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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The Wishwall in Marlton, NJ Update

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As I wrote previously, the event for the Wishwall in Marlton NJ on December 10th was a huge success. We had over 200 people in attendance posting their wishes and reading other wishes of those in the community. It was a beautiful day as we dedicated the Wishwall in honor of the late Christina Grimmie, who was from Marlton and represented herself well on the NBC show the voice. Pictured left, Mark Grimmie, Simonetta Lein- The Wishmaker, and myself. What an amazing day, you could just feel the love in the room. Pictures tell only part of the stories heard with so many wishes of those in attendance. My heart was filled with so much love and joy that day, I cannot even explain it in words.

As some of you may be aware of, the Evesham Library decided that once the event was over that they no longer wanted to hang the sign permanently in their location because they didn’t want holes in their walls nor liked the size of the sign. So, as of now, we are still looking for a permanent location for The Wishwall- in Marlton – where we can come together to view what our community needs are and maybe help one another. The Wishwall is good-hearted international mural project that is made by the people and is a point of attraction for all to see. Also, with this wishwall being dedicated in the memory of Marlton’s own Christina Grimmie, who was taken from us in an act of violence, it is a sign of love and hope for peace. I hope someone from the community of Marlton will step up and embrace the message The Wishwall Foundation & Girl Talk has brought to the town. I thank each person and business that has helped along the way thus far.

9c32e26deb6318921cd5e590932f003aThe Wishwall Foundation board members have been working very hard going through each wish that was submitted for the December 10th event. What a hard task to pick the wish to grant that will make the most impact on the community. Once the wish is picked, it is not over but only just begun. The Wishwall Foundation and the board members will get to work to make that wish a reality. There is much planning that is involved and I can’t give too much away to spoil the surprises but I can tell you that there are 3 wishes that will be granted from this wall. Each of these 3 wishes are ones that will impact the community the most. I am so very excited! Be sure to stay tuned to get all the details!

image15-1The Wishwall Foundation also has a huge online and social presence. People post wishes every day on the website www.thewishwall.org and The Wishwall Foundation spends many hours and dollars to help others. Please consider continuing to donate to this wonderful organization, this is my wish this week. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact The Wishwall Foundation or myself at any time.

 

“Confidence is not ‘they will like me’. Confidence instead is ‘I’ll be fine if they don’t’.”-Christina Grimmie

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/the-wishwall-in-marlton-nj-update/

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS DO NOT WORK

New Year's ResolutionsThe New Year approaches and as usual there are great hopes, dreams and resolutions to make for the coming year. What is a New Year’s resolution? It is a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad. YouGov.com most recent poll of the top New Year resolutions is:  1. Lose weight. 2. Get fitter 3. Eat more healthily. 4. Take more care of appearances. 5. See more of friends and family. Sound familiar? To me, most of them apply. Sadly, before the month of January comes to an end, many of these resolutions are abandoned and quickly forgotten. In fact, a startlingly recent statistic suggests approximately 25 percent of people abandon a resolution within the first week. Do you recall your resolutions from last year? Me neither.

But this year I vowed to have a new kind of “resolution,” not doing one or two small things differently, but reflecting on my purpose and how I can act on it every day to make an enduring impact in my life and in society overall. I will make it my goal. The term goal and resolution are often used interchangeably; however, they differ greatly. A goal is a desired action or behavior a person wishes to achieve, not just a wish or aspiration. Put your goal in writing, be sure it is something that you are passionate about, plan and give yourself a timeline with a purpose. Goal timelines can be modified along the way so that you can keep trying until you reach your desired outcome. Do not become discouraged along the way if you go off track, simply reboot and get your goal back in your minds view. It is achievable if you believe it is.

My wish for you this New Year’s: resolve to think about how to make your life better, not just once a year, but every day. Resolve to set goals, not just in one or two aspects of life, but in every important aspect of your life as a whole. Resolve to pursue the goals that will make you successful and happy. If you do this, you will be resolving to do the most important thing of all: to take your happiness seriously.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/new-year-resolutions-do-not-work/

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

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

MY WISH FOR HOPE

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/my-wish-for-hope/

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Hopelessness: A dangerous suicide warning sign.

Hopelessness is a feeling that conditions will never improve, that there is no solution to a problem, and, for many, a feeling that dying by suicide would be better than living.

Most people who feel hopeless have depression, and untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. September being known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I thought maybe I should speak on this touchy but very important topic. Speaking about it helps promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others and how to talk about suicide without increasing the risk of harm.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds. Approximately 25 attempts are made for every completed teen suicide. Risk dramatically increases when teens have access to firearms at home, and nearly 60% of all suicides in the United States are committed with a gun. Note: Guns in your home should be unloaded, locked, and kept out of the reach of children and teens.

