Written by: Billie Clark
When I was finishing high school and getting ready for university, I decided that I would need a laptop. This was a little bit less than four years ago, and while laptops were getting less expensive, it was still a big expense. So my mom suggested that I should write letters to manufacturers.
I began by looking online for the names of companies that I was going to ask, their CEOs or Presidents (the people with the power to give out free computers), and their mailing addresses- focusing on the Canadian branches of the multi-national corporations I was petitioning.
Then I wrote up a letter of intent: I wrote about who I was, listed my grades, achievements, and school involvement, as well as explaining that I wanted a laptop and why. Then I sent out the letters and waited, knowing full well that, at best, I would probably just get some form letters in return and not really expecting anything at all.
After a few weeks, the first of my form letters, declining to give me a laptop, arrived. One of the companies gave me information regarding a charity they supported that I could apply for, with the possibility of receiving a laptop through it. I also received a lovely return-to-sender, which I found quite rude. Some companies completely failed to respond. I was positive that my mother’s plan had failed and that I would have to buy my own laptop.
Then it arrived. One afternoon a package arrived at my mom’s workplace. Completely without any information, sender or otherwise. I had received a laptop! I couldn’t believe it!After my laptop arrived, I sent out a letter to thank the CEO of the company that sent my laptop. I also sent him a few letters in the following couple years, just to update him on my university career and progress.
While this was so great for me, I hadn’t had the confidence that it would work- but it did. Sometimes it’s good to take chances and try new things. Don’t worry about potential failure- you never know the results you may get… and the worst they could say is no.