She could easily get a new phone, ID and cash, but she would never be able to replace all of the photographs, messages and iPhone contacts she had on her phone. She had photographs of people that weren’t around anymore, she would never be able to get those photos back.
She watched the manager as he stood in the corner before approaching him and asking a question. He didn’t hesitate as he pointed at the teenage cashier. She knew. Soon enough, she would make sure everyone knew what he had done.
Not Over Yet
Sheila Spencer was on her way home from her teaching job when she realized that she had forgotten to stop and pick up a few groceries.
Feeling annoyed, she turned around and pulled into the parking lot of the local Piggly Wiggly. It was late and she was feeling exhausted. At least it was Wednesday, she thought, taking a deep breath as she walked inside.
She repeated her list over and over in her head so she wouldn’t forget anything. “Bread…milk…fabric softener…” she mouthed as she moved ponderously through the aisles.
Suddenly, she felt someone bump her from behind. Startled, she protectively held her wristlet to her chest – all too aware that purse-nabbers and pickpockets would find her an easy target. Well, she’d prove them wrong, she thought angrily as she turned to confront him.
The clerk packing shelves behind Sheila apologized profusely when he saw her fierce expression and she was taken aback. Perhaps she was being too defensive, she thought as she continued on her way. It had been a hard day.
She took out enough cash to pay for her groceries and placed her wristlet on the seat inside her shopping cart so that she could keep an eye on it. But she didn’t know that she’d made a grave mistake as she moved toward the checkout line.
Finally, she was ready to go home. She was looking forward to preparing some dinner and watching some TV during her downtime. As she pushed her trolley into the receiving bay, she glanced at her watch and was dismayed to see that it was already 8:30 pm.
What she didn’t notice was that something important was missing from her wrist.
By the time Sheila had arrived home and had begun to make dinner, it was already 9:30. Wanting to look a recipe up on her phone, she realized what had happened with sickening certainty.
She retraced her steps and searched her car, but her wristlet was gone. Along with her iPhone, credit cards, ID, and $300 in cash.
Lost And Found
She called the Piggly Wiggly, but didn’t have high hopes. When the manager said that her purse had been handed in to lost and found, her heart leaped into her throat.
But would all of her precious belongings still be inside? She got in her car and sped back the way she had come to find out.
Moment Of Truth
Her heart was thudding in her chest as she got out of the car and rushed through the doors. Her whole life had been in that purse – ID, credit cards, medication, three-hundred dollars in cash. But at least those things could be replaced.
She feared the worst. Her eyes searched for the manager. If the contents of her wristlet were indeed missing, she knew exactly who the culprit was.
The manager looked confused, at first. Then he walked around the counter and rummaged through a box before handing Sheila’s purse back to her. She opened it up immediately, and her eyes widened.
“What is even more astonishing is, I had all my money in the wristlet and my iPhone,” Sheila recalls. Thunderstruck, she asked the manager of Piggly Wiggly’s who was responsible for handing her wristlet in.
He slowly raised a finger and pointed at a cashier at a busy counter, and Sheila recognized his face instantly. She was about to make this teenager Facebook famous.
Power Of Social Media
“She took my picture and told me I was going to be viral, which I didn’t think would be for real,” the cashier, named Antoine Starr, said later. But he had gravely underestimated the power of social media.
“But a lady came through my line an hour or two later and told me that I was on Facebook.”
True to her word, Sheila’s Facebook post and photo of Anthoine went viral. It garnered over 540,000 reactions.
It read: ‘This young man is Anthony, he works at the Piggly Wiggly on 78. On Wednesday after work, I went to Piggly Wiggly to buy a few things. Before I left I pushed my buggy in the port that holds the buggies on the outside of the store. After going home I realized at approximately 9:30 p. m. I couldn’t find my phone.’
Not Her Money
‘I started to look for my wristlet that carried my money but I couldn’t find that either. Earlier that morning Shelisa had given me 200.00 cash to get our tags, and I had over seventy dollars of my own money in there including 10.00 worth of quarters,’ Sheila wrote.
‘Tracing my steps I realized that the only place I had been was Piggly Wiggly.’
‘I called them and true enough my wristlet and phone were there. What is even more astonishing is, I had all my money in the wristlet and my I Phone. I asked the store manager who turned it in, and they said it was Anthony. The picture below is Anthony. Anthony is a teenager at Central Park Christian.’
Sheila was more than surprised to find all the contents of her wristlet intact and decided to do something for the kindhearted cashier.
Sheila decided to give 17-year-old Antoine $100 as a reward for turning her purse in, and even called his mother to tell her what a good job she had done in raising a son who did the right thing.
‘His mom cried tears of joys. We hear very little about kids when they do something positive, it’s always lots of talk about the bad things that happen. Let’s make this post go viral, to show other young men and ladies that there is honor in doing the right thing,’ she wrote.
