A Special Locket Returned, a Billerica Mother’s Faith Restored

August 4, 2018

Manuela Almeida's impassioned Facebook post Monday, pleading for the safe return of her locket. Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Mary Leach

Special To The Sun

BILLERICA -- When Manuela Almeida realized she’d left a special Mother’s Day gift in a jewelry armoire she’d put at the curb of her Concord Road home Monday morning, she thought she’d lost the locket with photos of her twins forever.

Little did the Billerica resident know that the online community would light up and her treasure would be found less than eight hours later.

It was a social-media miracle that began with a simple post on Facebook, first posted privately then changed to public, that went viral in Billerica and beyond.

The plea was simple.

The gold heart was more than just pretty jewelry. It was a piece of her heart.

“The locket was a Mother’s Day gift when my twins were born,” Almeida said in an interview. “They are now 18 and headed to college in a couple of weeks, which is why we are downsizing. Being a single mom, it’s a very emotional time and not having the locket made it even more so.”

Almeida said her children suggested she post on social media after she realized the locket had been accidentally left in the jewelry armoire.

“I’m so grateful for social media, specifically The Billerica Moms Group, who got the word out within minutes,” she said.

From there the notice flew through cyberspace. From the Billerica News for Positive People group page to the neighborhood social media site Next Door.

Even the town of Billerica, with its official channels, tried to help.

By 4:24 p.m. the news everyone had been hoping for arrived. The locket had been returned.

And by 8 p.m., the locket was safely in hand. Almeida was ecstatic.

“Everyone was so kind,” Almeida said. “When I was told someone had found it I started crying! I had pretty much resigned to the fact that it was gone.”

Today, Almeida can wear her locket knowing that there are good people in the world and an entire online community that cares.

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