Earlier this week, the Irish Mirror published a child's heartbreaking letter to Santa, asking not for toys, but simply for the chance to see a dolphin. The note, which was found by the boy's mother, describes a childhood of hardship and neglect, along with the simple request.
"I've lived a life of abuse. I was abused by my father who was an abuser and an alcoholic," writes the 12-year-old boy.
"All I want for Christmas is my dream, which is to see Winter the Dolphin in Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater Florida."
Among the thousands of readers touched by the letter was Sue Anthony, director of Sea Shepherd's Irish chapter. And though the marine conservation group admits they can't whisk the boy to Florida on a flying sled, they've offered to grant the boy's wish aboard a boat.
"He's a young man who has been through a lot of trauma in his life. It would be great to bring the young lad and his mum to West Cork to see dolphins in their natural habitat," says Anthony.
"I think the reason that we want to offer this opportunity is to show this young boy that inspiration can come from the wild dolphins around our coast."
Sea Shepherd invited the boy and his mother to see dolphins, along with whales and other marine life, on a voyage off the coast of Ireland -- one the boy was thrilled to accept.
"It means everything to me. When I'm older I really want to help animals and be a vet," says the boy in response. "It's been my lifelong dream and I'm finally getting the chance."