Be Kind: Dancing custodian eases nerves at New Jersey vaccine site

BLACKWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- No matter the costume, you can't miss Marisol Rivera dancing and cleaning at the Camden County Vaccination Center in Blackwood, New Jersey.

"She was hired as a custodian and just took it upon herself to bring the joy and lift everyone's spirits," said her supervisor Larry Bullock.

"It takes their mind off being in here, being nervous," said Rivera. "By them looking at me, it blows out of their mind."

People get their shots and sit for at least 15 minutes to ensure there's no reaction.

That's where they come across Marisol.

"It's actually kind of nice to see somebody here raising everybody's spirits," said Joe Perozzi of Barrington.

"It sort of builds you up, makes you happy," said Walter Grosset of Washington Township.

Rivera estimates she has around 50 tutus and close to 300 costumes. She began accumulating the outfits at a former job at a diner where she would dress for holidays.

"So, I approached my boss and said, 'Can I put a costume on?' He said, 'Why?', and I said, 'I need to do something. I feel like I need to do something,"' Rivera said. "My first day I was dressed like a kitty and people were like, just loving it."

Everyone's wearing masks, but you can see the change in people's eyes when Marisol makes them smile.

Her Fitbit logs between 30,000 to 40,000 steps a day, but the joy and support she provides are immeasurable.

"I just lost my mother because of COVID," Pritchard said. "She has uplifted me. Just to see the effect she has on people who are working here, people getting vaccinated, she's just a breath of fresh air."
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