A balloon and books bring 3 strangers together in Phoenix

Posted at 7:05 AM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 17:26:46-04

It's a story that inspired our ABC15 Arizona viewers to take action and donate to a little girl who loves to read.

It all started when 12-year old Vanessa, who lives in west Phoenix, wrote her address and a wish for books and on a balloon and let it go. Several days later it landed 20-miles away in Mesa.

The two sisters who got that balloon made that wish come true and sent Vanessa the series of books she had hoped for.

Then, Vanessa had one more wish: She wanted to meet the two ladies who bought her those books. 

On a Wednesday afternoon in downtown Phoenix, Vanessa walked the halls of the Phoenix Public Library. She had done it countless times before but this time it was a lot different. She was pretty nervous and she's not here to read. Instead, she was meeting two complete strangers would will quickly become friends.

Vanessa is ready to meet Kathy Schumacher and Barb Mattingly for the first time.

"I have a lump in my throat right now," says Vanessa.

The three met in a small conference room on the library's second floor. Barb and Kathy brought Vanessa's balloon to give back to Vanessa to one day show her own children that wishes really do come true.

"I thought that nobody would actually buy me the books but now I see there is kindness in this world," says Vanessa.

Barb and Kathy say they never wanted to attention. In fact, most of their family didn't know the two sisters had even sent Vanessa the books until the story aired on ABC15.

The two sisters say they're just happy the balloon landed in the right spot. 

"Just do something nice," says Barb. "It makes you feel good. And if you can make a child feel good, just do it."