Southwest Airlines return boy's mission trip journal left on plane

With the power of social media, an airline helped return an 8-year-old Dallas boy's journal full of irreplaceable memories he made on a mission trip that he accidentally left on a flight.

Charles Brewer traveled to Costa Rica last week with his family with a non-profit on a mission trip to build homes for families in need. The 8-year-old was so moved by his trip, he decided to journal the first time in his young life.

But Charles' world was turned upside down when his journal filled with memories he made on the trip was suddenly gone. When his mom, Nicole, realized Charles left the journal on their Southwest Airlines flight, she took so social media to get it back.

"Me and my sister were just playing around at the baggage claim, and I totally forgot about it," the 8-year-old said.

Mom was determined to get it back. The Southwest Airlines flight was already en route to Las Vegas., so Nicole alerted the ground crew at Dallas Love Field about the predicament. She also posted a plea on Facebook and asked the universe for help.

"Within about 20 minutes, 50 people were tagging friends who worked for Southwest and some people who I didn't even know," Nicole said.

The social media outreach helped. Less than three hours later, the Brewers got a call.

"It was the gate agent," Nicole recalled. "And he said 'Will you please tell Ms. Brewer that we have her son's journal.'"

Southwest shipped Charles' journal back to their home in Dallas and included a letter.

"I'm so happy I was able to find your notebook," the letter said. "It looks like there may be some important information in there."

It was a simple spiral notebook from a child's memorable trip that inspired friends, strangers and an airline to take action.

Southwest also gave Charles a cell phone charger. The 8-year-old says he plans to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend finishing the story about his trip to Costa Rica. He hopes to return next year to visit the family that made such a lasting impression.