Will YOU Give Back this Holiday Season?

joyThis is one of my favorite times of the year, it is not the weather I like (I prefer the sun and beach), but it’s the season of giving I adore.  Although giving back is a great thing to do all year round, everyone seems a little more generous and charitable as the holidays draw near. Our country has been through so much with recent devastation to millions of families from hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other disasters, now is a great time to help.

5a1ddc36ca37b.image.jpgIt is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that the season brings. The endless commercials and advertisements combined with the pressures to shop, bake, decorate and wrap overshadow the true meaning of the holiday and can turn anyone into a Grinch. But take a second to stop and breathe. Count your blessings- your family, your friends, your job, and all that you have to celebrate. Just things we take for granted. Many people in our community do not have it as lucky as we do-and YES, even in our town.

give_6152c.jpgOne of the best things I believe you can do is teach your children that the holiday season isn’t just about getting gifts. Start some new holiday traditions by engaging your family in community service projects. Spend one day thinking of others and to help spread your holiday cheer to more than just your family. Donate some non-perishable foods to help community members facing food insecurity during the holiday season. No matter your income level, you can find time to donate to others.  Find ways to practice kindness, a kind word or smile to a homeless person, serving others during the holidays, drawing a picture, writing a note, or comforting a friend or family member does not cost a thing but will be priceless.5a1cb02a75e46

Enjoying the little things, special moments, and the people in your life is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. But there’s nothing like the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from making someone else happy, and that taps into the true meaning of the holiday season.

If you would like some ideas to help local families this holiday season, please reach out to me at GirlTalkMarlton@gmail.com

Happy Holidays to you & yours,

Mary Beth

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Unconditional Love & Acceptance

Love-Unconditionally-ds115.jpgUnconditional love is something that can be difficult to explain to those who have never experienced it; but on the occasion that you have been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of such an act of thoughtfulness, you are loved without restrictions or conditions. Loving unconditionally is one of the bravest things you will ever do.

Unconditional love means, “I love you no matter what happens,” not “no matter what you do to me.” Unconditional love does not mean “I love you if you hurt me.” You must love yourself unconditionally first. You are worthy.

Life is hard more often than we’d like it to be. Life is by nature, conditional. The idea that love might be unconditional sounds unrealistic. Is that even possible? Too often, the affection of others comes at a high price to even consider the possibility that love might be unconditional. It is a string-less gift of the heart. But it IS all around us!


Take a mother and child’s relationship. This is one of the most beautiful forms of unconditional love and sacrifice. As a mother, or parent, we sacrifice our own wants for the benefit of our child without thought for ourselves. This is love without conditions. This month will be 18 years that my mother has passed, I long for that feeling of unconditional love I felt from her.

If you have had a pet, especially a dog, they love their masters unconditionally. No matter if you get upset with them or don’t play with them when they want to play, the pets do not seem to mind, because they know that somewhere within, the master loves them.

In marriage or any committed relationship where there is unconditional love, there are hurdles. Remember to be accepting, love them with their flaws and imperfections. Forgiveness is also necessary to create a healthy long term relationship. Unconditional love is not petty. Love honor and cherish your partner who loves honors and cherishes you. By no way should you ever stay in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Treat each other with kindness. And when you argue with your significant other, because you will-fight fair. 

How can we bring more unconditional love into our lives? The best way to receive it is to give it away.

Unconditional love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.  It could be as simple as smile or handshake or as complex as raising money for a specific cause. Whatever it is, we must recognize that we have the capacity to show unconditional love to others.

uncondloveIf you think carefully about those closest to you, there is likely at least one person in your life that understands and practices what it means to show unconditional love toward others. These people are out serving others. They aren’t waiting for the future to make a difference; they are making a difference today.

Unconditional love heals the broken, empowers the timid, affirms the hesitant, and elevates those who have been overlooked, forgotten, and silenced. There is a power that comes to those who show and to those who receive unconditional love. Those who show this love are released from being consumed with themselves. Those who receive this love are released from limitations others have placed on them. You have everything you need right now to show unconditional love toward someone else. It is within you, but you must first love yourself unconditionally.

To love unconditionally takes courage. It is hard, I know, especially when your heart has been broken. It takes courage to keep trying. But never give up! Don’t let another person ever define your sense of self-worth. You can change the world one person at a time.

My wish is for you to spread your unconditional love around the world, we need more of it.

 

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

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“To be brave is to love someone unconditionally without expecting anything in return.” Madonna

Help Fight Hunger in the US

The child who has no certainty of a healthy lunch.

The working poor who cannot afford groceries.

The senior citizen who must choose between food and medicine.

If-you-cant-feed-a-hundred-people-then-feed-just-one.-Mother-Teresa.jpgPer www.dosomething.org, 1 in 6 people in the United States struggles with hunger and 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table. Chances are, someone your child goes to school with or someone you know, struggles to get enough to eat every day. In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty. 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans! Hunger does not discriminate. It exists everywhere. And it only exists because we allow it.

What can we do?

Collect food outside your supermarket for a local food bank or food pantry.

A food bank is an organization that takes nonperishable food donations and distributes them to agencies or individuals in need of food. With over 925 million people in the world going without proper amounts of food, the need for food banks and donations is at an all-time high. Every community has citizens in need of help when it comes to providing food for themselves and their families. You can help fight hunger by starting a food bank of your own.

A food pantry program is a community-based program that collects and stores food and household products for free distribution to needy people.

A food bank and/or food pantry can be an incredible way to contribute to the community and help those in the area who have fallen on hard times. Consider starting one in your community!

stophunger.jpgThis is my wish; I would like Girl Talk Marlton to start a food pantry. I have already been doing this for the past few years on a smaller scale whenever I can but I would like to kick it up a notch. *Fingers crossed*

Get educated and get involved!

Teach your kids the importance of giving back to their local community and those in need. They can donate their birthday or other special events by asking friends and family to make donations in lieu of buying presents.

hunger_launchVolunteer as a family! Get involved in a community group helping others. My group organizes a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich making night every month and invites all those in the community willing to help. All sandwiches made go to feed the hungry in the local communities. There are many organizations helping the hungry that you can volunteer as a family to help as fits your schedule. It is important to explain to your children that not everyone is as lucky as they are, and those hungry may be their neighbors and friends.

Just as hunger knows no age, neither does fighting it. We all have a role to play in solving hunger. Together we can strive to fight hunger and feed hope! JUST DO SOMETHING!

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall

http://www.girltalkmarlton.org

 

“When a poor person dies of hunger it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”

― Mother Teresa