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Returned purse sparks a Sun Prairie woman’s quest to share her gratitude

SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) — As Cheryl Huie pulled out notes from her grandkids, old concert tickets and photos of her family, it became clear, to this Sun Prairie woman, her black Michael Kors clutch is far more than a purse.

“I mean it was like I lost an appendage,” she said.

Still, Huie said it wasn’t just the sentimental stuff that had her reeling Monday afternoon. Her ID, all her credit cards and cash were inside, meaning she had to act fast to minimize any financial damage.

“I was thinking gosh anybody could be using it right now,” she said.

She started by retracing her steps, returning to the Sun Prairie Walmart where she last used it.

“My gut is just wrenching,” Huie said. “I’m just in my head thinking what I need to do first. What’s the most important thing?”

She asked around at the store, none of the clerks had seen it and no one had turned it in. Then she retraced her steps through the parking lot. There was no sign of the wallet there.

By then, Huie was ready to give up. She headed home to cancel her credit and debit cards.

“It was taking me some time with each card company as I called,” she said. “I see my phone and it’s ringing and I’ve got [the credit card company] on speaker and I’m on my iPad and I’m like I don’t know this number.”

The caller was Sun Prairie Officer Jason Lingle.

“I believe a grandfather and his grandson came in and they dropped off a wallet that they found,” he said.

Only when Huie didn’t answer his call, Lingle had to find another way to get that wallet home.

“I look out and my daughter goes, ‘The police are here!’ And I go, ‘What?! What?!” Huie said.

It was Lingle again.

“I decided to take the extra step and shoot over to their house,” he said.

Huie was overcome with gratitude.

“I look in his hand and he’s got my purse in his hand,” she said.

Everything was inside, just like she left it, but Huie still wanted one more thing.

“Could you please tell me who it was?” she asked. “The individual that brought my wallet to you.”

Lingle had to say, “no,” because the good Samaritans never gave their names. Not even the Sun Prairie Police Department knows who they are.

Without knowing who’s responsible for bringing her purse home, Huie is on a mission to make sure they know just how thankful she is. She started with a post in a Sun Prairie Facebook group.

“I’m hoping the angel that saved my day yesterday sees this,” the post begins.

It ends with a promise to pay that kindness forward when Huie gets the chance.

“It’s beyond getting my wallet back,” she said. “To have my faith in humanity restored.”

Her initial post thanking the people who returned her clutch has more than 450 likes, though she still doesn’t know whether the people responsible for bringing it back have seen it.

According to the Sun Prairie Police, this kind of story isn’t rare for their community.

They have people turning in lost possessions anonymously all the time and their officer acted just as many others do everyday. What is unique is the level of gratitude they’ve seen from this story.

Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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