Oprah Winfrey Sends 5-Year-Old Girl and Her Real-Life Fairy Friend to Disneyland Following Viral Story
Oprah Winfrey treated Eliana Pauls, 5, to a Disneyland trip after learning the story of her quarantine fairy garden
Oprah Winfrey is making fairytales come true for a little girl and her real-life fairy friend.
The 67-year-old media mogul surprised Eliana Pauls, 5, with a special trip to Disneyland after learning her story through social media last year, first reported by Oprah Daily.
In December, Los Angeles designer and photographer Kelly Kenney wrote on Twitter about befriending Eliana, who made a mini fairy garden outside of her apartment building after feeling "lonely" in quarantine and wanting to "spread some cheer."
After coming across the garden — which Eliana's mother Emily, 32, helped her create — Kenney told followers that she decided to pretend to be a fairy named Sapphire. Writing Eliana a letter, she promised the child that if she did three acts of kindness and said nice things to five people, she would be rewarded with "magical, lucky" dice.
Kenney went on to explain that Emily helped Eliana immediately write back, sparking months of back-and-forth exchanges.
"Doing this every night gave me purpose in a horribly painful and lonely time. I looked forward to my days again and I started ordering art supplies and little trinkets to leave her," Kenney said. "We wrote back and forth throughout the last 9 months, helping each other feel less lonely."
As the pen-pal relationship grew over the course of the pandemic, the 5-year-old's mom told Kelly that her fairy friend Sapphire was a great emotional support for the child, before finally coordinating for the two to meet in person. Kenney dressed up in her best fairy gear and met with Eliana, which she said was exciting for the both of them.
Winfrey was touched to learn of the sweet story, which went wildly viral online, and offered the duo the trip of a lifetime.
"What a selfless act...Showed her magic still exists even in the hardest of times," Winfrey tweeted to Kenney. "If you're up for it, how about a magical trip to Disney with Eliana, her parents, & a friend when it's safe again? On me. Think y'all need to meet Tinkerbell!"
And earlier this month, the special visit was made a reality as the Pauls family and Kenney took their trip to Disneyland, courtesy of the longtime talk show host and philanthropist. Kenney posted updates about the fun visit with photos from the big trip, including a personal card from Winfrey.
Moving forward, Sapphire the fairy knows that she and Eliana will stay friends.
"We plan to keep in touch/write letters to each other from time to time," Kenney said. "She's changed me forever and the things her mom has said about how her self-confidence, her kindness towards others and her creativity have skyrocketed since meeting me make me feel like I made an impact too."