LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Little Rock woman’s purse, loaded with money and gift cards, meant for Christmas presents, was stolen just days before the holiday.
It happened Friday morning as Candyce Hinkle was with her husband at UAMS for a cancer treatment, but she says what happened next was something she’s only seen in the movies.
“When you have friends, honey, you’re just rich regardless,” Candyce says. She is a professional actress, but never did she think a scene from her life would mimic her favorite Christmas movie.
“It’s just like It’s a Wonderful Life!” she says, but just like in the movie, Candyce’s Christmas wasn’t looking merry or bright.
“He was diagnosed with a tumor and malignant gal bladder and acute leukemia,” Candyce says referring to her husband who just spent 23 days in the hospital for a cancer treatment.
“It’s a money and gift card kind of Christmas at our house this year,” she says.
Friday morning she picked up those gift cards – $800 dollars worth in her purse.
Candyce explains, “we had to come back to UAMS for lab work and somehow, its a mystery, my purse disappeared.”
Her Christmas was stolen. “It hurt my feelings. I tried not to be grouchy about it, but I did complain to my friends.” Candyce says.
One of those friends, without Candyce knowing, texted everyone they knew.
“You know that saying that ‘there’s no people like show people?’ Well that’s the absolute truth,” she says.
Candyce’s theater family united, donating more than double what she lost.
“They came out to Murray’s Dinner Theater and filled up a sack for me,” she says, “actors don’t make that much money.”
The generosity was overwhelming. “I have the opportunity to switch this and not let it beat me, not let it get me down.” Candyce says.
And just like it says in the ending of Its a Wonderful Life: “No man is a failure who has friends.”
Candyce says, “I know that those people did without so I wouldn’t have to do without, and that’s why I just feel all wrapped up with love.”
Candyce says she did report what happened to police. She’s finding comfort in hoping that whoever took the money needed it more than she did. She only wishes she had her car keys back.