How a Charity Box Sent to the Philippines Helped a Couple Find Love

When it comes to real-life love stories, it’s safe to say that we’re absolute softies. Sure, we’ve come to that age where we don’t necessarily believe in fairy tale endings—but we’ll pretty much take anything that comes close!

When a small-town Idaho boy by the name of Tyrel Wolfe created a Samaritan Purse—a shoebox full of goodies—for a church in the Philippines, little did he know that the good deed would affect the rest of his life.

He was just 7-years-old at the time when the shoe box was delivered to a young Manila girl by the name of Joana. Although neither party can remember what gifts were packed inside, there is one detail that they do recall—a school picture of Tyrel. It was taken around 2000, the time that the Samaritan’s Purse was first delivered to Joana.

Fast forward 11 years later. It’s 2011 and Tyrel receives a mysterious Facebook friend request from a gal in the Philippines by the name of—you guessed it! —Joanna. Now, this is generally something that would be just dismissed as spam by more discerning social media users, but the 18-year-old decided to go ahead and open the note.

After asking Joanna about how they knew each other, the gal put forth a simple question: “You know about Samaritan’s Purse?”

In an interview with local news station FOX 9, Tyrel recalls what it was like to get this unexpected message from a woman half-way around the world.

“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 remembers.

After receiving the incredible message, Tyrel’s parents warned the teen about exchanging information with the woman—after all, there are plenty of catfishes out there! But the young man followed his gut and continued an online friendship with Joana, which eventually turned into something more.

The pair spoke daily for about a year when Tyrel finally decided to make the first real move: he emptied out his savings account and booked a 10-day trip to meet Joana in the Philippines. Soon after his return, he booked yet another ticket, and it was then that he asked Joanna’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Can you guess how Joana’s dad responded?

Since first getting hitched in 2014, the now-husband and wife have welcomed their first child, a baby boy, in May of this year.

Now, THIS is the type of story that we want to see on the big screen. To meet the happy couple and get more insight on their incredible journey, watch the video below. We promise, you’ll be crying along with these two!

We can’t wait to hear what you think about these unlikely lovebirds. Did you meet your partner in a spectacularly unexpected fashion? If so, who made the first move? Are you weary of online romances?