Dream…Wish…Hope.

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Give your dreams a chance, I did. I clearly remember watching the news broadcast of Simonetta Lein, the Wishmaker being interviewed with the Philadelphia Wishwall in the backdrop and its purpose was being explained.

As I stood in front of the TV, I listened attentively trying to gather as much information as I could about this project. “A Wishwall in every city where people can express their wishes and we, the Wishwall Foundation, grant those dreams that are most meaningful”, Simonetta said in her beautiful Italian accent. When the segment concluded, I exclaimed loudly, “I want one!” No one in my house knew what I was talking about, but I was now on a mission.

I googled the Wishwall Foundation and found out all I drm902wishhopedreamcould online, I followed them on all social media, emailed Simonetta and let her know that I was interested in a Wishwall in my town of Marlton NJ. To my delight and amazement, she answered me almost immediately and by the end of the week we had spoken several times on the phone discussing the many facets of the Wishwall Foundation. My head was spinning thinking of different ways that my mentoring chapter of Girl Talk Inc could collaborate with her.

So, during the next leaders meeting of the mentoring program I spoke to the girls about the Wishwall. I showed them the news report along with a few other you tube videos and articles I found about actual wishes that Simonetta helped to make come true! The girls were in! We decided to make a mock-up of a small wishwall to explain it to the rest of the group so they could get a better understanding.

wish_web_1_1024x1024At our next general meeting when all the members of our chapter gather together, we revealed our mock-up wall and the leaders invited the girls to write wishes and come post them on this wall. We explained our desire to bring the Wishwall Foundation to Marlton with a permanent physical Wishwall where wishes can come true. We also discussed the online wishwall and that Girl Talk would be getting our own page and will be writing for the women’s wishwall every week! The girls were very excited to hear this and wanted to learn more. We let them know that we were heading to meet with Simonetta at her home the following week and we would have more information after that meeting.

mb-girltalk-pc_front_v4So, fast forward to today, we are in full swing planning our event. It will be Saturday, December 10th from 12:30-4:30pm at the Evesham Library in Marlton, NJ and YOU are invited to see my wish come true. This is my wish, for YOU. Please come with your meaningful wish and bring it to our wall in Marlton. You do NOT have to be resident of Marlton and the wish does NOT have to be for you. The wish need be a meaningful one and the Wishwall Foundation and the board members will review all wishes. The event will be spectacular with vendors, food, fun, music and plenty of love and smiles so please come and share in my wish come true. Girl Talk Marlton members and the Wishwall Foundation are very excited about this event!

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As I am writing this I must admit, I do have another wish. I am wishing for a physical space for my girls to “hangout”. I would like a place where the girls and our volunteers can call our own. Where the girls can decorate themselves and we can have some of our meetings. Ah….I can dream can’t I?

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall

www.girltalkmarlton.org

www.thewishwall.org

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Work Peacefully by Mary Beth Iannarella

See more on the wishwall online http://thewishwall.org/desideri/work-peacefully/

Millions of women across the globe took to the streets to march against President Donald Trump Saturday, January 21, 2017. In Washington DC alone, approximately 500,000 turned out to stand up for gender equality, healthcare for women and other issues thought to be threatened under Trump’s presidency.

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This protest on anti-female policies were all started on a Facebook event page. Teresa Shook, a retired attorney and grandmother living in Hawaii, created the event page calling for a march on Washington after Trump’s inauguration. On the other side of the country, Bob Bland had the same idea. He is a New York-based fashion designer. Bland, working with others, consolidated various protest pages, including Shook’s, that had cropped up on Facebook and recruited three longtime, New York-based activists to be co-chairs of the national march.

Per PoliticsUSA.com, the attendance in different cities were as follows:

Washington DC: 500,000
LA: 200,000-750,000
New York: 200,000-500,000
Chicago: 250,000
Boston: 250,000
Denver: 200,000
Oakland: 60,000
Madison: 100,000
Atlanta: 60,000
St. Paul: 60,000
Philadelphia: 50,000
Pittsburgh: 20,000
Nashville: 20,000
Marches were also held around Europe including Paris and Barcelona.

