Terry Hardin was on his way home from work in Chula Vista when he spotted a red balloon slowly descending toward him.
A note attached read, "Dear Santa, I would like to have a mermaid doll with a bow for Christmas. Thank you, Love Joie."
When Hardin read the note, he knew he had to do something.
"I had to find this little girl because I don't know where this balloon came from," said Hardin. "I had no clue. I had to find out."
With some help from Facebook, Hardin tracked Joie to a kindergarten class at St. Rose of Lima School. On Tuesday, the class tied their wishes to balloons and sent them floating into the sky.
Since Joie's list failed to reach Santa Claus, Hardin bought the 5-year-old a mermaid doll.