A balloon took her Christmas wish list from Mexico. A real-life Santa found it in the U.S.

When 8-year-old Dayami wrote her Christmas wish list and sent it off on a red balloon, she had no idea a real-life Santa would find it.

Randy Heiss was walking his dog in the mountains of Patagonia, Arizona when he came across a deflated red balloon with a note attached to it. On the front was a hand-drawn ribbon with the name “Dayami” scrawled in a child’s handwriting. Inside, written in Spanish, was a numbered list of items including paints, slime, a doll and dollhouse, and clothes—a child’s Christmas wish list to Santa.

Most would think such a note was cute and then toss it in the trash. But after Heiss’s wife translated the note, the couple decided that it would be a shame for Dayami’s Christmas wishes go unfulfilled.


“It really touched my heart to find it,” Heiss told NBC affiliate KVOA, “and I said well how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true.”

Heiss shared the note on Facebook to see if anyone might know where the balloon came from. After a few days of no leads, he enlisted the help of Radio XENY AM in Nogales, Mexico, which shared a photo of Dayami’s note on the station’s Facebook page.

Ayúdenos a encontrar a una niña de nombre Dayami.Una niña de nombre Dayani, que se cree viva en Nogales, soltó al aire...

Posted by Radio XENY AM on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Within an hour, someone tagged Dayami's mother in the post and the girl was found. As it turned out, she lives in Nogales, Mexico, less than an hour's drive from Patagonia.

Once the Heisses knew who and where Dayami was, they set out to make her wishes come true.

Dayami may have sent her wish list off to Santa by way of balloon, but the winds of fate had blown it right into Randy Heiss’s path. And he and his wife were deterimined to make sure Dayami got the gifts she asked Santa for.

The Nogales radio station helped arrange a meeting between Dayami’s family and the Heisses, and the couple crossed the border to hand delivered the gifts to Dayami and her younger sister, Ximena.

Heiss made mention of the wall the Trump administration wants to build along that border. “A 20-foot tall wall along the border. We got concertina wire stretched throughout it now,” he said. “Nothing is going to stop the faith of a child and her Christmas wishes.”

He told the "Today" show, “Love has no borders. That wall melted away for the day.”

Taking on the role of  Santa for Dayami and her sister helped bring healing to the Heisses, who lost their only child years ago.

For Randy Heiss, shopping for Christmas gifts for Dayami was more than just a kind-hearted gesture. It helped fill a void that the couple always feels this time of year.

“We lost our only son nine years ago,” Heiss told KVOA. “So we don’t have grandchildren in our future and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”

See more of this heartening story here:

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Images via Canva and Unsplash

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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