Per womensmarch.com, it’s message has only just begun. “Thank you to the millions of people around the world who, on January 21, came together to raise our voices. But our march forward does not end here. Now is the time to get our friends, family and community together and MAKE HISTORY. Join us in launching a new campaign: 10 Actions for the first 100 Days. EVERY 10 DAYS WE WILL TAKE ACTION ON AN ISSUE WE ALL CARE ABOUT, STARTING TODAY.”

The good news is, around the country more people have come together in solidarity protesting peacefully. It’s okay to be angry, it is how we channel that anger that makes it another matter. Violence, is never the answer. I believe it should be a peaceful movement simply asking for equal respect, justice and our rights.

Peaceful stances against unequal civil rights have been successful throughout history and nonviolent movements can lead to meaningful systemic changes. While media loves to bombards us with stories and images of bloodshed and the destruction a few protesters may cause, the true spotlight should be on those standing together today in peace simply asking for equality for all.

Hitting the streets to make your voice heard is a fundamental right in the United States, and it’s part of our country’s lifeblood. Whether you protest in support or dissent, stay peaceful. Living in society, we should share the sufferings of our fellow citizens and practice compassion and tolerance not only towards our loved ones but also towards our enemies. I will always stay true to myself and my beliefs but I do respect that other people have their own thoughts, beliefs and ideas also.

My wish for you is to work peacefully.

“Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results.”- James Lane Allen

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

THE IMPORTANCE OF KINDNESS By Kailey Gaffney -Senior Leader of Girl Talk Marlton NJ Chapter

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/the-importance-of-kindness/

I have loved helping people and see kindness, in big ways and small, for as long as I can remember. My non-profit organization, Girl Talk in Marlton, NJ, helps me to do that for younger girls who need a helping hand through life.

My youth group has also helped me to do that for my community and people who I don’t even know. In the last 4 years of my life, I have traveled to places like Indianapolis, Atlanta, Pennsylvania, and more with these groups to meet new people and help others, whether it was physically, mentally, or emotionally.

I have made and served lunches for the homeless in Philadelphia, made breakfast for the Ronald McDonald house in Camden, I have volunteered my time to complete strangers, and now am a part of the best thing I could’ve asked to be a part of… the Wishwall. I love helping people, it is something I consider a hobby and I was given this love of helping others at such a young age. I started volunteering locally when I was 12, but now do it all over! It’s something I consider a huge part of me. Volunteering and helping people has made me who I am today.

random-acts-of-kindnessI’ve been told that my gift of helping others expands much farther than physically helping people, but emotionally as well. I am the oldest female teen in my youth group currently, and my youth group is something that I hold a place for in my heart. A lot of my friends in this youth group will always tell me that I’m an older sister figure to them. I love just sitting in the car for hours with my friends just talking, giving them advice and having them tell me how they feel. The look in their eyes when I tell them I’m there for them is a look like no other.

Being someone who didn’t get much help when going through a really rough period of life as a younger girl, I don’t know where or how I exactly got this gift to help people. One thing I know, for sure, is that I am so thankful for it. Making other people happy is what makes me the happiest. Knowing that I am the person people like to go to when they’re feeling down, whether it’s about a breakup with their boyfriend or girlfriend, a family issue, or stress from school and work, it makes me feel good. For some reason I just find so much interest in people confiding in me for help.

However, sometimes, being this way and doing what I do makes me sad.

As much as it makes me feel happy, I know that the people I love the most, are going through struggles I can’t fix for them. Yes, sometimes, just simply being there is enough. But, most of the time, I wish I can do more. I wish that the homeless families in Philadelphia didn’t lose their homes. I wish that my friends, who are such good people, didn’t have to go through the daily struggles they have to go through. I wish cancer didn’t exist and everyone was healthy. I know these things aren’t something I can control, however, it makes me think about it more.

So, what’s my wish? My wish is for healing. Emotional and physical healing. My wish is for people who are feeling down, to get the emotional help they need to get better. My wish is for people who are ill to be able to get the medicine and help from doctors they need to be cured. My wish is for people to heal others, in any way they can, like I have done for so many people over the years, and will continue to do with the rest of my life.

