highland park

‘Holiday Miracle': Woman Reunites Stranger With Gift Forgotten on Train

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A Chicago-area woman used the power of social media to do a very good deed just in time for the holidays.

Alisa Gordon Bay, of north suburban Highland Park, posted a photo on Facebook Monday night of a bag and two boxes from Nordstrom. Her caption asked friends in the area to help her locate a middle-aged man who left the items on the 6 p.m. outbound Metra Union Pacific North train that night.

He was sitting a couple of rows in front of me and may have gotten off at Indian Hill, Winnetka or Hubbard Woods," Bay wrote, adding that when she got off the train a few stops later, she spotted the bag on the floor by his seat.

Bay said the receipt was in the bag and she called the man's credit card company and the Nordstrom store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago to see if she could identify him, but found "no such luck" on either front.

"I would love to re-unite this bag with its owner! Could he be your hubby or significant other?" she asked, giving a hint that one of the items was personalized with the letter S.

The post was shared more than 3,500 times in less than 24 hours, with comments and suggestions rolling in.

Bay updated Tuesday morning to say that she had also called Metra's lost and found to leave her contact information, called Nordstrom's jewelry and customer service departments, as well as Winnetka police and was planning to personally go into Nordstrom to see if they could scan the receipt in the store to bring her closer.

Finally on Tuesday morning, Bay posted another update - one that she called "a holiday miracle."

"The man and his bag have been reunited!!!" she wrote, alongside a photo of herself handing the bag to its rightful owner. "THANK YOU to everyone who LIKED, SHARED and COMMENTED. It's a happy day for him, his family and for me!"

Bay said the bag's rightful owner was Chuck Douthic, who saw shared posts in his Winnetka neighborhood Facebook page and was able to track down her home phone number.

For Douthic, Monday started as a bad day and ended as one too after he left the bag - with a gift for his girlfriend's daughter inside - on a train.

"I heard them say the doors were about to close, and I didn't have my Nordstrom bag, and I was crushed," he said.

Bay said Douthic described the contents of the bag and picked it up Tuesday morning, once again thanking everyone who shared, posted and "worked [their] magic."

Both families met in Highland Park on Tuesday where Douthic gave his girlfriend's daughter the personalized gift he bought for her.

"I wanted to find him," said Bay. "And we did. The community did."

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