GILBERT, Arizona (KPHO) - It started when Carol Marshall spotted something strange hanging from a palm tree in the backyard of her Gilbert, Arizona home.
"It was rolled up, tied with a ribbon and a deflated balloon was hanging in the tree," she said.
Upon closer inspection, it turned out the object that landed in Marshall's yard a few weeks ago was a handwritten letter to God from a young girl named Sophia. She used the balloon to send her message into the sky.
"Dear God, I am thankful to you because you have given me life," the letter stated. "I ask you to help our family - because we are going through tough times."
"Definitely, her goal was for the balloon to get to heaven and for God to read it," Marshall said.
The letter talked specifically about helping Sophia's mom, who's doing her best to support the family.
"I ask you to protect my mom because she goes to work from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. I get really worried about her because she doesn't eat at work," Sophia wrote.
Marshall said she felt a bond with the girl almost immediately, hoping somehow she could find the child and help the girl's family.
"I tend to be somebody who wants to save all the lost puppies," Marshall said. "My automatic thought is - wouldn't it be great to do something nice for this girl and her family?"
The letter seemed to indicate that Sophia was around 8 to 11 years old and goes to elementary school somewhere in the Gilbert, Chandler or Queen Creek area.
"She has a common name, and there are just a few clues to go on," Marshall said. "She does mention that she dances in the letter, so she hopes to make God proud by praising him through her dance."
This mom hoped by getting the story in the news, someone will come forward and help answer Sophia's prayers.
"To me it goes a lot deeper showing her that people actually work through God, and are going to help him for her," Marshall said.