Stop hate, spread love, and do something good for someone today. A simple random act of kindness like holding the door for someone can make someone’s day.

Help others. It’s the best gift you could ever give, and the feeling you get from doing it is the best gift you could ever receive.

Kailey Gaffney of Girl Talk Marlton for the Womens Wishwall

www.girltalkmarlton.org

www.thewishwall.org

TAKE A STAND AGAINST BULLYING

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Take a stand against bullying!

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/take-a-stand-against-bullying/

In support of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, I thought I would write my wish to stomp out bullying. All of us go through those awkward preteen and teenage years, and chances are that you have either been bullied, witnessed someone being bullied or have been the bully yourself. It has become critical to talk about the issues of bullying and cyber-bullying because of the harmful effects it causes. Founder Ross Ellis recognized this and created the Stomp Out Bullying campaign in 2005. Its goal is to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying (and cyber-bullying) by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.

 

Now in its 11th year, the kindness movement continues. This month, I will do my best to raise bullying prevention awareness by educating how to effectively deal with bullying situations peacefully. In my mentoring program chapter that I facilitate, Girl Talk Marlton, we have girls ranging in age from 10-18 years old, and we discuss this topic quite often. It is a sad statistic but 1 out of 4 students in middle school and high school have been bullied. There are three different types of bullying: physical, verbal and social. Experts say that girls tend to excel at social bullying. Some bullying is obvious, like psychical attacks. While verbal and social bullying can be more subtle behaviors like exclusion, mocking, teasing, spreading rumors, starting gossip, online attacks, and scare tactics.

 

Sugar and spice and everything nice. That’s what little girls are made of, right? Well, a lot of girls seem so innocent and nice to us adults but bullying and nasty cliques start as early as elementary school! A good portion of preteen and teen girls deal with friendship struggles and various degrees of social cruelty and feel as they are alone, but they are not. They allow their so-called “friends” to treat them in ways they don’t deserve. WHY and how can we help empower them to not be treated this way?

 

Let’s start by teaching our girls values to look for in real friendships such as kindness, loyalty, positive attitudes, and honesty. Focus on showing them the differences between healthy and toxic friendships. “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” —Lyman Abbott. I agree with this quote because teaching them to use assertive communication skills and accepting the anger helps to be able to walk away from those fake friendships with confidence. We should teach our children to stand up for themselves and others and not to be bystanders who witness the assaults, harassment and threats and remain silent.

 

If your child shares with you that they are being bullied, don’t intervene too soon. However, no child should have to find her way through this painful conflict alone, help guide them through some effective resolutions they can try first. Creating a plan that works with your child’s strengths and abilities can help build self-confidence and resilience. Be sure to listen and support them through this inevitable pain of bullies disguised as friends. If the bullying continues, contact the school to develop a plan to stomp out these bullies.

 

Stay connected with your preteen/teen to know what is going on in their everyday life, even though they make it so difficult. They need you (even though they don’t think so) and it is your job as their parent or caregiver to guide them through these tough years. This isn’t the time for you to be their friend, there will be plenty of time for that later in life. Have discussions with them about what is acceptable behavior on social networking, websites and text messaging. Make sure they aren’t being cyber-bullied or perhaps being the bully. Know what apps and online activities they are involved in, get their passwords (YES, passwords-you pay the bill don’t you?). Let your child know that using these technological tools is a privilege and don’t hesitate to take them away if they are not used properly. Remember YOU are in charge and that you are investing the time and care into your child because you love them. Don’t let your child bully you!

 

Stopping bullying is everyone’s responsibility. You can help do your part by raising awareness through community events and sharing information with others. Pass it on.

 

My wish……END THE HATE … CHOOSE KINDNESS … STOMP OUT BULLYING. MODEL POSITIVE BEHAVIOR THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY BY TREATING OTHERS WITH KINDNESS AND INTERVENING WHEN YOU SEE BULLYING BEHAVIOR.

http://www.stompoutbullying.org/

Mary Beth
Girl Talk Marlton/for The Wishwall
http://www.girltalkmarlton.org