Why Pepco Employees Bought a Little Girl a Hamster
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Why Pepco Employees Bought a Little Girl a Hamster


A letter arrived at its destination in a plain white business envelope, written in a child’s careful hand.

Pepco Holdings CEO Dave Velazquez
Pepco Holdings President and CEO, Dave Velazquez

In it, a little girl from the District of Columbia named Serenity had a straightforward request. She wanted a hamster. She promised to work extra hard in school and at home if she could get a hamster. “I never had a pet,” Serenity, age 8, wrote. “I love hamsters because they eat carrots and grass. I will take good care of it because I’ll let it eat. I will make sure I clean the cage.” In case the point had been missed in any way, she drew a picture of a hamster that took up the entire bottom half of the letter.

If you’re wondering why the CEO of Pepco Holdings (that’s Pepco, Atlantic City Electric, and Delmarva Power) is telling you this story, let me explain.

It turns out, Serenity meant to address the letter to Petco, the pet supply store with several locations in our area. But an address mishap accidentally sent it toward our customer care team at Pepco. One rogue ‘p’ and the envelope was quickly speeding through the mail stream at our Pepco Edison Place headquarters in downtown D.C.

We don’t get a lot of letters from 8-year-olds with drawings of hamsters in them, so this one stood out. When our customer care team opened the letter, they did what they do best: started determining how they could help provide excellent customer service. Typically that’s delivering safe, reliable, and affordable energy, but in this case it was delivering a hamster.

Serenity's hand-written letter
Serenity's hand-written letter

Clay Anderson, one of our customer advocates, said he and his colleague Cornell Reddon knew right away they wanted to help Serenity get her wish. After getting permission from Serenity’s mother, they picked up the small brown and white ball of fur and a full basket of supplies. On Friday, they proudly delivered Serenity her hamster at the Pepco headquarters.

“We work with customers on an individual basis every day, and we touch customers,” Clay said. “As a member of the Customer Advocate team, our job is to find solutions to any and all situations regarding Pepco. This letter was different. This young lady’s request was different. This time, the request touched all of us. We wanted to make a difference.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This is how we approach our work each day at Pepco Holdings. Our business is about putting customers first – whether they’re 8 or 88. It’s about going where we’re needed – across our own communities or even further afield in times of need across our country.

The same week that our customer care advocates delivered Serenity her hamster and aided customers across the region, a team from Pepco Holdings and our sister companies in the Exelon family of utilities were providing emergency power restoration to Florida residents. In New Jersey, our Atlantic City Electric employees were leading sessions for local community advocates on how to help low-income residents access crucial energy assistance programs. And at Delmarva Power, our employees were working with local organizations to prepare for the first Delaware New Technology Symposium where we will showcase innovative technologies and infrastructure developments.

That’s who we are in the Pepco Holdings/Exelon family of companies. We safely and eagerly tackle our work every day. We help communities in need. We innovate. We deliver on our promise to our customers, no matter how small the customer or how small the task. Even if it’s, say, the size of a hamster.