“A Good Kid”
But the manager of Piggly Wiggly in Birmingham, Jason Armstrong, wasn’t too surprised by what his star employee had done.
“Anthoine is a really good guy – a good kid with a great heart,” he said in an interview. “We’ll take care of him… “It’s not hard. It’s all heart. It’s what you have in your heart.”
But Antoine doesn’t think his good deed was a ‘big deal’. “I just picked it up and returned it to one of my supervisors… And I thought about how I would feel if it was my stuff and was stolen from me,’ he said in an interview.
“I would be devastated. So I thought about her and I returned it.” But then, the news about Antoine caught someone else’s attention.
Showing His True Character
Soon, the owner of H& H Contractors had caught wind of the story and decided to honor the honest cashier with an act of kindness of his own. He awarded Anthoine a new car – a 2008 Honda Accord. And Sheila was delighted.
“If you sow a good seed, you’ll receive a good seed,” Sheila said. “Character is all about what happens when nobody’s watching but you and God.”
The Rewards Keep Coming
But a new car wasn’t all Antoine was about to receive. Sheila decided to write another Facebook post.
“Getting to know this young man and his wonderful family, you can see immediately where his ethics and morals come from,” her Facebook post began. “Antoine will be going to college next year and I would really like to do something very special to help him.”
“We’ve got to let him and all the other young men and women know that God always [rewards] honesty, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Then, Sheila suggested that readers contribute to Antoine’s college fund.
And all the people who had seen Sheila’s Facebook post were all too happy to oblige.
Paying It Forward
“So many of you have been generous enough to pay it forward, so if you would like to help him start his college life off, that would be [very much] appreciated,” Sheila added. Then, she shared a link to a GoFundMe page that she had created for Antoine.
Sadly, however, not everyone ends up with a happy ending. And for one young woman, her purse did indeed come back to her … with a very creepy addition.
25-year-old Hayley Minn had been looking forward to Friday all week.
Work had been tough, and she desperately needed to blow off some steam. So, when the girls were up for a night out of drinks and dancing, she slapped on her favorite lipstick as fast as she could and bolted out the door as soon as her shift ended.
There might have been other bars closer to where she lived, but the hot spot was near Liverpool station – where ladies got two-for-one cocktails all night.
Hayley tossed back the first two drinks with abandon and cheered on her gaggle of friends to catch up. It wasn’t long until she passed the “tipsy” line. The rest of the evening was staggering dancing and singing off-key to her favorite tunes. The night was perfect … until woke up the next day.
Somewhere along with her inebriated path home, she had lost her entire purse!
She sat at her kitchen table, nursing a coffee and cursing her careless behavior. Even if her phone and keys were still with her, and there wasn’t much money in her wallet, there were still plenty of cards to replace and other things to cancel. But 4 weeks later, something arrived at her doorstep.
It was a plainly wrapped package with the return address from a London post office.
She tore open the paper and squealed with happiness. There was her purse! As she rummaged around inside, she felt even happier that nothing had been taken! Her elations quickly spiked when she spotted a note tucked inside.
Started Out Nice …
It must have been a message from the good Samaritan who went above and beyond to return her purse.
But as she read the typed note, her happiness quickly fizzled and was replaced with bone-chilling fear. The first part was polite enough, but everything afterward made her sick to her stomach…
Quickly Turned Creepy
“Dear Miss Hayley, How are you? Hoping you will be fine and well. I would like to inform you that I found your precious purse (looks like it) at Liverpool street (sic) station. Might you drop it and look for it.”
“My whole intentions to go inside your purse was to look for your address or anything which can help me to send this thing to you nothing else but I found some naughty stuff as well – don’t need to feel any embracement (sic) honestly I like those people who take extra care lol.”
He Wanted A Response
It was bad enough this guy was talking about the condoms she had tucked away in her purse, but the message turned even creepier.
Not only did he want her to email him at [email protected] “to make sure” she got the package, but his next couple of requests made her feel ill.
Asking Her Out
“Just a piece of advice kindly look after yourself and all your belongings when you go out or allow someone else because you are one of the beautiful person I have ever seen (I am sure in real you are more beautiful as compared to your picture).”
“I wish if I can take you out sometime and spend time but I am sure you will definitely have someone in your life who is taking care of you very well otherwise allow me lol :)” The note continued…
“Have a good weekend. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require anything or if you think I would be able to do anything for you.”
‘Enjoy every single moment of your life and enjoy as much as you can because you never know what is going to happen next :)”
The words sat heavy in the cold pit of her stomach. This guy knew where she lived.
The first thing was to check all the locks. The next step was to contact her friends and family to take extra safety measures. Finally, she decided to post it on social media. Maybe if the guy knew the entire world was watching, maybe he would leave her alone.