Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Baltimore man returns purse to woman who then saves his life


Aeric McCoy | Handout Photo

Zelda Caldwell - published on 08/01/17

"When I found that purse, it was like God put it there."

When Aeric “Bubby” McCoy found a purse behind an abandoned Baltimore rowhouse, he had no idea that returning it to its owner would save his life.

According to Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodericks, McCoy had hit bottom when he found the purse. At 36 years old, he was a heroin addict, in fear of losing his life — to the drug or to the dealers he had run-ins with from time to time.

“I didn’t care about my life,” he told Rodericks. “I was in so much pain mentally, I felt like my life had no value. And then, when I found that purse, it was like God put it there. It was crazy, like, normally, I would have just sold it. But this time, for once, I told myself, ‘Aeric, do the right thing, you gotta find the owner and give it back.'”

Inside the purse was an envelope with a name and address on it, which Roderick used to track down the owner. When he learned how far away she lived, he was “devastated,” but something pushed him on to buy a subway pass from a stranger, and walk for miles to her neighborhood across town. Along the way, strangers offered him money for the purse he was carrying, but he continued on.  

When he finally arrived at the address, a young woman approached him and said, “I’m Kaitlyn Smith. I’m the owner of that purse.”

She told Rodericks that someone had taken her purse the month before, and she had never expected to see it again.  

Surprised and grateful that McCoy had gone to so much trouble to bring her her purse, Smith befriended him and heard his story of his descent into addiction and homelessness. She bought him a one-way ticket to a residential drug treatment center in Florida, and set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his stay there.

Today, McCoy, who calls Smith each day from Florida, is ready to move into a half-way house for 90 days. Of Kaitlyn Smith, the 29-year-old medical sales representative whose purse he returned, he says: “That woman saved my life. She saved my life.”

To read the rest of this inspiring story, click here.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.