An Irish woman says she was stunned to receive a text message recently from an Armenian man to whom she sent a care package when they were children.
Claire Fahy, of Galway, Ireland, was an elementary school student when she sent the package, containing clothes and other items, to Armenia 16 years ago, The Irish Examiner reports.
"When I was 8 years old I wrote this note and put it inside a shoebox filled with crayons, gloves, a toothbrush and loads of other bits and it got sent off to children in disadvantaged countries,” Fahy wrote in a Facebook post.
According to the Irish Mirror, the package was part of a program called Operation Christmas Child.
Fahy said she never knew exactly where the package went or if it ever reached anybody -- until now.
The recipient, a man named Arsen Khachatryan, finally tracked Fahy down to thank her.
Fahy said she nearly deleted the text message when she received it but she recognized her childhood handwriting in a photograph of the note she sent with the package over a decade and a half ago.
Khachatryan had kept the note and sent a photo of it to prove who he was.
“When I saw the message from someone I didn’t know I assumed it was spam but then I saw my handwriting on the picture of the note and I just couldn’t believe it,” Fahy told the Mirror.
“I am trying to find a very generous woman, who has made a donation to my school many years ago,” the message accompanying the picture read. “Many children received clothes and other goods. I was one of those children. My present was a box with a letter from that generous woman. I kept that letter over 15 years and I always wanted to express my attitude for that gift box.”
When Fahy confirmed that she was the woman who sent the care package, the two continued their conversation on Facebook.
“We spoke more on Facebook and he said, ‘I don’t want to thank you for the box but for the childhood dreams,’” she recounted. “He also told me he had never seen a pajama set before.”
“It was just really humbling and makes you appreciate everything you have,” she added. “Armenia was so badly affected by war and genocide and although we wouldn’t have been well off in Ireland, we always got by.”
Khachatryan also sent Fahy a photo of his wife and baby.
“He’s 27 now, has a lovely marriage and an 8-month-old daughter,” she said, adding that she was pleased he appeared to be doing quite well for himself.
“He put himself through college to become an accountant and owns his own travel agency. He seems amazing,” Fahy said.
She told the Mirror that the unexpected correspondence was a definite positive to come out of using social media.
“Facebook can be quite a nasty place but this was amazing,” she said. “I imagine this might be what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind when he set it up.”
Photo Credit: Irish Examiner