For Jessica DeThample, general manager of store #4680 in Roanoke, Texas, helping others is all about remembering where she’s been. Jessica was once homeless, living in her car, doing her best to survive. Now that she is in a better place in her life, she wanted to extend a helping hand to others in need.
This past holiday season, Jessica set up an Angel Tree on the counter of her store. She decorated the Angel Tree with notecards that had the names and information (age, gender, interests) of underprivileged students from the local school district. Customers and team members selected a card and purchased a gift for that student. “I am proud to report that we brought holiday cheer for all of the children on the Angel Tree!” said Jessica.
Jessica didn’t stop there. She decided to give back to the people who needed it most. On Christmas day, Jessica made 14 large pizzas at her store, loaded them up in her car and drove to downtown Fort Worth. She spent the next two hours walking around downtown, giving away all of the pizzas to the homeless.
“The first two people I met approached me while I was stopped at a red light,” said Jessica. “I asked them if they had eaten that day. When they said no, I handed them a pizza. They were so surprised! They couldn’t thank me enough.”
Jessica describes the experience as the most amazing gift she’s ever given. “The bonus was that by giving these pizzas to others, I was really giving myself a gift too,” said Jessica. “I know how much it matters when someone shows that they care. It can be the spark that gives someone hope to keep going.”
Jessica and her team in Roanoke are wonderful examples of what it means to be “Better, Together.”