Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Jessica Shares Her Experience in India

Katey GorskiTeam Member Volunteers, Travel

TMVP Jessica Killen in India

Meeting kids supported by The Miracle Foundation

Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Jessica shares how working for Whole Foods Market helped her find her purpose. 

I had no idea what an amazing company I was working for when I walked through the doors in August of 1996 at the old Greenville location.

More than a decade after hire, I was listening to Walter Robb speak about purpose.  He is an amazing speaker, and I was pulled in instantly.  He asked us what our greater purpose was – not filing or the little things in the job description – but the driving purpose behind everything we did. I didn’t know the answer to that question.  I also knew that I needed that answer.  After some soul searching, I realized that my purpose is to serve.  I serve my Team Members and leadership every day, I serve my friends, but I knew that I was being called to a greater service, and that is when I decided to apply for the Whole Foods Market Team Member Volunteer Program.  That was the beginning of this amazing journey.

water tank

Installing the water tank

I got to go to India in 2012 with Whole Foods Market and Whole Planet Foundation. We stayed at an orphanage supported by The Miracle Foundation in southern India that housed 145 children.  I think back, and I was so scared – I have no kids and I had no idea what we were going to do with 145 children.  When I got there, I realized how easy it was, all we had to do was love them.  Everything else was secondary.  I paid for my airfare, but Whole Foods Market covered the cost for everything else – my hotel, food, and most importantly – the project.  When we left, those kids had clean water and two new water tanks.  Because of this, some of them took their first ever shower.

Meeting microcredit clients

Meeting microcredit clients

We got to meet a group of microcredit clients in India – clients of Microcredit Initiative of Grameen.  We got to see their homes, meet their children, see the looms and goats and thread – their livelihood thanks to those microloans.  I couldn’t help but wonder if one of those women was the one who got the money I donate every paycheck.  It was powerful.

Now I go back to India pretty much every year, and I am struck by this one thing.  How many times did I think that one person can’t make a difference?  How many times did I think that my one dollar donation didn’t do anything?  And now I know with absolute certainty.  One person in Dallas can take one action, donate one dollar, participate in one trip and create ripples of change felt across the world to make this planet a better place for people everywhere.  One person can create change, hope, prosperity.  I am determined to be that one person, and to help others realize they can be that one person also.

And here I am thinking that I am so grateful I came to Whole Foods Market all those years ago – because this is my purpose and I found it because of this job.  Whole Foods Market changed my life.  Thank you Whole Foods Market!!!!!