LaShenda Williams had been anything but lucky until recently. From loneliness in the foster care system to addiction to a learning disability that plagued her chances of employment, the decks were all stacked up against her. However, the employees of a Kroger grocery store in Nashville, Tennessee demonstrated the power of kindness when she showed up, welcoming her as she had food and made friends. Soon she was recognized as a regular at the store, but had to move her car to a different location every night before going to bed- to avoid suspicion from the staff about what she was doing in the parking lot. The Kroger store was her only place to call home.
Williams revealed her desire for a job to the associate manager Jackie Vandal, who referred an upcoming job fair. With the help of Vandal and her outgoing, happy vibe, she clinched a part-time position cashier. As her dependability and kindness made her a community favorite amongst customers and staff alike, she was promoted to a full-time checkout associate in just a month. Soon, she earned enough to find herself her own place to live, but it was still missing something. When Verlenteez Williams (no relation) found that his favorite grocery clerk didn’t have furniture in her house, he turned to social media and rallied for LaShenda’s house to be transformed into a home. He received more than 200 responses, and donations began pouring in.
“I met [LaShenda] in passing while shopping at the Kroger, and she always said ‘hello’ and had a smile,” he said. “I knew I had some things [to donate], and I figured since she’d been a delight to me, there were surely other people who felt the same as I did.” He says. This proves how those who stay strong during uncertain times will be rewarded with whatever they didn’t have eventually- even if it’s people you can call family.