Faith can be a wonderful, powerful thing. Just ask young Homero Sosa of Tyler, Texas.

The 11-year-old boy wanted to make sure his wish list would stand out to Santa Claus. Perhaps, that would give him a better chance of getting the toys he wanted and, more importantly, the help his family needs.

So, acting on faith alone, Sosa borrowed a balloon that had been used by his older sister for her birthday party, attached his letter to Santa, and released the balloon into the night air and watched it drift slowly southward.

That was early in December.

Fast forward a week and more than 80 miles south from Homero's home just north of Tyler and you'll find a nondescript pasture near Wells, Texas, in southern Cherokee County.  That's where Karla and Shaye Stanford found a balloon with a dew-soaked letter attached.

Homero letter full
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They saw the name Homero at the top of a page and immediately recognized it was a letter to Santa asking for toys for him and for money for his family. Now, Karla and Shaye could have just thrown the letter and balloon away and the story would have stopped right there.

But, they realized something needed to be done for this boy and his family. They wanted to make sure that the letter was mailed to Santa and they wanted to make sure that this family received the help that the boy was asking for.

So, step one was finding Homero. But, that would not be an easy task. That balloon could have come from anywhere. I was able to make contact with Shaye and she shared the story with me.

I put together a story on our website and Facebook page with the hope that numerous sharings on social media would solve the mystery of Homero's whereabouts.

It worked!

Last Friday night, Dec. 11, I received a call from someone claiming to be Homero's mom. She thought her son was the one that sent the balloon. The next morning, when Homero woke up, he confirmed to his mom it was indeed him.

I spent the next few days talking to Homero and other friends and family members to find out the story of the letter to Santa, as well as verifying that this was the Homero for whom we were looking.

It all checked out 100 percent --even his handwriting was verified.

On Thursday (Dec. 17), I traveled to Homero's home just north of Tyler. He lives with his parents, Homero and Beatriz, and three older sisters, Yulisa, Yasmin, and Yecenia. They live in a small mobile home which the older Homero is trying to repair and fix up.

But, money is very tight, and the kids share rooms with each other while the parents live in an extra room attached to the home in which tarps serve as the opening.

Homero's family was very kind to me. They were humble, and I was very moved when I saw a Bible on a table next to the parent's bed. Homero told me about the letter to Santa Claus and he wanted to thank God that such caring people found it.

So, now what?

Now, we step forward. Karla and Shaye have made sure the letter gets to Santa at the North Pole. But, as everyone knows, Santa loves it when others step up and follow in his example of giving.

Cash donations will be taken at the KNUE studios in Tyler or KICKS 105 Studios in Lufkin.  We will take them during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday) through noon Dec. 22.

You can also call 936-639-4455 and ask for me (Danny) for more details. I will be personally responsible to make sure that every cent goes to Homero and his family.