Alvin Bamburg didn’t just put a holiday wish list tied to a balloon in Grand Cane, Louisiana, in the trash. Instead, he chose to take on the role of personal Santa for the wisher. Leticia Flores-Gonzalez had her twin girls, Luna and Gianella Gonzalez, tie their Christmas lists to balloons and launch them into the sky over their Liberal, Kansas home last Christmas. The girls prayed that Santa Claus would receive the balloons and deliver them their goodies!
“Because of the difficult year we had during the coronavirus pandemic, it was necessary to do something unique for my girls.” Leticia told CNN, “I wanted them to feel like 2020 was another year spent with mum making lovely memories.”
Leticia never intended for someone to find the balloon, thinking it would deflate and disappear somewhere in a tree nearby. However, one of the balloons actually reached one guy—someone who also had white facial hair and a generous heart.
Alvin was deer hunting in Grand Cane during late December when he saw one of the balloons tangled in the branches of 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,’ “he recalled. When he inspected the balloon, he found a folded yellow piece of paper sealed with a red star tied to its string. He opened it and saw a Christmas wish list to Santa from a girl named Luna.
The list included things that a typical 4-year-old would want for the holidays. Luna had asked Santa to bring her candy, a Frozen doll, a Spider-Man ball, a My Little Pony toy, and a puppy.
Alvin and his wife, Lee Ann Leopard Bamburg, became busy during the holidays. But, despite that, they didn’t forget about the list. So, in early January, Alvin shared his find with family and friends on Facebook, hoping to trace its origins. “Would love to know when it was launched. Looks like it traveled over 600 miles. Feel free to share,” he wrote.
So many people shared the post, and it eventually reached Leticia. “When we found out someone actually found Luna’s balloon, we were just in shock,” she said. “We couldn’t believe how kind people were; we were overwhelmed with love. That’s what really mattered.”
People asked Leticia to share Gianella’s list as well, so she did. After revealing her other daughter’s wish list, both girls began getting gifts from Alvin’s family, friends, co-workers, and even former schoolmates.
After months of communicating online, the Bamburgs made the six-hour trip to meet Leticia and her twins in mid-April. They had texted, talked, and FaceTimed before their meeting, and even then, it was clear that they had a connection. When they finally met in person, Alvin said it was just like “meeting family.”
During their visit, Alvin and Lee gave the girls one final present—a dachshund puppy! This is to grant Luna’s Christmas wish list. The sisters were overjoyed and named their new best friend Max. The families shared a meal, laughed, and bonded over shared values that day.
“To us, it isn’t the amount of gifts or the value that the girls are receiving,” Leticia said. “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.”
When the time came for them to say goodbye, both families agreed to meet again soon. Their next reunion is set to happen at the end of May. Until then, Alvin hopes their story will inspire others to find ways to make someone else happy.
“There’s so much sadness in the world right now, the world is a freaking mess,” he said. “It’s really not hard to spread kindness, and you can never underestimate the impact even just a smile will have on someone’s day.”
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