PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been a tough few weeks for Kristin Coffman. The 23-year-old Portland State University student had car problems and money issues among other things.
What happened on Black Friday at Nordstrom Rack could have been a disaster. Instead, it renewed her faith in humanity.
“My mom and I, we always, like, spend Black Friday together,” she told KOIN 6 News. Though she’s never been “a Nordy’s girl,” they went to Cascade Station Nordstrom Rack to see if they could “find a good deal.”
Coffman, who lives in Wilsonville and works as a server in a restaurant, had about $400 from tips in her wallet. Some of it was for Christmas presents, but the rest was to put in the bank for bills.
She was looking for a coat for herself, but found a gift for her mom and quickly made the purchase. She put her clutch wallet in her shopping bag and kept shopping.
A little later she went to the dressing room to try something else on. As she did, she noticed something in her bag had a stain.
“I took it out, and I think that may have been when my wallet may have come out,” Coffman said. But she didn’t realize it until minutes later when she was returning the stained item.
She needed her wallet and it wasn’t there. She immediately went back to the dressing room — and the wallet wasn’t there.
A few minutes later, “an employee from the dressing room came out to say they have found it. I was, like, instant relief. Oh my God, thank God, I had, like, all my cash in there.”
Only then did she find out all her money was gone.
“I felt so violated, and I just felt really hurt.”
Kristin Coffman said she’s working her way through school, paying her bills, her insurance. “This isn’t money that was just going to get forgotten about by me.”
The last 3 weeks, she said, were a struggle personally and financially. “Things that happened that just kind of, like, made me question humanity as a whole.”
She wanted to believe that whoever took the money really needed it, needed it more than she did. But she also knew there were surveillance cameras and maybe there was a picture of whoever took it.
She said she stepped outside the store — “It was raining” — while employees looked into the incident.
Then, her faith in humanity was restored by a Nordstrom Rack manager.
“We were so sorry to hear about what happened to Ms. Coffman during her recent visit to our store, and we just wanted to try and help make it right. To see that she chose to share her story, and some very kind words, was really humbling. We’re happy to know that we were able to play even a small part in brightening her day.” — Jessica Canfield, Nordstrom spokesperson
“She just came out and she had the biggest smile on her face,” Coffman told KOIN 6 News. Tears of joy rolled down her face as she recounted what happened next.
“She handed me the envelope and she was like, ‘This shouldn’t have happened to anybody in my store and it shouldn’t happen around Christmas,’ and she just handed it to me. She goes, ‘There’s $400 cash in there. Please take it.'”
Kristin began to cry and told the manager it wasn’t her fault.
“She just gave me a hug and said, ‘I know how hard it is to work for your money, and it just shouldn’t have happened.'”
“She was so kind and it was so unexpected and so selfless. And I didn’t even know what to do with it. I think I just stood there for 45 seconds, and my mom hugged her. We were just in hysterics.”
“I walked away from that just feeling light again, not necessarily because of the money but just because of the act and the kindness that was shown. It reminded me, like, in the time we’re in right now with people being so hateful and so selfless with each other, it completely reminded me of the kind of good people that are out there and I’m the kind of person that I want to be, too. I felt just, like, this liberation and I was just overwhelmed with gratefulness.”