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TWE RADIO: Ben’s Bells Founder Jeannette Maré Changes the World with Kindness and a Wind Chime

Jeannette Maré, Founder of Ben’s Bells.

Ben’s Bells, changing the world with kindness and a wind chime

Jeannette Maré, Founder of Ben’s Bells.

Jeannette Maré, founder Ben's Bells, Tuscon/Photo: Courtesy Jeannette Maré | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Station

Jeannette Maré, founder of Ben’s Bells

By Stacey Gualandi/May 17, 2018

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as Stacey Gualandi catches up with Jeannette Maré, the founder of the Ben’s Bells Project in Tucson, Arizona.

In 2002, Jeannette’s Ben died suddenly before his third birthday. As a way to deal with her devastating grief, this teacher-by-trade began making clay wind chimes that contained bells and tiny messages of kindness.

On the first anniversary of Ben’s death, hundreds of these bell chimes were put up around Tucson, encouraging people to pass on their uplifting messages. The project quickly turned personal tragedy into something positive for Jeannette, and ultimately for the world.

Ben's Bells on porch with Ben in background/Photo: Courtesy Jeannette Maré | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Station

Ben’s Bells on porch with Ben’s picture in background

Ben’s Bells Project received massive support, and in 2011 gained national attention when over 1400 bells were hung around Tucson in the wake of the shooting involving U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords.

That’s when The Women’s Eye began following the growth and success of Ben’s Bells and why we wanted to have Jeannette share what it’s like seeing “love in action.” We witnessed these bells hanging gracefully from trees in the Tucson community and how they were inspiring people to spread a message of kindness.

Ben's Bells, founder Jeannette Maré in Tucson/Photo Courtesy Jeannette Maré | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Station

Children supporting Ben’s Bells Project

When it comes to community, Jeannette says we are all in this together, so she will continue to motivate people to realize the impact of intentional kindness and its power of healing.  You can find the Bells Project now in Phoenix and Connecticut as it spreads its wings in communities, schools and businesses.

To find out more about Jeannette Maré and the Ben’s Bells Project, go to: www.bensbells.org.

Ben's Bells from founder Jeannette Maré/Courtesey Jeannette Maré | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Station

TWITTER: Ben’s Bells
FACEBOOK: Ben’s Bells Project
INSTAGRAM: bensbells
TWITTER: Stacey Gualandi
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TWE RADIO: Directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen On Their Groundbreaking Movie “RBG”

Betsy West and Julie Cohen, Directors of RBG/Photo: Myles Pettengill, Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen/Photo: Myles Pettengill, Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

By Stacey Gualandi/May 10, 2018

Don’t miss A BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio  with Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the award-winning documentary filmmakers behind the Sundance Film Festival favorite “RBG.”

RBG Poster/Courtesy magnolia Pictures“RBG” stars U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 85-year-old warrior of women’s rights, feminist icon and pop culture phenomenon now known affectionately as the “Notorious RBG.” 

Three years ago, West and Cohen decided to join forces –  along with a talented team of creative females – to bring Justice Ginsburg to the big screen.

Having each interviewed Justice Ginsburg for separate projects years ago, they believed that RBG was having her moment in 2015 and wanted to capture her rising popularity, especially with millennials.

Little did they know that while filming, this diminutive Bronx-born, opera-loving jurist with the big dissents, would become a symbol of gender equality rights.

“RBG” Trailer/Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

West and Cohen are successful journalists, network news producers and documentary filmmakers in their own right. And as a news junkie myself, I was already a big fan of their work at ABC, CBS and NBC, and documentaries like Makers and The Sturgeon Queens, so I was thrilled to talk with them for the first time.

Betsy West | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio ShowBetsy West
Julie CohenJulie Cohen
Stacey GualandiStacey Gualandi

Both women share their journey documenting Justice Ginsburg’s groundbreaking legal rulings; her 56-year marriage; her dream of nine female Supreme Court justices (“Justice Ginsburg is highly optimistic…”); and her first reaction to Kate McKinnon’s Saturday Night Live RBG impersonation. Her exercise routine is remarkable, some 20 push-ups at a time and that’s just for openers.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg exercising from RBG the movie/Photo: Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s workout routine from “RBG”/Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

“RBG” is a love story, a her-story lesson, and, after seeing it three times, I believe it’s the only superhero movie that really matters at the summer box-office. Oh, and P.S., I predict one man will get involved with this film. His name is Oscar.

“RBG” is in theaters across the country now. To find out where, go to www.rbgmovie.com.

