Luna and Gianella Gonzalez attached their requests for Santa Claus to pink balloons and sent them off into the sky in Liberal, Kansas, in December.
But instead of heading for the North Pole, Luna’s balloon took a turn south and landed in Grand Cane,
‘I saw that balloon and God spoke to me,’ Bamburg told
‘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.’
He and his wife Lee Ann Leopard Bamburg made it their mission to track Luna down and make sure she got everything she wanted for the holidays.
Christmas came several months late for twin four-year-old girls Luna and Gianella Gonzales, who released their wish lists on balloons in December in Kansas before one of them was recovered hundreds of miles away in Louisiana by Alvin and Lee Ann Leopard
Alvin Bamburg discovered this balloon with Luna’s list for Santa in a tree while deer hunting in Grand Cane, Louisiana, in late December
Luna’s balloon traveled over 650 miles from Liberal, Kansas, to Grand Cane, Louisiana
Bamburg posted about his discovery on Facebook and asked for friends to help find the source, writing: ‘Would love to know when it was launched. Looks like it traveled over 600 miles. Feel free to share.’
The post went viral and ultimately reached Luna and Gianella’s mother, Leticia Flores-Gonzalez.
‘When we found out someone actually found Luna’s balloon, we were just in shock,’ Flores-Gonzalez told CNN. ‘We couldn’t believe how kind people were; we were overwhelmed with love. That’s what really mattered.’
Luna’s list, penned in her mom’s handwriting but with the girl’s signature, asked for candy, a Spiderman ball, a Frozen doll, a puppy and a My Little Pony.
Gianella’s list, which was shared by her mom after Luna’s went viral, requested Santa candy, stickers, a My Little Pony, flowers and earrings.
Flores-Gonzalez said when she shared the family’s address they were suddenly showered by gifts from kind-hearted strangers.
The biggest gift came from the Bamburgs, who drove six hours to meet the twins in mid-April.
The couple brought the final item on Luna’s list: a dachshund puppy named Max.
Luna and Gianella are pictured with the dachshund puppy the Bamburgs delivered to them this month – along with Luna’s Christmas list balloon
Luna and Gianella were overjoyed when they met their new puppy named Max
Luna and Gianella were inundated with gifts are their mother, Leticia Flores-Gonzalez, shared their wish lists (pictured) on Facebook
‘We had texted, talked, and FaceTimed before we even met, and it was clear we had a connection,’ Bamburg said. ‘When we met, it was just like meeting family.’
Flores-Gonzalez said: ‘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.’
The mother said she came up with the idea to launch the balloons as a happy memory after a difficult year.
‘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 said.
‘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.’
Bamburg said he hopes the heartwarming story will inspire others to engage in unlikely acts of kindness.
‘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.’
Luna and Gianella are pictured with their balloons before they released them in the sky
Alvin Bamberg and his wife Lee Ann Leopard Bamburg (pictured) made it their mission to track Luna down and make sure she got everything she wanted for the holidays