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When Derek, a Utility Trades Supervisor, presented a young boy with a certificate of appreciation this summer he did not expect much of it.

Derek took notice of Andrew who would watch Derek and his crews day in and day out while they were working in Owen Sound. He was even dressed for the part. “Andrew would always have his hard hat and safety vest on," said Derek. Their new honorary crew member would take notes and report back, including Monday morning updates from events over the weekend. “When we were just about finished working in Owen Sound, I thought it would be nice to give Andrew something to show my appreciation for his dedication and for always being safe."

Derek decided to create a certificate of appreciation that included a photo of Andrew with his safety gear on, and purchased some school supplies and a gift card, so Andrew could take his family out for dinner. When they day came to present the certificate and gift, Andrew​’s grandmother and siblings came out to watch him receive his certificate. 

Hydro One employee next to Hydro One truck

image of childs drawing

Image of framed images on a wall

Andrew’s enthusiasm and kind words from his grandmother were more than enough for Derek.

It was not the last time Derek would hear from Andrew's family as his mother later emailed Derek’s team, telling them that that day, her son was “over the moon!" and she wanted to thank Derek and his crew for their acts of kindness and time. “The kindness shown by these workers over the summer has been amazing for Andrew. He has thoroughly enjoyed feeling like one of the guys."

Derek did not know that being a part of the crew meant much more as he later learned Andrew’s father unexpectedly passed away from an accident. “This was very upsetting to hear and made me feel glad I could make Andrew happy, even a little," said Derek.

Wayne, a Front Line Manager, has known Derek for nearly 30 years in both a personal and professional capacity, and is Derek's current supervisor. “Derek is a caring and compassionate person, who continues to demonstrate a professional and customer-focused approach in all of his work. What he did to recognize Andrew
truly demonstrates the kind of people we have working for us," said Wayne. ​ “It is more than keeping the lights on and ensuring our customers have power when they need it, our employees across the province are very much engrained in our communities."

Routine maintenance work of replacing poles, installing new power lines and equipment became a very personal moment for Derek. He was later given a drawing Andrew had made, which now has a new home in Derek’s local office.

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