get the shoes she picked for them. As if that's not enough, she went right from the big shoe event to her grandmother's 80th birthday party. She may have to sleep all day tomorrow! The shoe event was a huge hit with the kids, from newborns to teens.

click the image to see a slideshow

March 27th, 2009
Kiki sent us some pictures of all the shoes she is storing in her apartment... Her spectacular shoe give-a-way is tomorrow.

click the image to see a slideshow

March 7th, 2009
Kiki has been on a shopping spree at the V.I.M. store in Brooklyn to purchase shoes for her big upcoming Shoe-A-Thon...

click the image to see a slideshow

February 3rd, 2009
Kiki is already working on her big shoe give-a-way next month. She says the adults are still thanking her for what she did for the children for Christmas. Even the adults that don't have children are thanking her! The shoes will be arriving just in time for spring.

January 23rd, 2009
Happy Birthday to Edith, Kiki's coworker at the hospital! I just called to wish her a great day and she said she and her husband would celebrate together. Party on, Edith!

January 8th, 2009
Kiki is already planning her next extravaganza for the building and it will probably be a "Shoe-a-thon" where she will provide new shoes for all the children. They're still talking about her big Christmas give-away and Kiki sent sending us some sweet Thank You notes from her neighbors.

click the image to see a slideshow

December 23, 2008
I just spoke to Kiki and everything went great! It was a long day for her but she got all the presents into the room, stacking them up into a huge display. Here she is getting ready for the kids.

click the image to see larger view

She let the children choose their own gifts and said they were so excited, one little boy started screaming when he saw all the toys. Another little 9-year-old boy was so excited to get a new coat because the filling was coming out of the one he was wearing. Kiki said she wanted to cry. Kiki's children were there and her 9-year-old son, Jalen, couldn't stop talking about all the toys. Here's a photo of the family.

click the image to see larger view

Kiki's heart is so big, she even gave baby clothes to a woman from a building across the street who was about to give birth, in fact she let some of the children from the other building share in the gifts to. She has some gifts left over and will open the room tomorrow for whoever still needs anything. We'll have lots of photos next week.

December 22, 2008
It was time to tell Kiki the truth, that she was actually our big Holiday Grant recipient of $100,000. I called Edith first to have a camera ready, and then she got Kiki on the phone. I told Kiki she was actually the $100,000 grant winner and for a moment, I thought she did pass out. She didn’t believe me at first but I congratulated her and said it was true, that she now has another $75,000 to spend into next year on all the children in her building. We even talked about ‘back to school’ supplies in the fall. As I get to know Kiki, I am even more convinced that she was the perfect choice for this grant. She is a kind and giving person, and a great role model for her children and the community.

December 16, 2008
I called Kiki just to check in and see how far along she was in her shopping, concerned that she might not get it all done in time. “I’m all done,” she said. I couldn’t believe it. She only got the news four days ago! She said her Christmas shopping (for 350 children) was all done and everything was set aside at the stores ready for payment. So Damon got to work right away, took care of the bills, and Kiki has already arranged for delivery to her building. (I want this woman to plan my parties!) Kiki shopped at two different stores and sent us more pictures from their trip to Kid City.

click the image to see a slideshow

December 14, 2008
This was a shopping spree like no other. Kiki took some friends, including her fiancé, and went shopping. Lucky for us, she took a camera along.

click the image to see a slideshow

December 12, 2008
You never know how much of a shock people can handle so Damon and I decided to tell Kiki she was getting a $25,000 grant, just to make sure she didn’t pass out. I will give her the real story later. We enlisted the help of Kiki’s coworker, Edith, to help set up my surprise call to the ophthalmology department where Kiki works. Edith gathered a group together to share the moment, which included fellow workers Lucy, Vincent, Zoya, Larry, and Dr. Greebel. I told Kiki that she only qualified for $25,000 but it was plenty for a big Christmas giveaway. I’m not sure if she was laughing or crying, but Kiki was very excited to receive $25,000. I was emotional too, knowing how much more she’d be getting, and knowing how many children she would be helping, especially at Christmas time. Luckily Edith had a camera and took photos for us.

click the image to see a slideshow

And let me tell you, this is one organized woman. Kiki immediately put a plan together, saying she would go door to door to find out from the parents what their children need and she would provide it all for Christmas. She said she and Santa Claus would surprise all the kids on December 23rd in the community room of her building. That’s the reason we could not reveal who she was, because we didn’t want the children to find out and ruin their surprise. Kiki said she would start shopping this weekend.

E-mail Kiki a Message

12/23/08: Jenny wrote... "Kiki, what can I say? You're bringing joy to an entire building! You are surely everyone's Christmas Angel."

12/23/08: Damon wrote... "Congratulations, Kiki. What a fantastic thing you have done and will continue to do for your nieghbors in need. I know they appreciate you as much as we do."

12/23/08: Robin wrote... "As I read about you being the $100,000 dollar winner, I teared up knowing that all those children will be helped for a solid year. It is so important to our children to feel special and that is what you have done. Congratulations and have a very wonderful holiday season."
Robin - City of Harlem, Montana

12/23/08: Lorri Williams wrote... "Wakithea: Congratulations on being Jenny’s $100,000.00 grant recipient! What you have done for the children in your housing development is fantastic. You are a true hero." Lorri Williams – Harlem, MT

12/23/08: Vanessa Gumbs wrote... "Congratulations to you on winning and for sharing it with the children and families of the community. Everyone enjoyed themselves and loved your gifts. We wish you a blessed, safe and happy holiday from my family to yours. Girl get you some rest, cause I know that you are going to need it. lol!"
Vanessa Gumbs, Terrence, Ty-Quan, Martha, Quintayah, and Shamya

12/23/08: Y.F. wrote... "You are truly blessed because you won. Hope everyone's happy this Christmas."

12/29/08: Liz wrote... "Hi Kiki. Here's a congratulations from Canada! What you've done took a tremendous effort on your part! It takes a truly extraordinary and selfless person to take all the steps you took to get these results for all those kids. I'd be willing to bet they don't come down out of the clouds for a very long time. Seeing the happy faces on the children is worth a thousand words. I wish you and your community all the best of health and happiness in the New Year."

12/29/08: Terri O. wrote... "Wow Kiki, you sure know how to do things in a big way! Your priorities are right on target. May God continue to bless you, your kids and those in your building. What an inspiration you are!

01/22/09: Toni DeLoatch wrote... "Kiki, as a former residend in the building, I truly know and understand the needs of the families and know that without your efforts, Christmas would have not been the same nor would those children have smiled so hard in the absence of this wonderful blessing. Although I was not present, the energy behind the photos literally gave me goose bumps and I continue to think about you and your wonderful act of kindness. I'm grateful for knowing you and feel great sharing your story with others. Kiki, you have inspired and helped others to believe that anything is possIble. I wish you and your family all the best in 2009.
Toni AKA Noni"

04/17/09: "Sabrilady" wrote... "Job well done, baby."