Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A little Halloween magic courtesy of Loblaws

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Sometimes you get these little pockets of magical things that happen in life. These little moments that bring you to tears, things that make your heart jump, things that make you realize that the world really is full of so many great people.

Last Friday I had one of those moments. One of those moments that took my breath away and made me so incredibly grateful.

You see, I was on a bit of a mission this past week. A mission to convince companies to donate Halloween costumes to our school. Halloween costumes for all of the kids who I knew would walk into school Monday morning, see others dressed up and feel upset knowing that their family couldn't afford such luxuries. So, I went store to store begging asking managers to please consider donating some costumes to our kids...but I got turned down over and over again.

Then my mom, my 6yr old daughter Mya and I walked into the Superstore this past weekend and I stopped the very first lady who I saw with a name tag, and I told her about my kids at my school. I told her that I didn't want any child to show up feeling upset, feeling like they didn't fit in, or feeling that terrible sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach when it feels like you don't have what everyone else has.

And I could all of a sudden see it happening in her eyes.

She GOT it.

She felt it.

She immediately called her manager.

And then the real magic happened. She literally spent all of two seconds explaining the needs of some of the kids at our school and the managers response was an immediate YES.

YES!!!

I couldn't believe it. I swear my heart stopped for a moment.

This angel of a lady turned to me and said, "Go pick whatever costumes you need".

I thanked her profusely, took Mya's hand in mine and turned away so she wouldn't see the tears streaming down my face. Overwhelmed with gratitude. Overwhelmed with shock and with the incredible feeling that people are good.  

I turned to look at my mom and her eyes were full of tears too. So there we were, two blubbering women, walking down the aisles at the Superstore, heading towards the costume racks knowing that those costumes were not just costumes anymore--they were a lifeline to some kids at my school who would all of a sudden get to feel that surge of excitement of being handed something new, that feeling of belonging and that sense that they could, if even just for a moment, have what everyone else had.

So we picked through the racks of beautiful princess gowns, complete with jewels, crinoline and beading. We scanned through the Ninja Turtle costumes complete with built in muscles, turtle shells and masks. We looked at sizes and types, holding each one up to Mya's body to make sure we had appropriate sizes and we tried to pick a variety of options so that there could possibly be a good match for any child in need who showed up at my classroom door on Monday.



And then we carried our pile of costumes to customer service where they scanned each and every one of those amazing costumes through and handed them over to us, free of charge, with a smile.

When I stood there watching her scan each and every one of those costumes through, I realized that Loblaws had just donated over $300 worth of Halloween costumes to our school, without a second thought.



Unbelievable.



So my intention with this blog post is to say a great big thank you to Loblaws. To this wonderful company, please know that when the word started trickling through the school that I had costumes available for kids I started having teachers stop me in the hallway. I had one teacher tell me that she had a little boy in her classroom at that very moment who was incredibly upset since he didn't have a costume. Ironically, she told me that he spent the day before drawing a picture of Ninja Turtles since he loved them so much, so I handed her a Ninja Turtle costume and watched her walk down the hall to deliver this amazing gift to this unsuspecting little boy.

Please know that I had a kindergarten teacher come to my room telling me that a 5yr old little girl in her class was crying in the hallway since she didn't have a costume to wear, so I brought her into my room to pick a gorgeous sparkly dress from the pile that fit her perfectly and all of a sudden made her feel like she was the same as everyone else.  

Please know that I had a shy little girl show up at my classroom door with her friend asking if there was possibly a costume that might fit her since she didn't have one of her own. So we pulled a gorgeous Snow White costume over her head and she was all of a sudden transformed.

Please know that at the end of the day a little boy came up to me in a panic, asking if I had any costumes left since he had nothing to wear trick or treating that night. I'll never forget watching him skip down the hall holding his Ninja Turtle costume over his shoulder, thrilled beyond belief.



Please know that there was a little girl whose mom drew whiskers on her face with eye liner and told me that it was all that she had. She said that they were late for school that day since this little girl was so upset about not having a real costume--so we took her back to pick from the pile of gorgeous ball gowns.



I wish I could post a picture of her beaming face wearing the most beautiful purple princess gown that day.



So thank you Superstore and Loblaws for making this joy happen.



Thank you for caring as much about our kids as we do.



Thank you for your generosity, your thoughtfulness and your kindness.

And thank you for showing my own 3 kids the importance of giving--even if it meant Mya watching her mom and Nana sobbing down the aisles of the Superstore.


Happy Halloween from our little family to yours.




 And thank you Superstore and Loblaws for being so amazing.


 Love Erica xo

























 

7 comments:

  1. Amazing Erica! Well done Loblaws!

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    1. Definitely Sarah--well done Loblaws!! Such an amazing company :)

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  2. Im crying reading this too and I am so happy for the little girl who had eyeliner on her face and for her mother too! Thanks for being the kind and thoughtful soul you are Erica and never forgetting about those in need xoxo

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    1. I know--the little girl with eyeliner on her face is what got me emotional too. After experiencing her joy that day (along with all of the other kids) it makes you really realize that it's the little things, like a simple costume, that mean the most. Thanks for your note :)

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  3. Hi Erica,

    I work at the head office and discovered your post through social media. I shared this with the CEO and he relayed the instance to all employees at our quarterly town hall. I'm proud of the work we do and I am very thankful for people like you who enable us. Could you please share the location of the store?

    Thanks!
    Shilpa

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    1. Hi Shilpa, thanks so much for your note--and that's so wonderful that it was shared with the people/company who deserve much praise. Thank you for being so wonderful and thank you for passing it along. The location was the Superstore on Highland in Kitchener. Thanks again for sharing it!
      Erica

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    2. And Shilpa, I forgot to mention...please send a great big thank you to the CEO himself, because it's so clear to me that he is running a company that prides itself on caring and generosity, which is amazing to see. I would love to be able to shake his hand and thank him myself, so if there is ever an opportunity to meet him to thank him personally for what his company did for my kids I would be forever grateful. Thanks again! Erica :)

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