A beautifully filmed, heartwarming video about what happens to the wayward balloons kissing the ceiling in the Arrivals Hall at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport has been watched over one million times since being posted on January 19, 2017.
Yedioth Ahronoth, a daily news service in Israel, made a video about the airport’s balloon catchers – following one employee given the task on this day to fish down the runaway balloons for donation to pediatric patients at a nearby hospital.
In the video, an employee named Samita uses double-sided tape and a helium-filled balloon of her own and patiently guides it to the lost ones on the ceiling above to bring them down one by one.
The airport employees also use a crane to gather the balloons, although this method is not shown in the video.
The helium balloons festooning the ceiling come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some say “I love you,” while others were used to welcome people visiting Israel.
The rescued balloons are gathered together and taken to local hospitals or other children’s centers for a new round of love, the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) spokesperson tells ISRAEL21c.
The project of saving balloons and giving them to children has been in effect since the IAA opened Terminal 3 in November 2004.
The spokesperson adds that the balloons are collected once or twice a week – and that when there are at least 10 balloons, they are taken to brighten up a child’s day at centers (medical or other) around the country.
In the video that has warmed so many viewers’ hearts, the balloons were taken to the Chaim Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in Israel, located in Tel Hashomer in the Tel Aviv District. Pediatric patients there had a choice of which balloon they’d like to hold onto during their hospital stay.