Calgary woman hopes to pay it forward after Good Samaritan returns lost purse

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Calgary woman hopes to pay it forward after Good Samaritan returns lost purse
WATCH: It was a random act of kindness that went above and beyond. Two strangers who are familiar with how it feels to be victims of crime ended up crossing paths to help one another. Jill Croteau explains – Dec 15, 2022

Like many people these days, Harry Robertson is living paycheque to paycheque.

“I’m fighting every month to stay ahead of the bills. I am just your average Joe,” Robertson said.

Except that he isn’t. There’s not much ordinary about him. After finding an abandoned purse in a shopping cart at the East Hills Costco, he first thought about how the person who lost it most be feeling and then wondered how to return it immediately.

Shelley Bainto’s purse was left in her shopping cart. Jill Croteau/Global News

“There was money, a phone, credit cards, keys, cash. Someone’s whole life was in there,” Robertson said.

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That whole life belonged to Shelley Bainto.

“It felt like the end of the world for minute,” Bainto said. “I just panicked.”

She said she was just sick about the thought of never getting it back, realizing she left it behind in the buggy after her shopping trip with her husband, Burt.

“I was thinking ‘that’s the end of it, I will never see this purse again’,” Bainto said. “It’s that pit in your stomach and I wanted to bawl and cry and scream and yell.”

She returned to the parking lot to try and search for it, but seeing no sign of it, she went home. Seconds later, Robertson pulled up to her house.

“I knew if it went from my hand to her hand, it will have been just as she left it,” Robertson said.

He delivered it right to her door.

Bainto was in disbelief.

“We were unloading our groceries and all of a sudden I heard: ‘Hey darling’. And there he is hanging my purse out the window. He found my purse! It was elation, almost to the point of crying,” Bainto said.

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As a gesture of her gratitude, Bainto wanted Robertson to have a little something.

Costco gift card from Shelley to Harry. Jill Croteau/Global News

“It was such a relief and such a real act of kindness and compassion and we were compelled to do something,” Bainto said.

She gave him a Costco gift card. But in the true selfless spirit, he’s not planning on using the gift on himself.

“I just rescued a cat. I will probably buy cat litter and food for Christmas.”

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