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November 12, 2007:

Libby and Carlo and three of The Giving Tree kids go to Ireland thanks to our travel angel Stephanie Abrams!

Wow! What in incredible experience traveling to New York City and then on to Ireland. It was first class all the way. The trip was beyond our wildest dreams. New york at nightime is a beautiful site and all the historical significance of Ellis Island was truly educational.

In Ireland, We ate like royalty and stayed in not just 5 star hotels but 5 diamonds! We had front row seats to Riverdance and met the cast afterwards. We toured castles, historical sites and met the friendliest people in the world. The kids and Carlo had professional golf lessons and played golf on one of the most famous and top rated golf courses, Druids Glen. We woke up on the side of cliffs and to the sound of the ocean pounding at our hotel window. It was so awesome experiencing "firsts" with the kids who had never seen the ocean, eaten food on fine china, ridden in a limo, or had all the food they ever could eat at one meal instead of wondering where the next meal was coming from.

One felt so far away that she felt safe enough to tell about the current abuse going on her life.
Stephanie Abrams,host of nationally syndicated "Travel with Stephanie" and "Happy Feet" is our travel angel and she has made so many dreams come true for our kids over the past four years. California, Boston, New York, Maine and the Northeast coast and Western Mass. are all places we have seen with the kids in the past four years. It is so much more than anyone will ever know. It is life changing and the exposure to other cultures and another whole way of life inspires the kids in such great ways. Some of the kids slept on a pillow for the first time and in their own bed. Some children had never seen so much food at the all you can eat breakfasts and put fruit in their pockets to give to their brothers and sisters when they got home. Others could not believe that they had new socks, underwear and clothes for the trip. One boy who had not ever seen an ocean did not want to leave until the waves stopped.

22 kids have benefitted from these unbelievable trips from ages 6 to 19. They have all had many firsts. In my 30 years of taking in children, I have always known that there are many ways to love a child. Taking the children far away from life as they have always known, filled with hurt, drugs, abuse and hunger has provided any incredible glimpse into their future where they are free to be who and where they want to be.

I thank God and Stephanie for making this life-changing experience for our kids.

Libby Wright-Giovingo
Executive Director
The Giving Tree Outreach Program

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