Attach a Note to a Balloon and Release it Into the Air

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#99

Yesterday, I sprinted into Party City. I ran up to the counter, where the employees were busy pumping air into Spongebob and Hello Kitty balloons, then told the young girl behind the counter, “I want to write a message, tie it to a balloon, and release it into the air. Can I please have #36, the smiley face balloon? It’s urgent!” She stared down at me, said, “We don’t sell to lunatics peasant,” then looked to the next customer in line and shouted, “Next!” I was appalled.

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That’s not exactly what took place, but I like to imagine that’s what happened. Actually, after I walked into the party store, looked around for a bit and then went up to the counter. “Excuse me?” I asked the girl working there, “Do you think I could have balloon #36 please?” She looked at me as if I had just asked her to do a strip tease. “You want it right now?” she asked, looking alarmed. “Oh, well is there a time that would be better or that I should return?” I asked. Luckily, the other young girl behind her intervened. “I can blow it up for you right now,” she said. Within seconds, I had my smiley face balloon.

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I then drove over to the Staples to purchase a hole-puncher and this guy stood outside the neighboring grocery store waving. This day can’t get any better, I thought.

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After taking advantage of some photo opts and Snapchats with my new balloon, I went outside and began crafting the note. I began with one of my favorite quotes by John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Above all else, never forget to be happy. You are important! If this balloon/note is found, please contact projectlighttolife@yahoo.com.

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About a month ago, after all of the environmentalists found me and said they would burn me at the stakes, I had time to go through the comments on my former post “Put a message in a bottle and throw it in the ocean.” Some readers suggested I should have put somewhere a person could contact me if he or she found my note. What a great idea! I thought. This time, I decided to go ahead with that suggestion.

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It’s funny how doing something as innocent as attaching a note to a balloon and releasing it into the air often feels like committing some heinous crime. Before I released it, I made sure to avoid my neighbors’ gaze, whose deck rises slightly above our backyard fence, then released the balloon. I smiled as the balloon sailed away. It was beautiful.

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Moments later, I cringed as I watched a plane coming directly toward the balloon and waited in anticipation. There goes that, I thought. Pop! Luckily, the plane flew past and my balloon went right on flying.

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While I know my note and balloon are more likely to wind up in a tree or some other unlikely spot than a person’s hand, the possibility still excites me. Today, I searched on Google for some similar stories and was thrilled to find this one about a Christmas miracle on ABC News. There is hope!

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Has anyone tried something similar or want to cross this item off his or her bucket list? I’d love to hear from you!

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50 Responses to Attach a Note to a Balloon and Release it Into the Air

  1. jowensauthor says:

    what a neat idea! hope you get a response from your note.

  2. We actually did this same thing when I was in my twenties. I was stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO and a few of us were feeling a bit silly. We went to the PX, bought about 20 balloons and tied notes with different quotes on them. Then, like you, we put an email address for the people to contact us.
    Surprisingly, we received about 8 emails telling is our balloons had reached someone.
    I’ve thought about doing it again, but asking the people to add their own quote and send the original message on.
    Great post!

  3. It’s not on my bucket list and shouldn’t be on ANYBODY’s because it is harmful to wildlife and the environment.

  4. Really wonderful story. Living your feelings. Such a good quote from John Lennon. Really. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. This is a great idea! I’d like to try this too. So awesome! 😀

  6. You really will get a respons. Who knows who gets it. Great idea. I do same soon. I will make someone happy too.

  7. Humor_Me_Now says:

    I was struck by your smiles and being so happy despite the slight glitch getting the ballon.

    I sure hope you hear from someone.

  8. Barbie Beaton says:

    This is awesome! Errant balloons still captivate the dreamer in me. I love that you’re spreading cheer. Keep up the good fun, ahem, work.

  9. challenyee says:

    Hi Christine! You are sweet and I love what you do, and I want to caution you about with what my friend who is an electrical grid engineer/supervisor working for the City of Burbank told me many years ago and that the cause of a lot of power outages are caused by metallic balloons spanning the gap of the insulators (causing shorts) on high tension lines! Pretty incredible, isn’t it? Anyway, I take this guy and being sincere and honest, so I wanted to share that with you. 🙂

  10. dredo says:

    love the idea 🙂

  11. potianiraye says:

    We did this on my youngest daughter’s first birthday last year. The notes we attached to most of those pink and blue balloons said “In Honor of Robin Lynn. May 20th-July 3rd, 2012. SIDS Awareness.” They were pretty little pieces of paper that I designed and my husband had printed off. There was one balloon however that carried a special letter written for just her. It was a painful moment, but it meant a great deal to my husband and I.

    • Truth Speaks says:

      That’s beautiful potianiraye. writing a letter to someone who is gone from your life but not from your heart and letting the wind carry it away can be a very healing, very therapeutic thing to do. And yes….very painful. I’m so sorry for your loss.

      Truth Speaks

  12. Beth Dahleen says:

    You are awesome!!! What an uninspired woman at the checkout!!

