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‘She was our hero’: Mom thanks business owner for small gesture that meant a lot

Young Valeie Chartrand now a happier four year old thanks to Melanie Lacroix
Valerie Chartrand, 4, is a much happier little girl now that she has a new cup courtesy of Melanie Lacroix, owner of Mel’s Dollar Klub in the Hanmer mall. (Supplied)

A kind gesture from a small business owner means a great deal to a local mom and her four-year-old daughter.

On July 5, Chantal Chartrand’s daughter, Valerie, found herself without her favourite sippy cup. For most, it wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but for Valerie, who is non-verbal autistic, it resulted in an inconsolable young girl.

“Valerie gets fixated on things, and one of those things is her cup,” said Chartrand.

The cup ended up breaking Sunday afternoon, and there was no consoling Valerie.

Chartrand said she bought Valerie’s favourite cup at Mel’s Dollar Klub in the Hanmer mall. She goes there every few months to replace the cup, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, she hasn’t been able to visit the store.

On Sunday, when she needed a new cup the most, Mel’s Dollar Klub was closed.

So, Chartrand  took to Facebook to see if she could track down the owner, Melanie Lacroix. She was successful, and Lacroix agreed to meet her at the store. 

Lacroix, who comes from a small town and has always run a family business, said helping people out like that is essentially par for the course. Living only five minutes away from her store, it was an easy choice.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have the same cup in stock, but managed to find a similar cup that seemed to appease Valerie, at least for the time being. She didn’t charge Chartrand for the cup, either.

Lacroix has since ordered an entire box of the cups, so there will be plenty there for Valerie in the future.

Even though helping out the young girl was a natural thing for Lacroix, it meant the world for Chartrand and Valerie.

“It was amazing, and I’m so grateful that she opened her store to get something my daughter really needed. She was our hero,” Chartrand said.

Arron Pickard

About the Author: Arron Pickard

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