CYC-Online 71 DECEMBER 2004
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Tiny Vials of Thoughtfulness

Marie had been in care for a while when Christmas came. She was destined to stay as no-one, it seemed, wanted her home for Christmas. Marie had been window shopping for the past month “wandering in and out of the stores looking at the things she couldn’t afford, and the others that she had no reason to buy because she had no-one to give them to. But she enjoyed it just the same even if the pleasure of looking was tempered by the reminders of her life situation.

On one of her excursions through a local department store, Marie had come across a special, and expensive, perfume that she had just fallen in love with. She decided that this was all she wanted for Christmas. So, she told the staff of the group home where she was living that this was all she wanted.

Well, they appreciated her singular focus but the perfume was just too expensive for them to purchase. Like all agencies they had a limited budget for the extras. But they knew that this was what she really wanted. So, here’s what they did ...

Whenever one of the staff had a chance they popped into one of the larger department stores that carried the perfume. Like all big companies, they were giving away tiny sample vials of the perfume to encourage consumers to purchase the new product. Each time a staff went in, they asked for a sample “pretending, I guess, that they were thinking of buying a bottle for a friend or themselves.

The end result was, that on Christmas day, Marie received a small box. And when she opened the box, inside was a pile of those little sample containers, each one filled with the new perfume she had come to love.

Marie was thrilled. She loved having the perfume, but more than anything, her heart was touched by the thoughtfulness of the staff.

When the first day of school arrived after the holidays, Marie carefully dabbed a small amount of the perfume in just the right places and joined her friends. As they sniffed the air around her and enquired enviously about her new perfume, Marie knew that her holidays had been just as rich, and just as special as theirs. She felt special.

Marie still has one of the tiny vials on her dresser. She says she is waiting for the perfect moment to uncap the memory.


The International Child and Youth Care Network

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