Randy Heiss was hiking in the large expanse of land behind his ranch in Patagonia, Arizona, a town near the US - Mexico border when he came across a curious site. A bright spot of red that was once a balloon was caught in the grass and to it, attached by a piece of string was a note.

After finding a Christmas list sent by a little girl in Mexico, Randy Heiss went out of his way to find her and make her dreams come true


On the top was written just one word - Dayami - while inside, was a numbered list of things in Spanish. Even though he could not read Spanish, 60 year old Randy Heiss smiled. Decades ago, as a child, he too used to do the same.

After finding a Christmas list sent by a little girl in Mexico, Randy Heiss went out of his way to find her and make her dreams come true
The list Randy Heiss found


It was a Christmas list meant to reach Santa Claus. While Santa had never responded to Randy's lists back then, he wondered if he could do more for Dayami as he deduced her name to be. He reasoned that the balloon had been sent from the nearest city across the border, Nogales but there was still a hitch even if his assumption was right - Nogales has a population of a quarter million people. How could he possibly continue from here?

After finding a Christmas list sent by a little girl in Mexico, Randy Heiss went out of his way to find her and make her dreams come true
This torn red balloon with a paper attached to it was all Randy had to go on

He tried Facebook hoping to see if anyone would respond to his post but drew a blank there. With Christmas drawing near and time running out, Randy Heiss then got in touch with the local radio station in Nogales, Mexico , Radio XENY. Eager to help after hearing about his quest, the radio station played the scenario out on their air and within 24 hours, called Randy back.

They had found Dayami.

With the radio station arranging for the two to meet the next morning, Randy Heiss took the day off from work and rushed to the local Walmart. Using his wife's help, he translated the items on the list - clothes, art supplies, a doll and doll set - and bought everything they could find and a few extra stuff as well after finding out that 8 year old Dayami had a 4 year old sister too.

Gift wrapping everything, the Heiss family then drove across the country border to Mexico and arrived at the radio station, carrying a literal car load of presents for two very excited girls. Keeping up the ruse, they explained to Dayami that they were "ayundantes de Santa"... Santa's helpers.

After finding a Christmas list sent by a little girl in Mexico, Randy Heiss went out of his way to find her and make her dreams come true
Dayami and her family after receiving her gifts from 'Santa Claus'


At a time when there is a 20 foot wall separating the two cities with sharp concertina wire stretched across to send a stern message, Randy and his wife's efforts to prove that love has no borders when it comes to a child having her Christmas wishes fulfilled did have another reason. As Dayami's parents thanked them for their amazing act of compassion and the elders watched the young children gleefully rip the wrapping off the gifts Santa Claus sent them, there was still a fact the Mexicans did not know about the Heiss family that had gone to so much trouble for them... a fact that made their act all the more poignant.

“We lost our only son nine years ago. 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 all these years.”
- Randy Heiss

The two families now keep in touch regularly and are friends for life. You can listen to Randy Heiss directly here:


After finding a Christmas list sent by a little girl in Mexico, Randy Heiss went out of his way to find her and make her dreams come true


Author's note:
This is part of my  #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes of Kindness and Compassion. 

Of course, I have been tracking these lovely human beings for years now and have found children as young as six years old and old women in their eighties from across the world who will restore your faith in humanity.

Want more stories of compassion to brighten up your day? Hundreds of 'Heroes of Kindness' can be found here:

Heroes of Kindness - 2017 edition
Heroes of Kindness - 2018 edition
Heroes of Kindness - 2019 edition
Heroes of Kindness - Indian edition

7 Comments

True love has no borders and this story of Dayamy just strengthened this belief. Keep sharing such inspirational tales👌
This is beyond words. Such a thoughtful gesture full of love and compassion from a stranger has reinstalled the faith of the kid about kindness. Beautiful post.
Soumya said…
Awww, who says Santas don't exist!
Some of these stories seem so ordinary and yet they so superhuman
Shilpa Garg said…
God! This is super awesome. More power to this Santa's Helper.
Shalini said…
Aww.. he is truly a Santa! Made my day.
Mandy said…
Such a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. I loved reading this. <3