Talk about an introduction.
When 13-year-old Ava Verscheure started her job as a carrier for the Peninsula News Review, delivering the Jan. 24 edition, she included a letter of introduction with each of the 80-plus papers she distributed to residents along her route in Central Saanich.
Joined by her mother Jen Verscheure, this first delivery took Verscheure some two-and-a-half hours to complete. But the extra personal touch, including her letter of introduction ordained with hand-drawn illustrations, drew thanking smiles, offers of chocolate and touched off a small street party.
One resident along her route, a collector of Cadillacs, told Verscheure to save her money, as he promised to sell her one of his vehicles. On the way back, the man’s wife offered her a big box of chocolate in celebration of her first day. Another woman also congratulated Ava, sparking what Ava’s mother described as a mini-celebration. At the end of the afternoon, mother and daughter hugged.
Ava has since also received letters thanking her for the note.
“I decided to write a little letter, because I wanted to show connection and appreciation for my customers,” said Ava. “I just didn’t want to give the paper and just have the job. I actually wanted to make people feel good.”
Ava’s mother said her daughter has always been a writer. “She always had a gift with words, getting images in her head and putting things down on paper,” said Jen. “A lot of time, she spends time on her own. She likes to write scripts, and make plays and movies and sort of thing. I think her way of connecting with people is through words, whereas her sister’s is through art.”
Ava was briefly scared when the wife of the car collector yelled out her name. “But then they gave me chocolate, so of course, I was happy,” she dead-panned.
Ava is not the only member her family delivering papers. Her 15-year-old sister Emily has been delivering papers since she was nine and her example not only inspired Ava to start delivering papers herself, but also include a little note.
Ava said she likes to learn new skills, gaining experience along the way. Her work ethic is evident, as her route includes almost twice as many customers as Emily’s. She also starts delivering right after returning home from school.
“She gets on it right away, which is really cool, because it has already been a long day at school,” said Jen.
For Ava, delivering papers is her very first job, adding that she expects to be a carrier for some time. “When I move on, I think to want to work on my writing and my dancing,” she said.
In a letter to Ava, customer Norma certainly applauds this direction.
“I’m pleased to hear that you aspire to being a writer and your introductory letter indicates that you are off to a good start,” it reads. “You are obviously very creative and your message is well expressed, and your illustrations are obviously delightful. We have a granddaughter, who writes poetry, so [we] appreciate the creative talents of young persons.”
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