Produced by Trusted Studios for Dollar General

Johanna Sampson, Ardmore, Oklahoma

I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into until I got there.” Johanna Sampson remembers when she first arrived at The Landing Bridge, an at-risk youth center in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where she volunteers to serve kids and teens every week. 

After facing personal struggles herself, she signed up, wanting to make a difference in the lives of others. What she didn’t realize was how much she also needed them, and the mutual meaningful impact they would have on each other.

“For some of [the kids], this may be the only hot meal they get all week,” says Johanna. “It was really overwhelming at first… I was just trying to get my life back on track.”

Serving others isn’t just a part-time passion for Johanna. In her job as a Warehouse Supervisor at the Dollar General Distribution Center in Ardmore, OK, she takes care of people all day. “Anything my team needs to succeed… I am the person that’s getting it for them. I can’t be successful without them.”

It was through Dollar General that Johanna was introduced to The Landing Bridge. With the support from colleagues like Jason Weaver and Landing Bridge Executive Director Amber Chavez, Johanna felt that her job had taken on new meaning. Seeing her experiences at Dollar General and The Landing Bridge come together — with both being grounded in extending true kindness to the community — has been nothing short of rewarding.

“These kids helped restore my faith,” she says. “They had been through unspeakable things but still have such a capacity to love. If we can keep one child from being an addict or one child from living on the streets, then we have done a good job.”

  • Kelly Aiglon Author