WILKES-BARRE — Some call her “Miss Tina,” “Sister Tina” or “Grandma Tina.” Others know Tina Jones as “The Lollipop Lady” because that’s what she sells at Wilkes-Barre’s Farmers Market on Thursdays.
The Times Leader asked her about those 50-cent lollipops and their sticks, on which Jones has written a special message.
TL: What are your most popular flavors?
TJ: “People love them all, the watermelon, the strawberry, the cherry.”
TL: Does your apartment smell good when you’re making them?
TJ: “Oh, yes, especially the cinnamon.”
TL: Are you raising money for charity with these lollipop sales?
TJ: “I raised money for Candy’s Place, for the soup kitchen, for Ruth’s Place. Nowadays, sometimes I give away more than I sell.”
TL: Why did you write “Acts 2:38” on the back of each lollipop stick?
TJ: “It came to me when I was in the kitchen. The voice of God told me, ‘Acts 2:38’.”
TL: That verse says “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ ” What reaction do you want people to have?
TJ: “I want them to walk in the Lord. When I’m making the lollipops I pray over them, asking the Lord to help them with every lick — help the alcoholics and the drug addicts and the disobedient children.”
TL: Your faith is very important to you, isn’t it?
TJ: “I thank Almighty God that I can win souls for him. When I stand before Almighty God, he’s going to say, ‘Well done’.
You want me to tell you a story? Once I had no money and I saw something green on the ground. Everyone else was walking over it, but God didn’t mean it for them. So I picked it (a $20 bill) up and later, guess who I saw? It was a girl (from a shelter where Jones was a volunteer; the girl had recently treated Jones rudely) and you know what Almighty God said to me? He said, ‘Take her to McDonald’s.’ So I did, and she said, ‘Miss Tina, I’m sorry’ and we cried together at McDonald’s.
The Lord knows what he’s doing, and he just tickles me.”
TL: Were you always so spiritual?
TJ: “I’ve been saved 30 years.”
TL: How old are you, Miss Tina?
TJ: “Sixty-six, and I’m still lookin’ good.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT