By Christy Barritt
Filipino Girl Marries Boy Who Sent Shoebox of Gifts
Tyrel Wolfe from Idaho was 7 years old when he sent an Operation Christmas Child box to a girl in the Philippines. When he filled the box with gifts, he also included a photo of himself, along with his name and address. Joana, the Filipino girl who received his gift at a Vacation Bible School, wrote to Tyrel to say thank you, but he never received the letter.
“I still wanted to thank the person who gave me the box that had meant so much to me,” said Joana. So, more than a decade later, Joana decided to use Facebook to see if she could find the person who’d sent the shoebox. She connected with Tyrel and began a Facebook friendship. In the process, the two found they had a lot in common, including music.
A year later, Tyrel flew to Manila to meet Joana in person. He asked her father’s permission to begin long-distance dating. Months after that, Tyrel saved up money and traveled back to the Philippines to ask for her hand in marriage.
Fourteen years after that box was first sent, Tyrel and Joana were married in an outdoor ceremony on Tyrel’s parents’ 400-acre cattle ranch. For their wedding, guests packed donations in shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child in honor of the happy couple. Tyrel and Joana personally delivered the boxes to Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in North Carolina.
Majority of Kids Will Have Cell Phones in Near Future
According to an Ericsson Mobility Report, 90 percent of the world age 6 and older will have a cell phone in less than 6 years.
“The falling cost of handsets, coupled with improved usability and increasing network coverage, are factors that are making mobile technology a global phenomenon that will soon be available to the vast majority of the world’s population, regardless of age or location,” said Rima Qureshi, senior vice president of Ericsson.
In 2012 Consumer Reports said that 6 out of 10 children ages 8-12 had a mobile phone of some sort. At that time, 89 percent of parents who had children with phones did not regret getting them the devices, which they said were used primarily for safety and tracking.
The report indicated that smart phones will also be on the rise by 2020. Currently 2.7 billion people worldwide have smart phone subscriptions, and India and China have the fastest growth for overall new cell phone subscriptions.
Pregnant Moms Who Drink Excessively Not Liable
A UK court has ruled that pregnant mothers who abuse alcohol are not liable for the lifelong brain damage of their children.
Britain’s Court of Appeals said that children born permanently harmed by their mother’s alcohol consumption while in the womb are not eligible to receive criminal injury compensation from the government.
A 7-year-old who was born with severe brain damage due to her mother’s intake of alcohol brought the case before the court, petitioning the government to grant her compensation from Britain’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. A three-judge panel ruled that a fetus cannot be considered a person under British law because they do not have a “legal personality” and are just an “organism” in the mother’s womb. They also said that since pregnant alcohol abuse has not been criminalized by parliament, the girl’s mother has not committed a crime.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, Virginia (christybarritt.com). She and her husband, Scott, have two sons.