Supreme Court Justices 1993/Photo: Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Supreme Court Justices 1993/Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

TWITTER:

Betsy West
Julie Cohen
Stacey Gualandi
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TWE RADIO: Author Laurie Burrows Grad On Grief, Widowhood and Recovering from Loss

Author Laurie Burrows Grad On Grief, Widowhood and Recovering from Tragic Loss

The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now — How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived

Author Laurie Burrows Grad On Grief, Widowhood and Recovering from Tragic Loss, talks to Stacey Gualandi about her new book “The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now — How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived”

Laurie Burrows Grad author and husband Peter/Photo: Courtesy Laurie Burrows Grad

Laurie Burrows Grad and Peter Grad at Night at Sardi’s fundraiser, 2005/Photo: Alex Berliner©Berliner Studio/BEImages

By Stacey Gualandi/May 2, 2018

We have a  BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio that you will not want to miss!

The Joke's Over, You Can Come Back Now: By Laurie Burrows GradFood writer and cookbook author Laurie Burrows Grad has written an emotional memoir, The Joke’s Over, You Can Come Back Now — How This Widow Plowed Through Grief and Survived,and candidly shares her heartbreaking journey from “normal” to “acceptably different” with honesty and her well-known sense of humor in tact.

Burrows Grad and Peter, her husband of 47 years, shared a tremendous bond; theirs was a true love story. “We called each other five times a day!” When Peter died suddenly in 2015, Burrows Grad was thrust into widowhood, the life she knew forever altered.

My parents were also soulmates who were married 47 years when my father died over 8 years ago. I wanted to read this book in order to better understand not only how Burrows Grad coped in the wake of her tragic loss, but also to help my mother accept the grief she still feels.

Inspired and encouraged to journal by Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg, who also lost her husband David unexpectedly, Burrows Grad wrote a blog for Huffington Post titled Demoted to Lunch in reference to a shift in her social status as a widow.

Laurie Burrows Grad and husband Peter, Wedding Day/Photo: Courtesy Laurie Burrows Grad

Laurie and Peter on their wedding day/1968

The post went viral, which led to three years full of articles (earning her the new moniker “Grief Blogger”) and ultimately this book.

Burrows Grad said writing about the taboo topic of grief gave her an unexpected mission:

“Creating meaning from loss is my resurrection from the debris of my heartache.”

With The Joke’s Over… she provides the ultimate grief toolbox of tips, the “3 H’s: Honesty, Humor — and Chutzpah,” and even the daunting challenge of dating (as Laurie calls it, “dumpster diving!”)

And while she will never lose the connection to her dear husband, Burrows Grad devotes a chapter to You Know You’re Getting Better When

This is one of the definitive self-help guides on grief as “the great equalizer” for widows of any age and will be a great aid for anyone suffering a difficult loss.

Laurie’s Website

Twitter: LaurieGrad

Our House Grief Support Center

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Award-Winning Director Jessica Yu Spotlights Heroic Journalist Gladys Kalibbala’s Passion

Jessica Yu, author of Garden of the Lost and Abandoned, and Gladys Kalibbala, and subject of the book/Photo: Michael Wawuyo

Gladys Kalibbala and director/author Jessica Yu/Photo: Michael Wawuyo

By Patricia Caso/April 22, 2018

In Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: An Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves, author Jessica Yu follows heroic Ugandan journalist, Gladys Kalibbala, who uses her energy, creativity and meager resources to rescue lost and abandoned children.

Her column, “Lost and Abandoned,” has drawn attention to the plight of hundreds of forsaken children. Gladys routinely faces many difficult and dangerous situations to help them.

“What Gladys does is hard. But the cumulative impact of her deliberate – not random – acts of kindness, and the joy she takes in them, reminds us that we discover our humanity when we engage. And if we persist, things happen.” Jessica Yu

Intrigued with Gladys’ life-saving deeds, I began researching more about her life and discovered Jessica Yu’s own multi-faceted story. Not only was she an award-winning director in television, documentaries and films, she’d just written her first book, Garden of the Lost and Abandoned. And, what a compelling changemaker Jessica brings to readers.

I caught up with this Academy Award-winning filmmaker in Los Angeles by phone in between her busy commitments to find out more about Gladys’ exceptional acts and Jessica’s perspective on her own career… [Read more…]

TOP 10: Tammie Jo Shults, Who Calmly Landed Southwest Flight, Broke Barriers As Fighter Pilot

Tammy Jo Shults, pilot who landed SW 1380/Photo: Linda Maloney

Tammie Jo Shults, Who Calmly Landed SW Flight 1380, Broke Barriers as a Fighter Pilot: latimes.com–4/18/18–Photo: Linda Maloney

TWE RADIO: Mary Latham Turned Tragedy into a 50-State Trek to Find “More Good” Stories

Mary Latham is on the trip-of-a-lifetime as she travels to 50 states in America to find as many stories of human kindness that she can.