  13. Awww! I love it!! I’ve not done that before, although I have defaced a dollar bill, to see where it ends up. Everyone scared the crap out of me, as I was a young teen at the time, so I never did anything with it. I might even still have it 😕 I love the way you describe your encounter at Party City…even if it wasn’t what actually happened 😜

  14. I love this idea. When I was in elementary school in the 70s, we had a reading contest. For every 5 books you read, you got a balloon with your name, the school’s name and details of the contest, along with instructions to notify the school if found. Towards the end of the year on the designated day we would have Balloon Lift Off. It was so beautiful to see them float away. Many were founds hundreds, sometimes a thousand miles away, with letters of how they were found and by whom. Great geography lesson!

  15. This is such a fun idea and it is exciting to see if you will get a response. What a great story you shared from ABCNews as well! I hope someone gets your note!

  16. keraoregan says:

    Cute! What a lovely idea 🙂 We need more people in the world who do stuff like this just to share the love!

  17. leahstorm13 says:

    Don’t listen to the hating environmentalists! I love this idea!

  18. JustThisRandomGirl says:

    Reblogged this on justthisrandomgirl and commented:
    I must do this one day. And maybe just maybe make someone smile

  19. Steven Farquharson says:

    Thank you for the follow!
    I decided to check out your blog as well and this is what I saw. What a great idea! You have definitely earned a new follower today in me. I love small but meaningful gestures like this. You could create a memory for someone else that lasts their whole lifetime! That is an amazing thought.

  20. As a kid I wondered who would find the balloons I released in the air. I would watch them until I could no longer see them. We were surrounded by lots of inhabited space, so perhaps no one ever found it. I think I just might do this the next time I visit the north part of the East Coast.

  21. vickyinglis says:

    I usually enjoy reading about the inspired ideas you have to reach out to people. However, I’m so disappointed that I had to comment, as I really don’t want anyone to follow your example. It’s worth letting others know that releasing balloons is prohibited in many states in the US, and counties in the UK, as well as other countries, as it is considered littering and causing damage to the environment, as well as a danger to aircraft.
    As a former countryside ranger, I picked a lot of balloon rubbish up from the parks and forests I looked after. Its not an uncommon site in woodlands unfortunately, and looks really ugly. Not only that, small fragments can be picked up by wildlife. Just as likely as the chance of it being found by someone appreciates gets your note.
    Mylar foil balloons, like the one you let go, do not break down in the environment. If it reached the highest levels of the atmosphere it might break into thousands of tiny fragments, that never biodegrade. If it stayed whole, it could snag on powerlines causing blackouts and potentially fires. Balloon debris is particularly threatening in the marine environment, as once the shiny, smily face is bleached off by the sun and sea, the remains look particularly like the jellyfish eaten by sea turtles.
    Why not have a look at:
    http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/CoastalZoneManagement/Balloons_as_Litter_A_Rising_Concern_Virginia_Marine_Debris_Summit_2013.pdf
    http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/pollution/dlg/Dont_Let_Go_Booklet.pdf
    to learn more about the issue, and find some alternative ideas that don’t hurt animals and and the people that care for them.

    • I think you make some really great points here, especially since I was unaware of some of the more major issues you mention! So thank you for sharing your comment 🙂 I don’t plan on doing this in the future, but I think it is especially important to keep in mind what you said about the mylar balloons, which I also didn’t know. I’ll bet this would be an especially irritating as a ranger, so I see your point!

      • vickyinglis says:

        Thank you for taking my comment on board, and not being offended. I don’t want to be antagonistic, just to point out some things that are worth considering.
        Best of luck for your next adventure!
        Vicky

  22. Reblogged this on Happy Health Coach and commented:
    Hello Followers! I’m reblogging this fun and uplifting post by the amazing Christine. I’ve been following Christine’s Blog, “Project Light To Life” since last August. I like all of Christine’s posts because they motivate and inspire me to live the happiest, most adventure-filled life I can. Christine has a great way of relating to people through her words. Check out her blog sometime!

  23. Cteavin says:

    That’s a bloody fantastic idea!

  24. Love the blog! I have nominated you for the very inspiring blogger award take a look at my blog to participate 🙂 Terri x

  25. Wow, reading this absolutely made my day! Thanks for following my small blog, but even more thanks for inspiring me, I love everything about your blog, thank you!

  26. dearxiomara says:

    i love it!!! i was just talking about this with coworkers 🙂

  27. b4thirty8 says:

    I love the theme of your site and the detailed style of your posts! I saw the rangers comments of concern about the environment …hmm.. I am going to find some biodegradable paper, put my note on it, thread a string through it, and find a squirrel that might consider running off with it to at least anothe county 🙂 Hey – and thanks for visiting my site!

  28. Country Mama says:

    What a wonderful idea! You could very well brighten someone’s day! While I understand the whole environmental blah blah, my daughter LOVES when she sees a balloon floating across the air because then we make up stories as to where it came from!

    Thank you so much for visiting my site, I just love yours!!

  29. infinitymadness2 says:

    Wow, I love this idea! Thank you for sharing. Adding this to my bucket list!!

  30. Love this! Thank you for sharing.

  31. Pingback: Act with kindness… and caution? | happyjenni

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