Seasonal Karma


At Chrysalis, November 1 marks the end of our second year in business.  We couldn’t be more grateful for our success this year and we are committed to giving back. I have found so many of you who work tirelessly for your clients, and many of you take a discount on the commissions you work so hard for, in order to help them in difficult times. 

The attached letter will explain how I’d like to do the same.  I am not asking for money, I’m just hoping you can help me find the right recipient for the gift of a ‘hand up’. 

To give a little perspective, I’d like to share a story of how a gift profoundly changed my life.

In the year 2000, I left my 11 year marriage. I had two little boys, aged 6 and 8, a Great Dane and 3 cats to care for, and despite having a really good job in the oil industry, trying to make ends meet wasn’t simple. I spent the first year scraping up just enough money to buy an old half duplex in Bowness so my kids would have some stability. I was paying a kings’ ransom in daycare, and quickly realized I could no longer afford the family van. Having no vehicle was going to make grocery shopping and getting my sons to biweekly doctor appointments etc. a lot more difficult….

A friend mentioned my circumstance at work, and one of his co-workers stepped up to say he was looking to sell his 1974 Ford Fairlane. He had lovingly cared for this vehicle over the years, and he knew that while it wasn’t pretty or valuable, it was mechanically sound, and would get me from place to place.

He was given my number, unbeknownst to me, and just days before I was to be without a vehicle, he called me. He introduced himself, and told me he had a car for sale. He said it had been a great car, but that he needed something bigger for his growing family. He was looking for the ‘right’ person to sell the car to, and that if I could drive a standard, I was that person.

He told me the car could be mine for $1 and a promise that someday I would ‘Pay it Forward’ to someone who needed a hand up.

I gratefully took him up on his offer, and the day I picked the car up, his two little girls cried as I drove it away. That powder blue station wagon got my boys and me through the next two years without issue, before finally breaking down just when I could afford to get something better suited to hauling two big boys and 150 pound dog around.

Since then, I have tried to pay back my debt many ways, and have tried to instill in my kids how big even a ‘small’ kindness can be. We are entering the holiday season, which for me, is a time to reflect on how fortunate I have been in my life, and it’s time to work on paying back again…


In the spirit of the Season,

Season of Giving letter

Ellen Mann

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