- After 14 years, a girl married the boy who sent her a Christmas present through an international humanitarian organization
- Over a decade ago, Tyrel Wolfe was a seven-year-old kid who sent shoeboxes filled with school supplies, toiletries, and small toys as Christmas gifts to children
- One of those who received a gift from him — through Samaritan’s Purse — was Joana Marchan, who is now his wife of over three years
While some are having a hard time finding their one true love, a girl found hers inside a Christmas gift. Over a decade ago, Filipina Joana Marchan-Wolfe found a photo of him inside the shoebox that contains a Christmas present from another part of the world.
In a story posted earlier on Kicker Daily, it was disclosed that when Idaho-based Tyrel Wolfe was seven years old, he sent shoeboxes filled with school supplies, toiletries, and small toys as Christmas gifts to children living in other countries.
Wolfe, through the international humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, gave a number of shoeboxes which also has his picture inside. His name was written at the back of the photo.
After 11 years, Facebook gave Joana the opportunity to see what happened to the little blonde boy by searching his name “Tyrel Wolfe” on social media. Well, she found him.
“The shoebox had a big impact in my life and in my family and I want to thank him so I try finding him on Facebook,” said Joana.
Tyrel shared seeing a friend request from a girl and sent her a question.
“Then I got a message from him asking ‘how do you know me?’ And I asked him ‘you know about Samaritan’s Purse?'” shared Joana.
“And I answered, ‘yes, I did that when I was six or seven years old. I don’t remember what I put in the box but yeah, I did it.’ And she responded back, saying ‘I think I got your box.’ I was like, ‘wow, wow, wow!’ It’s like, you gotta be kidding me,” Tyrel narrated.
Their friendship grew as the days went by. They shared many common interests, such as listening to Christian music and their religious faith.
After a year, Tyrel flew to the Philippines and stayed in the country for 10 days, using his savings, to be with Joana.
The moment they met each other in real life, they immediately felt that they were destined.
“Once I saw his face, an amazing feeling came over me,” Joana recalled. “I was so happy I cried.”
“All I knew was Joana was the one,” Tyrel expressed.
Soon, he returned to the Philippines to ask her hand in marriage.
In 2014, the two finally got married. Because they experienced the lovely and powerful effect of giving, they requested their guests to pack Christmas boxes to give to Samaritan’s Purse for children overseas.
“Operation Christmas Child is what brought Joana and me together, so we wanted to somehow make the project a part of our celebration,” Tyrel said.
Tyrel said, as per a Kicker Daily story: “I remember as a little boy, I was so excited to know the toys and other items I put in the box would bring joy to another child somewhere else in the world. I just didn’t know the joy it would bring back to me one day.”
Indeed, kindness is a virtue that when given goes back to you!
Come 2017, the wonderful couple now have a child and enjoying a happy family life. Joana has expressed much joy on her husband’s 24th birthday on July 15: “Happy 24th birthday to this rare gift from God! Proud of watching you grow into the man, husband, and father you are today.”
Know more about their love story by watching this interview: