Louisiana seven-year-old Sydney Hotard fixed her broken playground by writing a well-crafted letter to her Parish President. Hotard was concerned that the plastic slide needed to be “more slippery” and that a nearby exposed electrical panel might be “dangerus.” Upon receiving the letter, Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet was so charmed that he ordered municipal workers to immediately fix the playground.
Hotard, a student at Messiah Montessori School in Houma, said she was surprised. “I didn’t think I’d get a response.”
Claudet forwarded the request to Sterling Washington, the parish’s parks and recreation director, who oversaw the improvements. He said they cost about $50 in supplies and work hours.
“Coming from a kid, who is our primary focus, it wasn’t much of a surprise to me,” he said. “It had to be addressed.”
The slide was worn from graffiti and general use, he said. A maintenance worker used sandpaper to smooth its surface and make it slick again.
Workers also installed a new sign listing park rules and replaced a damaged electrical panel, he said.
Washington, who’s served as director for eight years, said this is the first complaint from a child.
“It was nice to have a kid’s perspective,” he said, adding Sydney’s concerns were taken “very seriously.”
We can all learn from Hotard’s experience. It’s always worth asking for something you want, however simple or far-fetched your request might seem. And don’t ever doubt the power of a polite, well-crafted missive. Though you may not have the cute factor on your side, there are still a few pointers you can follow to write an effective complaint letter. Or just find a seven-year-old to help you out. Said the Parish President: “It was the cutest letter in the world. It’s going to be a memento.”
7-Year-Old’s Letter to Official Gets Playground Fixed [Fox News]