Arizona Man Buys Presents for Little Girl in Mexico Who Wrote Letter to Santa and Tied It to Balloon

An Arizona man bought Christmas gifts for a little girl across the border after finding her letter to Santa.
Facebook/Randy Heiss

Randy Heiss found the balloon tangled in a plant in Arizona, across the border from where it was released.

An Arizona man out for a walk with his dog on Dec. 16 stumbled upon a red balloon that had become tangled on a plant. 

Randy Heiss told he went to investigate and discovered that attached to the balloon was a handwritten note to Santa Claus in Spanish asking for a coloring book and markers. On the back it was signed "Dayami."

Heiss took the note home to his wife and decided to make it his mission to track down Dayami, posting on social media that he had found her note. 

But several days went by with no luck. With Christmas fast approaching, Heiss turned to Radio XENY, a radio station in Mexico, from where the family assumed the note had originated, for help. 

"I knew Christmas was about to pass, so I had to do something," Heiss said. "That's why I ramped it up."

It took just an hour before Dayami was tracked down on the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border, in the city of Nogales. 

"They sent pictures of her holding the balloon, with her sisters and cousins," Heiss said of XENY, adding that they asked him when he could get down there. 

"I was like, 'My whole day has changed. I was supposed to go to work!'" Heiss said with a laugh. "I'm lucky I have a job with some flexibility. "

He played Santa, going to a local Walmart to pick up presents for Dayami. Together with his wife, he drove across the border to give them to the little girl, whose parents were incredibly grateful for Heiss' generosity. 

Wishing to preserve the magic of Christmas, the couple played coy about who they were.

"They were asking, 'Are you guys the elves?' We said, 'No, we're just Santa's helpers,'" Heiss said with a laugh. 

As it turned out Dayami's family releases balloons each year. Heiss feels fortunate he stumbled upon hers. "There's hundreds of thousands of acres of land with nothing in it," he said. "The chances of finding a balloon are one in a billion."

Now, he's made some friends for life. They've stayed in touch online and plan to visit Nogales in January. 

"I think this is going to be an extension of our family," Heiss said, adding: "There's too much hatred in the world. Never miss an opportunity to perform an act of kindness."