• Kroger helps homeless Germantown mother living in her van with son

    By: Jacque Masse

    Updated:

    SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. - A sweet act of kindness was shown from a Kroger employee to a woman living inside her van. 

    Ellan Willis is currently living inside her van with her teenager in the Kroger parking lot in Germantown.

    ORIGINAL STORY: Good Samaritan helps homeless woman living in car with her son in Germantown

    The Kroger corporate affairs manager saw the story on FOX13 and was inspired to help out. Willis was surprised when she was handed a $300 gift card.

    "Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh I can't believe it," said Willis. Willis said it's sometimes hard to ask for help.

    The past two months she's called this van her home in the Kroger parking lot. What she didn't expect is for people to keep giving.

    "I'm trying not to get weepy but when people help like this it's so moving to me because people just seem to want to help and do things," said Willis. 

    FOX13 shared her story on Monday. Willis recently moved from Washington state with her teenage son.

    She's on disability but it only covers so much.


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    Kroger is now her temporary home.

    "It's a little hard to ask for help but I still have my dignity I still get up in the morning and wash my face," said Willis. Teresa Dickerson with Kroger Corporate Affairs saw the story on FOX13.

    She wanted to help out, so FOX13 introduced them.

    Dickerson's plan is to find Willis housing. "We all need help at one point so why not pay it forward and help someone when you can," Dickerson.

    Willis is blown away by everyone's kindness, especially the people she calls her Kroger family.

    Her main concern is not herself but how she could ever repay them.

    "I want to be able to do something, to express my thanks to show my thanks to pay back and if all I can do is pay it forward and help the next person then damn straight pardon amy french I'm goign to do that," said Willis.

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