A lot of us are familiar with filling shoe boxes with toys, toiletries, and school supplies to donate to Operation Christmas Child. Around Thanksgiving, churches and organizations ask people to bring these boxes together to send them around the world to kids at risk and in need. Samaritan’s Purse partners with them to spread a little cheer during Christmas time. According to them, 135 million children in 150 countries have received a gift-filled box since the program began in 1993.

Tyrel Wolfe was seven when he participated in one of these projects with his family. But little did they know that their lives would change forever. The young boy and his family became involved with Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse through their church. Tyler filled a shoe box that was meant for a young girl around his own age. He was excited to put the box together, which was then sent to the Philippines once his family delivered it to their church. He forgot all about it soon.

Over a decade passed. Tyrel received an unexpected friend request from a woman named Joana Marchan 11 years later. Joana and Tyrel started messaging on Facebook. However, Tyrel’s parents warned him to be cautious, since this stranger had the same name as the girl he sent the Christmas box to years ago. As it turns out, the little girl that received seven year old Tyrel’s box over a decade ago was indeed Joana herself! She was trying to get in touch with him now to say thank you!

Watch the video and see how Tyrel and Joana’s relationship progressed from there on out!


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