It’s hard to imagine if you grew up in New England like me, but some kids have never seen snow. Some kids have never known the fun of throwing a snow ball, or making a snow angel, or sledding down a hill, or coming back home with snow caked on to your pants after playing outside all day.
And so it is for some of the kids in the poorest section of Los Angeles. Some of them have never seen snow. My wife decided she wanted to make it happen for the students at her school, a charter school in the middle of south LA.
One day as the wife and I were talking, she said matter of factly, “I wrote to the helpful Honda people to see if they’d make a snow day for the kids.” If you’re in a part of the world that doesn’t know the helpful Honda people, they’re part of a brilliant ad campaign which does good things for people. They raise awareness for the Honda brand by doing random acts of “helpfulness” as they call them. We’ve seen them at our pumpkin patch in town buying pumpkins for people. We’ve seen them buying gas for people and paying bills for people. And so my wife had sent them a letter asking them if they’d help make her snow day a reality.
She waited. No answer.
She waited some more. No answer.
What she didn’t know is that Honda had actually gotten in touch with ME. They wanted to make her snow day happen. They wanted it to be a surprise. I got them in touch with the school principal. They all made a plan. I had to keep the secret.
I held the secret.
I held it even longer.
They set a date for the first snow day which happened to be a Friday. Southern California was pelted with one of the biggest rain storms of the season. Washout. The event was canceled. The secret snow day was on hold.
They set a date for the NEXT Friday. Southern California was hit with one of the biggest storms in YEARS. Two Friday’s. Two washouts. The event was canceled. The secret snow day was on hold. Again.
I thought it might be canceled entirely. And then I got an email from Honda this week. It’s on! This Friday. They sent out press releases telling people about the secret snow day. Still my wife didn’t know. Still I kept the secret.
On the third Friday, the sun shined bright. It was sunny and warm and beautiful and the forecast was for SNOW. As the school kept my wife busy in meetings with parents, the Helpful Honda people showed up in South LA. They trucked in sleds, and a sledding hill, and then 40-tons of snow. 40 tons. Then they surprised my wife -and- the kids! The kids ran for the snow. They jumped in it. They threw it. They made snow balls in it. They sledded in it. They laughed in it. They laughed some more. In the middle of south Los Angeles, in the middle of one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, on a sunny and beautiful Friday afternoon, it was snowing.
I left work early, got our own kids, and let them in on the secret. I wanted to bring them to the snow day to see for themselves. I wanted them to see what mom had done with a letter of selflessness. They grabbed sleds and went down the hill themselves. Again. And again. And again.
My wife made it happen… she made it snow… with a very cool random act of helpfulness from the Helpful Honda people.