Africa trek 'life-changing' for University of Delaware sophomore
By Mellany Armstrong

Updated Friday, February 8, 2013 - 5:38am

A trip to Africa brings a new perspective to a University of Delaware student.

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The children of the orphanage in Njabini, Kenya, greet Gracie Firestone of Wilmington with a song.

The UD sophomore spent more than a month there as a volunteer with her non-profit organization, Let the Kids Play, which raises money to help kids all over the world.

"One of a kind, for sure. Definitely life-changing."

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There were some challenging times, like not knowing whether there would be water.
"The last week I was there, we didn't have water for about seven days," she said.

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Gracie walked the 45 minutes to school with the children, and taught them art.

"These kids who have so little, but they don't even think about that. they don't think about what they don't have, they think about what they do have," she said.

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She ate new foods..
"Ugali is kind of a staple. It's kind of like mashed potatoes with not much taste or seasoning," she said.

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And learned so much from the children.

"Family and the people in our lives, I think we don't always remember how important those aspects of our lives are, because we are so busy," she said.

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"I definitely want to continue helping people, that's definitely something close to my heart," Firestone said.

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Gracie says she is grateful to all who offered both time and money to support her in this venture.

"No part of your generosity went unnoticed. Thank you for believing in me and giving life to my dreams."

To learn how you can help Gracie continue to help children, check out:

First Giving and Get Gracie to Kenya



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