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(CNN) — Twin sisters received a late Christmas gift from a stranger almost 650 miles away after he found a holiday wish list tied to a balloon.
In December, Leticia Flores-Gonzalez had her 4-year-olds, Luna and Gianella Gonzalez, tie their lists to balloons and release them into the sky above their home in Liberal, Kansas. It was their way of reaching Santa Claus.
“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,” Flores-Gonzalez told CNN.
“It was never with the purpose someone would find the balloon. I thought it would deflate and would just disappear somewhere in a tree nearby.”
But one of those balloons did make it to a man with white facial hair — and a big heart.
Alvin Bamburg was deer hunting in Grand Cane, Louisiana, in late December, when he spotted one of the balloons 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,’ ” Bamburg told CNN. “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.”
Luna had asked Santa to bring her candy, a Spider Man ball, a Frozen doll, a puppy, and a My Little Pony toy.
The holidays kept Bamburg and his wife, Lee Ann Leopard Bamburg, distracted, but they didn’t forget about the list. In early January, Bamburg shared his discovery with family and friends on Facebook.
“Would love to know when it was launched. Looks like it traveled over 600 miles. Feel free to share,” Bamburg wrote.
So many people shared the post that it eventually reached Flores-Gonzalez.
“When we found out someone actually found Luna’s balloon, we were just in shock,” Flores-Gonzalez said. “We couldn’t believe how kind people were; we were overwhelmed with love. That’s what really mattered.”