In 2000, seven-year-old Tyrel Wolfe helped his parents pack a shoebox with gifts for a child in the Philippines through Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. Wolfe included a photo of himself dressed as a cowboy.
Nine years later, Wolfe received a Facebook friend request from Joana Marchan. Since Wolfe did not recognize the name, he declined the request. In 2011, he received a second request. He asked Marchan how he knew her. She told him she was the recipient of the shoebox he sent as a boy. Marchan actually sent him a thank-you note shortly after receiving the box, but it got lost in the mail.
An online friendship developed in to a love story. Wolfe initially flew to the Philippines to meet Marchan and by the end of his visit they two fell in love. A short time later, they were married.
The couple made a commitment to send a shoebox to help a youngster somewhere in the world. Since 1993, Operations Christmas Child has donated 113 million shoeboxes in over 130 countries.