Salvation Army's best bell ringer is a mini horse named 'Tinker'
A mini horse is doing his part in giving back this holiday season. His name is "Tinker" and he is one of Salvation Army’s best bell ringers. He was at the Pick n' Save in Oshkosh on Saturday ringing his bell and giving out kisses.
"Tinker" is 18 years old, his partner "Telula" the dog sits on his back and helps him out. Tinker’s mom Carol Takacs taught him how to ring a bell and after he mastered it, she asked Salvation Army if they'd like some help for the holidays.
"Oh they were thrilled and so Tinker started ringing and the rest is history, he just, every year he gets more and more popular because he is such a sweet, fuzzy little ball of wonderful," said Takacs.
Tinker is a hot commodity every Christmas season.
“I've always heard about Tinker and yet to get on his calendar is pretty tough so I was in September at first I got a hold of Carol and I got on the list and so now we have Tinker here today, he's quite an attraction," said Don Karl, Captain of the Oshkosh Salvation Army.
"They just can't believe that he actually rings the bell, because they think he's adorable and sweet and they look at him and they're like 'oh that's so wonderful' but then they realize that he can actually ring a bell for the Salvation Army and they're like 'what? He's ringing the bell!' and I'm like yeah it's a Christmas miracle," said Takacs.
Tinker is quite the bell ringer, on average he's made about $250 an hour, on the higher end he's made as much as a $1,500 per hour.
"Well if that's the way it works that's good for us that would really help our kettle campaign get a good push," said Karl.
Takacs says as long as tinker's up for it, they will continue bell ringing for as long possible.
"This is our 8th season, so we're trying as hard as we can to get to all parts of the Wisconsin area so everybody can enjoy Tinker and give to such a great cause, the Salvation Army," said Takacs.