LaShenda Williams might be Kroger's best employee these days, but not too long ago, she was sleeping right outside their front door. The foster care system adult had been living in her car and had never known a stable home life. In an interview with CNN, Williams recalled "I spent my life moving from foster care to foster care, dealing with child abuse and things like that. In the end, nobody wanted me, and I stayed in the system until my [high school] senior year."
Not only that, but she also had a learning disability that made education difficult for her. It all changed in East Nashville, Tennessee at a Kroger grocery store. She began shopping there and became friends with many workers. She would stop to say hello even on days she couldn't buy anything. Once Jackie Vandal, the store manager, learned of her home life, she couldn't sit back and watch her new friend struggle. Vandal helped Williams get hired and move up the ranks.
Her life has benefitted through the kindness of her new coworkers, who were able to help her with everything from home buying, furnishings, financial education, and more. According to Williams, they couldn't be better for her. "When I was hungry, they fed me. When I needed a pair of gloves, they gave them to me," she said, "These workers that I work with... they are my family."