Texas girl’s plea for justice rides balloon all the way to Florida

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:11 EDT
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El Paso first grader Marcella Ornelas. Image: Screengrab, via The El Paso Times.
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When El Paso first-grader Marcella Ornelas wrote her “dream” for a more secure future for all on a notepad and taped the message to a single blue balloon, she couldn’t have guessed it would be recovered by two little girls all the way in Florida.

The note was part of a class project on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year, assigned by her teacher. The girl wrote that she dreams “that all the people could have money to buy food and stuff like that so they can eat and so they could put clothes on and so they could have a house to live in.”

Her dream was discovered by two little girls in DeBary, Florida days later, according to The El Paso Times. They thought at first that it was just a bit of trash that landed behind their house, but they soon discovered that it was much more important: a message of hope that had traveled over 1,600 miles, only to land in their backyard.

Brian Borgiet, the girls’ father, said they were astonished at the discovery. “My youngest one said, ‘Daddy we have to help the girl,’” he explained to reporter Hayley Kappes.

So the family contacted the Howard Burnham Elementary school in El Paso and reached out to Marcella’s teacher, who incorporated it into a series of teachable moments ranging from a science lesson on helium to a basic survey of meteorology to explain how the balloon could have traveled so far.

“I tell them nothing is impossible,” the teacher reportedly said.

This video is from The El Paso Times, published Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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