Claire replied to Arsen, amazed that he had kept the note for all those years. He is married with a little daughter and runs his own business in Yerevan. He mentioned the copy book, pens, soap, toothbrush and gifts Claire had included in her shoebox.
“It was incredible. We opened the shoeboxes and saw lovely gifts like clothes, toys and other small items all the way from Ireland. I received a lovely note from Claire too, with a beautiful photo”
Claire contacted Team Hope to share this amazing news and together with TV3’s IrelandAM, Arsen was invited to Ireland and the pair met live on air!
“I finally got to meet Arsen in the flesh, the recipient of my Christmas Shoebox 17 years ago!
To see how something so small impacted someone’s life so much, is truly eye opening” -Claire
“Our teacher asked us if we could imagine waking up on Christmas morning with no presents, this made me think of how lucky I was and that I really wanted to make a difference, especially at Christmas.”
Our Director Niall Barry commented: “Witnessing the emotional meeting between Arsen and Claire this morning shows so clearly the reality of what a positive impact the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal can make…
Poverty and need is on the increase every year in the countries we visit and we see at first hand that our Christmas shoeboxes help bring joy, laughter and hope to children living on the margins of society, victims of war, disease or poverty.”
“Arsen told me that it wasn’t what was in the box that had changed him, but the fact that a complete stranger had thought of someone other than themselves. He said it gave him HOPE” -Claire
TV3’s Ireland AM producer Orla Nolan : “There is such a great need to be met in some of the world’s most underdeveloped countries and so good to see how these gift-filled shoeboxes can help turn what will otherwise be just another day into something special for these children”
Arsen and Claire made fast friends, visiting Claire’s old school and her home town. They keep in touch and describe each other as brother and sister. What a special connection! Of course we keep in touch too and this year Claire says:
If you can send a shoebox this Christmas, It will change a child’s life.
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