When you’re down on your luck, all it takes to change your life is one person who sees your potential and gives you a shot.
For LaShenda Williams of Nashville, Tennessee, that person was Jackie Vandal, the hiring manager at a local Kroger. The two of them first met when LaShenda was homeless, and it didn’t take long for her circumstances to turn around!
LaShenda often moved her car to the supermarket’s parking lot, where she would lean her seat all the way back so no one would see her sleeping inside. Her life had been disrupted time and again by addiction and domestic abuse, but she never let her situation dull her spirit. In fact, whenever she saw Jackie, she would ask about job openings, and Jackie recognized her upbeat attitude and honesty right away.
“You get a feel if someone’s sincere or if they’re just trying to get a job to say they got one and then quit a month later,” Jackie told USA Today. “She was very sincere.”
After months of LaShenda’s inquiries, Jackie finally found a lead and told LaShenda about an upcoming job fair. When the day finally came, the 46-year-old was first in line to apply! LaShenda spent two hours filling out the online application, and Jackie hired her the minute she hit “submit.”
Completely overwhelmed, LaShenda fell into Jackie’s arms in tears. She was so grateful for the opportunity to better her life and vowed to work as hard as she could.
“Don’t you worry about anything,” Jackie replied. “I’m gonna work you to death, and we’ll take care of you.”
Both of them kept their promise! LaShenda has been an exemplary employee for nearly a year now, and her coworkers have made her feel like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life. Not only has she found close friends at Kroger and in her community, but she was also able to afford her own apartment! Then her colleagues held a fundraiser to help her furnish it!
Now, LaShenda has never been happier or felt safer, and management said she’s an invaluable member of the Kroger team.
“For the very first time in my life, now I know what love is,” LaShenda added.
With her hard work and great attitude, LaShenda has completely turned her life around! All it took was one person to look past her situation and see her value!
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