Two minor girls when they were flying home were scared because they were alone. There they met a stranger who gave them an envelope during the flight and the contents would change their life forever.
Many refugees around the world are forced to part with the things they want most in life to improve their living conditions. The same was for the two sisters who were flying from Yugoslavia to America to be safer. Next to them on the plane sat a woman who heard their story and decided to help.
Ayda Zugay, 12, and Vanja Contino, 17 in 1999 were forced to separate from their parents due to the war. The girls had no idea how to survive being alone. Thankfully they met a woman named Tracy.
Tracy was touched by the girls’ confession and their courage. He wanted to help so he gave her an envelope that would have a lot of things inside.
This meeting on the plane gave them the support they had been missing for so long. The envelope would only be opened when it was unloaded.
Ayda was surprised to see $ 100 inside the envelope and dangling earrings. She remembers: “When I opened up the envelope and saw the $ 100 I was taken aback because we actually did not have anything with us. We had no money, not even a dollar.”
There was also a note on the envelope that read “I am so sorry that the bombing of your country has caused your family any problems. I hope your stay in America will be a safe and happy one for you.”
The money helped the sisters spend the whole summer with them. More than the monetary aid that the sisters valued is that the woman gave her hope.
“On the outside of the envelope was an amazing message of welcome. I treasure this because as time goes by, I’ve experienced that in most spaces, welcomes like this are very uncommon.”
Sisters build a life in the land of dreams and possibilities. Ayda worked with nonprofit organizations, helped establish a consulting agency, and served as a delegate to the Refugee Congress.
Vanja, an anesthesiologist, got married and started a family, and both women wanted to thank Tracy for providing the first stepping stone they needed to thrive.
Ayda searched for him for many months because they knew nothing about the woman except her name. They managed to find their angel only through the internet.
They tweeted the letter and asked people to find it. One girl commented “You are looking for my mom Tracy Peck! Her handwriting is unmistakable. She remembers you girls from the flight!”
Tracy was already 70 years old. She felt very happy to have the opportunity to meet the girls after so many years. “I pulled over to the side of the road and I pulled up the story and I saw the envelope with my handwriting and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me they’re looking for.’ It was just crazy. “
The girls when they met Tracy were very happy to be able to thank her again. A small action can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Tracy inspires us all to be the best people in this wild world we live in today