For The Soul · Thoughts

The Lady and Her Purse: The Stranger I’ll Never Forget

At the beginning of February, one day working at my last job, someone brought me a purse they found in a cart in the parking lot. I did, what I did every other time, I checked for ID and went through the phone book right away to call the customer. I found her number and left her a voice-mail, letting her know her purse was safe and sound.

She came in right away and was very thankful for getting her purse back. She tried to pay me – I, of course, refused to take the money despite her persistence. I explained I am just doing my job so I really could not accept her offer. She asked me who brought her purse in and I said I didn’t know who she was and that I thought the woman had left. But the woman was actually standing in line at the cash right behind me. The woman again tried to pay her for bringing her purse into the store. The woman refused the money. It was a really sweet gesture but seeing other people relieved and happy, makes my heart smile. That’s all I need.

Less than a week later, I came into work and was told there was something in the drawer for me. I unlocked the drawer and much to my surprise, there was a hand written letter and a gift card for Tim Hortons. Helen, the lady who lost her purse, came into the store and gave her letter and gift to my supervisor. The 2 page letter explains what happened that day. She ended the letter by saying, “So I wanted you to know what an amazing employee you have and to give her the enclosed gift – Tim Horton’s cards. Perhaps she can treat herself and/or co-workers and friends to coffee. I am so appreciative. Many thanks. Your Truly, Helen”

This letter brought tears to my eyes. In the 10 years I had worked in retail, no one has done anything like that for me. It wasn’t the gift that touched my heart; it was that she went out of her way to write a letter (because let’s be honest, those are rare these days) to say something really nice to someone. And I think the reason why this letter effected me the way it did because I really didn’t feel like what I did was something worth of any extra attention – to me, it wasn’t a big deal. It’s something I like to think anyone would have done.

Today I sat down and wrote her back – admittedly, I should have done it sooner but it’s better late than never. I am so glad she wrote her address on the letter because a few weeks after, I started my new job and hadn’t seen her before I left. Here is what I wrote:

“Dearest Helen,
Since I no longer work at GT, I never got the opportunity to thank you properly for your heart felt letter and gift. Although I was, what I feel, just doing my job, it truly warms my heart you took the time to show your appreciation. It was a wonderful start to my day. It’s the little things that make a difference and it’s customers like yourself who’ve made going to work so enjoyable. It brought a tear to my eye.
In a world that can be filled with so much negativity, your letter for calling you about your purse was a breath of fresh air. Hang on tight to your kind heart, Helen – it’s people like you that will make this planet a better place. Thank you, so very much.
Warmest regards, Stephanie
‘How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it'”

This is a story of the stranger I’ll never forget. I didn’t include my address on the letter because I am not looking for anything in return, other than the satisfaction of knowing that she’ll know her kind heart is recognized and appreciated. Isn’t that what we all want? To feel appreciation and love?

Never underestimate the effect you have on someone and how a small act of kindness can bring so much joy into someone’s life. It really, truly is the small things that make such a difference and people’s lives. This journey can be a tricky one and one hell of a crazy, beautiful ride – so don’t miss an opportunity to tell someone, even if you don’t know them, something from the heart. Tell your co-workers when they’ve done a good job or how the color they’re wearing looks great on them. Hold the door open for someone. Throw a few extra coins in a meter that’s about to time out. Hug someone just because. Write a letter…

I love you all, beautiful ones. Shine your light so bright that you light the way for others.

With love,



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