Road-tripper, photographer and future author Mary Latham!

Mary Latham, adventurer and founder "More Good" movement/Photo provided by Mary Latham

Mary Latham, founder of the “More Good” movement

By Stacey Gualandi/April 11, 2018
Photos Courtesy Mary Latham (@MaryLath)

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as I track down road-tripper, photographer and future author Mary Latham!

Mary Latham is on the trip-of-a-lifetime as she travels to 50 states in America to find as many stories of human kindness that she can. I first heard about Mary’s mission after a Women’s Eye follower read about her in a local newspaper. Mary was in Pleasanton, CA, at the time – just one of many stops on a 19,000 mile journey that began in October 2016.

Mary Latham and mom Pat/Photo provided by Mary Latham

Mary and Pat, her mom

As someone who feels overwhelmed by all the negative news on a daily basis, I was fascinated to hear just how Mary tackled this challenge, and wondered, could she actually find enough positive stories of people paying it forward?

Listen up and you’ll hear about her remarkable trip and how she depends on the kindness of strangers.

Mary Latham, founder "More Good" movement/Photo: Selfie

Mary talks to Stacey from CA.

The idea was borne in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Mary was devastated by the horrible news, but it was her mother, Pat, who offered the perfect advice on coping: “There is always more good news out there; you just have to look for it.” Shortly after, her mother lost her battle with cancer.

That’s when Mary decided to create the “More Good” road trip to compile stories into a book that will be donated to hospital waiting rooms for people needing hope. And mostly, to honor her mother.

Now with 25 states to go, Mary continues driving in her mom’s old blue Subaru, staying with total strangers, and meeting fascinating people with touching tales to tell.

Mary shares what motivates her, why this undertaking is a difficult challenge, and how she learned “the most important work that we do is the work we do with our heart.”

To join her “More Good” movement, be a host, submit a story of human kindness or to find out where Mary is “on the map”, go to her moregood. today website!

Just a reminder that April 15 is Good Deeds Day! Their website indicates that 93 countries worldwide have taken part in it. Now that’s more good news!

Mary Latham and the men that fixed her car in California/Photo provided by Mary Latham

Mary with the men who repaired her car for free in CA

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TOP 10: Meet the College Basketball Star Whose Last-Second Shot Helped Make History

Notre Dame basketball star Arike Ogunbowale/Photo: Screenshot CBS News

Meet the College Basketball Star Whose Last-Second Shot Helped Make History: cbsnews.com–4/3/18–Photo: Screenshot CBS News

TWE Radio: Foreign Correspondent Atia Abawi Humanizes Global Refugee Crisis in New Novel

Atia Abawi, journalist, author/Photo Provided by Atia Abawi | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Foreign correspondent Atia Abawi in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
covering a burn of confiscated drugs

Stacey Gualandi/March 14, 2018

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as I chat with author and foreign network news correspondent Atia Abawi about her just released second Young Adult novel,  A Land of Permanent Goodbyes.

A mutual photojournalist friend introduced me to Atia. After reading her book I had quite an emotional reaction to the refugee experiences she describes. I wanted to talk with her to get a better understanding of a crisis that cannot be ignored.

Author Atia Abawi's bok, Land of Permanent Goodbyes provided by Atia to TWE | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio ShowThis award-winning journalist is based in the Middle East and researched the global refugee crisis extensively to tell a timely story of one teenage boy and his family’s fight for survival in war-torn Syria.

It is a gut-wrenching tale that doesn’t shy away from the unspeakable violence, the “hunters” and the never-ending search for safety.

For Abawi, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes hits very close to home as she was born a refugee to Afghan parents in West Germany and raised in the U.S.

Her family’s decision to flee war in Afghanistan helped her to understand the plight of families who must try to outlive a tremendous loss.

With this book, Abawi hopes to create empathy and raise awareness of a crisis that is happening in real time. Abawi says many tears were shed writing this story, but she says it was a story that needed to be shared. Take a listen to her story!

To find out more about Atia: www.atiaabawi.com.

Atia Abawi, foreign correspondent, in Afghanistan/Photo provided by Atia Abawi | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Atia traveling to a story with NATO forces in Afghanistan

Listen to more TWE Interviews from The Women’s Eye Radio Show on iTunes.

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