Unfortunately, many of us either know someone personally or have heard of someone that has committed suicide. No matter how they choose to go about ending their life, it is a very tragic event and those effected by the situation are left to wonder if they could have prevented it.

So let’s do our best to educate ourselves to know the warning signs when there is a problem. Last week I spoke of anxiety and how that can lead to depression, and while some levels of anxiety and depression are normal in teenage years there is a point where there are red flags that should not be ignored.

Depression and hopelessness in teens is sometimes difficult to spot because (let’s be honest) by nature teens are irritable, want to sleep a lot, and seem to be on an emotional roller coaster most of the time. Teen girls, especially, are great at hiding their struggles from their parents as not to alert them to what is really going on. With hormones surging and self-confidence so low, parents often misinterpret their behavior as typical emotional outburst and teenage drama. And yes, for the majority of teens it is just growing pains and normal behavior. But for those few who are struggling, there are the warning signs to be aware of and when to seek professional help.

Note major changes in behavior and attitude, changes in friend groups, drop in grades, not wanting to go to school, significant mood swings, increased hostility, appetite or sleep changes, increased negativity about self and others, life and the future; drug and alcohol use, reckless behavior, loss of interest in things, activities or people she used to enjoy, tearfulness, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, general withdrawal, decreased attention to appearance and hygiene. It is hard to really understand what is going on in the mind of someone who is in such a dark place but they say that people usually kill themselves to escape what they see to be an inescapable situation, not necessarily because they want to die.

If your teen is asking about suicide, talk to them. Let her know she can tell you anything and you won’t freak out (just breathe), and listen!  If you have reason to expect she may be suicidal, ask her directly and with compassion.  Even if she seems dramatic, take it seriously! Tell her you love her, you hear her, and you are committed to helping her through these feelings. Let her know that you believe she can get through this and that you are there for her- always. Consult your teens doctor to set up the best plan of treatment for her immediately. And if your teen won’t open up and speak to you, reach out to someone your child does trust and your child’s doctor to try to get her to open up.

There are also many teens who are self-cutting. While teens that self-cut may become suicidal at some point in their development, cutting does not indicate suicidality. Most teens who cut say that they do it to feel better and not to kill themselves. Through therapy, teens can learn to cope without harming themselves. If you become aware that your teen is self-cutting, get help immediately for your child. Let her know you love her and want to help her stay safe and she can work through this hard time and get through this.

Effective treatment can eliminate or substantially reduce feelings of hopelessness. Indeed, depression is highly treatable and the vast majority of people who receive treatment get better. If you feel hopeless and think that you may be suffering from depression or a similar disorder, you need to reach out for help – and you need to do so now.

And remember this: There is always hope. But you may not feel that hope until you receive effective treatment for any disorder that you might have.

Hope a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

See more at: http://nami.org/suicideawarenessmonth#sthash.Oy1ABAnR.dpuf

 

Mary Beth

Girl Talk Marlton

Women’s Wishwall Member

A WOMAN FOR PRESIDENT

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http://thewishwall.org/desideri/a-woman-for-president/

A WOMAN FOR PRESIDENT

The Democratic National Convention was in Philadelphia July 25-28th and regardless of my party affiliation just the thought of a woman running for President of the United States of America excites me. We have two women running; Hillary Clinton and Dr. Jill Stein.

It has been proven that woman in politics prioritize issues affecting women’s rights, families and children on their legislative agendas. These women have also voted in favor of environmental protections and policies more consistently than men have over the past 25 years in both House and Senate. So put aside your elephant or donkey, your Hillary or Donald, what would it be like to have a woman President? As we said remember that we have also Dr. Jill Stein running as a woman for president with the Green Party, so they are two “against” one, this is history made

. Let’s wish…. Women are strong leaders. It is sad that we still need to work harder than men to prove ourselves, but we do. Some believe we are still the weakest gender but this is not true. A woman as our president would just help be a step in the right direction for equal rights for woman.Women have heart. Maybe there would be less war with a woman as our president. More compassion, peaceful resolutions and taking time to listen to problems, these are qualities I envision when thinking of a woman president. Just imagine how inspiring it would be for little girls to look up to a woman president. Having a woman in the Oval Office would send the message loud and clear to our girls that they can be absolutely anything – or even the leader of the free world. What are your thoughts on a woman as president? What would you envision or wish? ~Mary Beth Iannarella GirlTalk Marlton/Wishwall adm