Feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge lately? Prepare to get filled with the Christmas spirit. Yes, we know it’s April…
In December, mom Leticia Flores-Gonzalez wanted to do something special for her 4-year-old twin daughters, Luna and Gianella.
According to CNN, Flores-Gonzalez had the girls write up their Christmas lists and tie them to balloons, then release them into the sky above their home in Liberal, Kansas (one of the few ways to reach Santa, of course).
“It was important doing something special for my girls because of the hard year we had during the coronavirus pandemic. I wanted them to feel like 2020 was another year spent with mom making beautiful memories. It was never with the purpose [that] someone would find the balloon. I thought it would deflate and would just disappear somewhere in a tree nearby.”Leticia Flores-Gonzalez, via CNN
One balloon found its way to a man with white facial hair—he just happens to live in Louisiana instead of the North Pole.
Alvin Bamburg was deer hunting in late December in Grand Cane, Louisiana, when he spotted a balloon tangled in a tree.
“I saw that balloon and God spoke to me. He said, ‘You need to get this, and, second of all, you need to get the trash out of the woods.’ When I got it I noticed a folded yellow piece of paper sealed with a red star, and it was a Christmas list from a girl named Luna.”Alvin Bamburg, via CNN
While the holiday season preoccupied Bamburg, he didn’t forget about the list he discovered.
In the New Year, he shared the list on Facebook writing, “Would love to know when it was launched. Looks like it traveled over 600 miles. Feel free to share.”
Luckily, enough people shared the post that it eventually reached Flores-Gonzalez and her daughters.
“When we found out someone actually found Luna’s balloon, we were just in shock. We couldn’t believe how kind people were; we were overwhelmed with love. That’s what really mattered.”Leticia Flores-Gonzalez, via CNN
The mother then received requests to share Gianella’s list, as well. After she did, both girls began receiving gifts from Bamburg’s family, friends, and other connections such as co-workers and old-schoolmates.
Eventually, Flores-Gonzalez and the Bamburgs connected, first over Facebook messenger and then it evolved to texting, phone calls, and FaceTime.
Finally, in April, the Bamburgs traveled six hours to meet up with the family to give them the last present on the twin’s wish list—a dachshund puppy, which the girls named Max.
The families enjoyed a meal together and bonded over shared values, with Bamburg saying, “When we met, it was just like meeting family.”
“To us, it isn’t the amount of gifts or the value that the girls are receiving. It’s the love they received. It meant the world to us. We see their smiles, and the lifelong friendship we have made with Alvin and his wife.”Leticia Flores-Gonzalez, via CNN
To think that this story could have gone completely different if it had been a bio-degradable balloon…