Serenity Williams, an 8-year-old from Washington D.C., wanted one thing more than anything in the world: A pet hamster.
And she was going to take matters into her own hands to get one.
Her plan: to write a letter, making a compelling argument about why she should have a hamster, and mail it to her local pet dealer, hoping they’d see her point of view.
“I never had a pet,” Serenity wrote. “I love hamsters because they eat carrots and grass. I will take good care of it because I’ll let it eat. I will make sure I clean the cage.”
But it was more than just wanting a pet. For Serenity, owning a hamster was empowerment, a path to a better life:
“If I [receive] a hamster, I will do better in school, make more friends, and become responsible.”
She also threw in a big drawing of a hamster, for good measure:
Every kid has sent a letter like this at some point. But surprisingly, Serenity’s plan worked. When her letter arrived, the recipients were touched by her words, and wanted to help her out.
Except, it wasn’t the intended recipients… It was an electric company.
Her letter to “Petco” had ended up at “Pepco,” a DC-area utilities company.
It was addressed to Petco, but the address was Pepco’s headquarters—evidently Serenity had mixed them up, and the letter ended up at Pepco’s customer care office.
“We don’t get a lot of letters from 8-year-olds with drawings of hamsters in them, so this one stood out,” wrote Dave Velazquez , the company’s president and CEO.
“It’s not the first time we’ve been confused with Petco,” the company joked in a Facebook post. “But it is the first time that a hamster has entered the mix.”
But despite not being a company that usually traffics in hamsters, they still felt compelled to help Serenity out—and were convinced by her pro-hamster argument.
“The hamster was something that would make her feel empowered, feel happy and feel strong,” Clay Anderson, a customer advocate at the company, explained in a video.
“And I said, ‘That is really sweet.’ The letter is something that touched us.”
So they decided to buy her a hamster themselves.
They called her mother asking for her permission—it wouldn’t be a great move to suddenly spring a new pet on an unsuspecting parent—but when they got the go-ahead, the utility company employees headed out to a pet store to make Serenity’s dream come true.
In addition to the hamster, they bought her all the supplies she would need:
Then, it was time to surprise Serenity.
Pepco had the family meet at their headquarters to receive the hamster. According to FOX5, Serenity at first thought it was a joke.
But then, she met her hamster:
Serenity was thrilled. Naturally, the company suggested she name the pet “Edison,” but Serenity picked the name herself: Brick.
Her family was with her, and they were excited as well, knowing how much Serenity wanted this.
“I wanted to say thank you, that my daughter finally got the pet that she wanted,” Serenity’s mother, Nichelle, told PepcoTV.
“She’s plenty excited, I know she’ll take good care of it.”
A dream come true, thanks to persistence, a mixed-up address, and some quality customer service.
“We deliver on our promise to our customers, no matter how small the customer or how small the task,” the CEO wrote.