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!


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



The Wishwall in Marlton, NJ Update


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


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.


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


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


Be Thankful by Amanda Alexander


be-thankful-rustic-thanksgiving-greeting-cardWith Thanksgiving around the corner, I think it is best to talk about being thankful. My wish for people is that they appreciate what is given to them, and get the appreciation back that they deserve.

Thanksgiving is a time when family, friends, neighbors, and everyone comes together to show their appreciation for everything and everyone they have in their lives. My wish is for people to be more receptive to the holiday and take it more seriously. Everyday, people are losing family members, starving, and hurting, but there are still people who do not appreciate all they have.

As a high school senior, I know the stresses that one can go through in life. Us seniors are applying to colleges, getting through school work, planning prom, planning our senior trip, and so much more. It seems stressful, but why can’t we view it as more of an exciting process? I wish people would think positively and make good thoughts out of what they are given in life because no matter what, someone has it worse and those stresses we go through, could be way worse.

I have personally witnessed people being selfish and ungrateful, being disrespectful to teachers and parents, and bossing around their friends. It is around this time of the year that behavior like that truly breaks my heart, since it is a time to be thankful for all that you have. It is a time for family, friends, and happiness, and I hope more people learn to appreciate that, since not everyone has the access to that kind of love.

All together, my wish is for happiness and appreciation for what we have. In the end, we all have so much to be thankful for, and I think it would be amazing if more people could realize that and truly be thankful this season. Not only do I wish for people to BE thankful, I wish people could act upon it, show their appreciation, and do something nice for another person that they are thankful for.

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


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



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



“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



Gun Violence in America


Last Friday I received a call at 7:50am from my 20-year-old daughter-which was odd because she was suppose to be working. I had just awoken only 10 minutes prior to get ready for my work day and just got out of the shower. My daughter, a current college student, works the before & after school care program at the elementary schools in our town between her own classes. On this particular day she was sent to a different school then usual and the kids had a two-hour delay so it was already not a typical day for her. She was whispering very frantically to me that a cop came to the door and told the staff to activate “shelter in place” and wanted me to find out why for her- then she said “I love you” and hung up. Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there.


My heart dropped as my head spun, I had no idea what was going on. As I threw clothes on, I went to social media to post and read if anyone heard anything, there was nothing. I called friends who had children in the same school to see if they were alerted-but no, they were not. They were home because of the delay and also had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t think straight, I had no idea what to do. I grabbed my handbag and jumped in the car and headed for the school. My phone rings, it’s my daughter again whispering asking if I found out anything. She said the cops made her take the 13 children she had in her care into a small room, lay on the ground and hide with the lights out. The children were becoming frightened with the real police activity; they knew this was not a drill. She said she was told there was a man with a gun on the loose in the school’s neighborhood from a robbery in a neighboring town. She said she was okay and doing her best to keep the children quiet and from being scared. We both said “I love you” and she hung up.


My heart now was in my throat. I pulled over my car and looked on social media and rumors were swirling but were the same as she just told me about a man with a gun in the neighborhood. Friends from the area were sending me pictures and videos of 30+ cop cars on their street, there was so much police activity. As I then continued to drive to the school, I thought “what am I doing?” there wasn’t anything I could actually do to help her or the children but I needed to see for myself. I figured if I saw a man with a gun running the best I could do is hit him with my car, that would make him at least stop running towards anyone. Yes, I know it was a very dumb thought but going through my head was the countless innocent lives lost in this country from gun violence. Not my town, not my kid- I would do anything for it not to occur.


The incident went on (what felt like an eternity) but was less than an hour. Thank God we have a wonderful Police force and great relationships with neighboring township police and they were able to apprehend the man and take him into custody without any incident. Luckily the elementary schools had a two-hour delay and there were not a lot of children in the school or the area at the time. I didn’t even want to start thinking about the “what ifs”.


I went to the school and saw my daughter, hugged and kissed her (my hero) and she was fine, the kids were fine and school and the work day continued with no issues. I went back and sat in my car and burst into tears. This violent crazy behavior has almost become routine. With so many violent incidents taking place on a daily basis around the country, it’s no wonder school employees and students are trained in school lock-down procedures, they have to be! What is going on in America? Why so much gun violence? How can we help change this? We need to talk about it.


According to the Los Angeles Times, the greatest predictor of violence isn’t religion, occupation or race. It’s gender. In the United States, 98% of those who commit mass shootings are male; 98% of the officers who have shot and killed civilians are male; 90% of those who commit homicide by any means are male; and 80% of those arrested for all violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — are male. The reality is that we don’t know exactly why men are exponentially more prone to violence. If we are going to reduce mass shootings, officer-involved killings and the culture of violence in America, however, we need to talk about it.

Whatever your opinion is about gun rights, it’s hard to deny that the frequency of gun violence in America. The US has more civilian guns than literally any other country on Earth, with an estimated 270 million in circulation. There are many ways in which America is exceptional, this is NOT one to be proud of.


Let’s do our part to end gun violence through research, advocacy and community empowerment. Help support Girl Talk Marlton make our communities safer and healthier by fighting to end gun violence in America.


From the Evesham Police Department in reference to the above Incident:


At approximately 8:00 am this morning, Evesham Police assisted Mt. Laurel and Medford officers as they attempted to stop a vehicle that was involved in a crime with a handgun in Mt. Laurel. The suspect vehicle eventually crashed on Carlton Avenue and three subjects were taken into custody as they attempted to flee the stop on foot. DeMasi elementary/middle school was placed into a “shelter in place” as the event unfolded. The assigned SRO at DeMasi immediately secured the school as the surrounding officers apprehended the suspects involved in the crime.


This is another example of the importance of our agency’s school resource officer program as we immediately protected the school staff and students from a potential dangerous incident. The school resource officers and their assigned school staff prepare for these types of incidents on a daily basis.

no-gun-violence1-1Any witnesses to this incident should call (856) 983-1111 with any information.

Thank you again to our wonderful Evesham (and neighboring) Police Department.

-Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton for The Wishwall





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



I am exited to announce that a wish is coming true!
Girl Talk Marlton (www.girltalkmarlton.org), a local chapter of Girl Talk Inc -which is a non profit peer to peer free mentoring program for girls grades 5-12, is having granted our wish of having a physical wishwall in our hometown and also be able to help The Wishmaker Simonetta Lein and The Wishwall Foundation with the Wishwall as well. We met with Simonetta Lein and everything is starting to take place. Thank you!