Little Girl In Mexico Sent Santa Letter By Balloon; Man Across The Border Found It
Christmas surprise goes beyond borders...
Randy Heiss was hiking in Patagonia, Arizona, when he spotted something bright red in the tall grass.
Recognizing it as a scrap of balloon, Randy walked over to pick it up and throw it away. That's when he saw the piece of paper attached to the balloon's string.
"Dayami," the paper said on one side, on the other, a list.
Randy told the Washington Post:
“My Spanish isn’t very good, but I could see it was a Christmas list.”
Randy himself had sent Santa letters by balloon when he was a boy. Nobody had answered his letters then, but here was his chance to be the answer he had hoped for as a child.
Randy's wife, who is fluent in Spanish, helped him translate the list. Little Dayami had asked Santa to bring her toys, clothes, and art supplies, "si tu puedas" - "if you can."
Randy wanted to make sure Dayami's Christmas wishes came true.
He was "pretty doggone sure" that her letter had come from Nogales, which is right across the border from Patagonia. So, he reached out on Facebook, hoping that friends in Nogales might know the family. No luck.
With Christmas getting closer and no leads, Randy knew he needed to broaden his search. He took a chance and sent a private message to Nogales radio station Radio XENY, asking for their help.
Miraculously, the station replied immediately. The next day, the station sent another message: they had found 8-year-old Dayami and wanted to arrange a meeting.
"It just changed my entire day,” Heiss said. “Instead of going back to my office in Bisbee, I went with my wife to Walmart.”
The excited couple bought everything on the list (except the Enchantimals, which were sold out), plus extra toys for Dayami's 4-year-old sister, Ximena, and drove out to Nogales the next day.
Describing the moment he and his wife, carrying armloads of presents, walked in to meet the awestruck girls, Heiss said:
“Their eyes were wide open with wonder. Like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this really did work!'"
Since the girls still believe in Santa, they called themselves "ayudantes de Santa" - "Santa's helpers."
"It was a beautiful experience for us...healing," says 60-year-old Randy, who lost his only son nine years ago. The couple has no other children, and no grandchildren. "Being around children at Christmastime has been absent in our lives,” Heiss said. Until now.
Randy calls it a "miracle" that he found Dayami and her family.
"We've made friends for life," he said. "And, for a day, that border fence with all it's concertina wire melted away."
SOURCE: Washington Post