*On Monday morning, the day after Mother’s Day, Yvette Melton, walked out the front door on her way to work and literally stumbled onto a clump of balloons on her lawn.
“I went to leave about 8:30 in the morning or so, and they were just right off the grass in my bushes right by the door,” Melton, 55, recalled. “And where I live, I thought it was just trash because we have so much wind, until I picked them up and saw the notes attached.”
As it turns out, the balloons were the efforts of three siblings whose mother had passed away suddenly, just a few days before Mother’s Day. Unable to bury her and give her the home going they knew she deserved, they took to holding bake sales and car washes – which they did on Mother’s Day – to raise the funds to pay for her $10,000 funeral.
But by the end of the day they had only earned $2,000.
Feeling overwhelmed and a bit defeated, the siblings returned home to find Lena Stargell, one of their mother Renee’s oldest and dearest friends, standing in the living room with a bundle of inflated balloons.
“‘You guys are going to write letters for your mom,'” Karries Finney, of Moreno Valley, Calif., recalled of Stargell’s touching idea. “She even had her kids do it, too. My mom was like their aunt. It took us all day to put our thoughts together.”
Each of the children, ages 16, 18 and 25, wrote notes from their hearts, pouring their personal thoughts for their beloved mom onto paper. They then turned to the skies, fastening the notes to the helium balloons and released them, hoping they’d reach her in heaven.
Finney was the admittedly skeptical one of the group with regard to the balloon idea, but she was willing to give it a shot if it meant having one last conversation with her mom, who was only 42-years-old at the time of her death.
And now she couldn’t be happier that she did.
“I knew my mom probably wasn’t going to read them or reach her in heaven, but honestly, now I know my mom was in heaven blowing those balloons right back down and put them on that porch,” she explained of what miraculously happened next.
Melton was apprehensive at first to read the notes for fear of being intrusive, but upon the realization of exactly what she was reading, she was blown away at the kids’ sweet gestures and decided to take action.
“I came into work with them and I said ‘I have to find this family,’ and my boss jumped on board,” said Melton. “These letters had nothing to do with the asking for help, it was just three kids’ thoughts to their mother. They had no intention of anyone finding it and they weren’t asking for anything.”
Melton excitedly Googled the names signed on the letters and eventually came across Renee Finney’s obituary. She contacted the funeral home who then contacted Finney, who was speechless to learn yet another “angel,” as she now refers to Melton, had found the balloons and wanted to help make the funeral possible.
“That afternoon the mortuary called us and we were like, ‘What? What’s going on?,'” said Finney, dumbfounded at the stranger’s generosity.
By that point, Melton, her boss and fellow coworkers had already collected $2,000 to give the family, and were still actively working to get more. Melton even set up a gofundme page, which she says raised an additional $10,000 within a mere nine hours.
As of this writing, the fund has raised more than $19,000.
“I just started crying,” said Finney. “When I found out, we were actually out doing bake sales and trying to raise more money. We were so overwhelmed with everything we had to do, and we just prayed. We just told ourselves, ‘We are prosperous and we will survive.'”
To read more about how this story has affected the lives of the children and Melton, go to ABC Good Morning America.
See a video report of the story below.