HOLLIDAY (KFDX/KJTL) — A grandmother in Holliday who has two kids under her care is facing financial struggles after being put on disability and losing her job.
Despite the hardship, she still actively volunteers, cares for her community and wants to give her grandkids a good Christmas. Here’s the story of how she became our next Christmas Came Early recipient:
The kids at Holliday Elementary and Middle School all know Tina, and volunteer crossing guard Tina Berryman knows all of them.
“I call them all my kiddos because I’m very, very picky about their safety,” Tina said. “It’s a blessing to be able to say they’re my kiddos – even though they’re really not – but they are, and I need to keep these kids safe.”
Tina Berryman is a grandmother who raises her two grandsons, Landon and Christian, after the unexpected passing of her daughter last year.
“I lost my daughter unexpectedly, and it was a long, long three weeks at the hospital,” Tina said. “I had to make the hardest decision of my life, and now I raise my two grandsons. It’s not easy. It’s not easy at all.”
Tina is on disability due to a back injury, but despite the injury, she continues to be a major caretaker for the family.
“Yeah, she took care of my stepdad for many years when he was sick,” Tina’s daughter Heather Barnes said. “She takes care of my nephews, she takes care of my grandparents, she takes care of everyone.”
Tina also volunteers every morning and afternoon as a crossing guard for Holliday Elementary and Middle School.
“Just like helping all those kids cross the road, like, make sure they don’t get hit a bit,” Tina’s grandson Christan Barnes said. “You even take a hit from a car just to save one of them.”
“She loves her crossing guard volunteering; that’s her favorite,” Heather Barnes said. “When those kids see her, like, I can tell, it makes her so happy that she’s knowing she’s protecting them every day.”
The kids aren’t the only ones who take notice of Tina’s volunteer work.
“In the past three years, she has been at the crosswalk every morning and afternoon,” Holliday Elementary Principal Shery Booker said. “It doesn’t matter what the weather is. She is out there, and she is ensuring that every child that walks across that street is safe.”
Day in and day out, Tina always tries to take care of everyone around her, give toward others with a big heart, and she never expects anything in return because she feels it’s her duty to always be strong.
“I try to be strong for both of them and for my daughter and for everybody else,” Tina said. “I would do anything for them, anything for them. If it’s my last penny, I’m going to spend it for if they need something or if they want something.”
That sympathetic mentality is why we decided to surprise her as a Christmas Came Early recipient.
“She just has the biggest heart of anyone that I know; she’s always just doing and doing and doing for everyone,” Heather Barnes said. “Even me, I’m a grown adult, and I would be lost without my mom. I would be so lost, we all would be lost without her.”
We found out that on special holidays, Tina bakes goodies for the kids to have, so it’s no wonder why the kids rush out after the final school bell around the Holiday Season.
If you want to nominate someone for Christmas Came Early, click here.