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Channelside raises money for guard's new smile

Posted: 5:19 PM, Dec 17, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-17 17:47:29-05

In the spirit of giving, a single mom and security guard in Tampa is getting a gift that will change her life.

Samantha Wilson works at the Towers of Channelside doing more than checking cars.  

“My main job is to make them happy, and I'm very glad I can succeed at that,” she said.

She knows everyone by name, even walking their pets at times, and her hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.  

“Every day she goes above and beyond. She's just one of those people. She never stops, and she always has a kind word to say to everybody,” said resident Janet Brantner.

But what people have noticed is smiling is something Samantha would rather not do.

“I hide my face when I smile,” she said.

As a single mother of three, working fulltime and going to college fulltime, dental insurance just wasn’t a priority.

“My kids, dental care, their medical care came before anything I needed. I would go hungry at times to make sure they were fed,” said Wilson.

The result? Missing and rotting teeth. Now the community is banding together to get her smiling again.  

“We just thought we have to do this. It's takes a village, and we have a wonderful village here,” said Brantner.

Through GoFundMe they’ve raising thousands of dollars. They set a goal of $5,000, but within hours they'd already raised $7,000.

Dr. Jason Edwards, an oral surgeon living at the condos, is doing a $40,000 procedure at cost.

“What we are going to do is remove her non-restorable teeth. Level the bone, do some tissue stuff so she goes home with teeth in a day,” he said.

A smile that some take for granted means everything for her.

“I’m going to be able to smile again. Not going to have to hide my face when I laugh,” said Wilson. “It makes me feel blessed and loved. I really do feel loved right now.”