Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dealing With Holiday Depression-What You Should Know

When most of us think about the holiday season, we associate it with good food, good friends, family, and good times. But unfortunately, it's not the case for everyone.

For many, this time of year conjures up painful memories, a feeling of isolation, sadness, and unmet expectations. Perhaps you're one of them.
It is reported that there's a 15% increase in the number of people who request help for emotional disorders in December. You are not alone.
The key to getting through the holidays with less grief begins with having the right perspective and
 a willingness to create new memories.

With this is mind, here are a few tips to help you experience "holiday cheer," (no alcoholic beverage needed). :-)
  1. Recognize that fewer expectations lead to greater peace. Hello? Many of us get caught up in the holiday movies and commercials depicting perfect families and the exchange of great gifts. But, this is not necessarily a "reality" for all Americans. Accept this. Don't put undue pressure on yourself to do everything and be everything. Don't get disappointed if family members don't pitch in like they should. It is what it is. Holiday "peace" begins with you and your thoughts.
  2. Don't compare or compete. It's not unusual, at this time of the year, to compare our progress or possessions with others. And sometimes when we do, we feel "short changed." True? Recognize that we are each blessed "differently." Chill. And give thanks.
  3. Pace Yourself. Part of the reason that so many of us feel stressed over the holidays, is that we try to cram too many things into too little time. Cooking. Cleaning. Shopping. Relatives. Decorating. Don't forget that proper planning and preparation can make for a more relaxing and joyful holiday experience. And when possible, delegate.
  4. Consider volunteering. One thing that helps us to realize just how fortunate we really are is to donate our time, resources, and talent to those in need. Why not volunteer at a Soup Kitchen? Or visit the elderly? Or bring a plate to a "shut-in" in your neighborhood? It will make you feel better, and help to add joy to someone else in the process.
  5. Attend a Worship Service.  Several churches in your local area will have special activities devoted to the holiday season, with friendly people and warm spirits. Reach out. And remember the "divine" reason for the season.
  6. Treat yourself. In the words of Dr. Phil, "Sometimes we have to give ourselves what we deserve from other people." In other words, don't wait for folks to celebrate you through gift giving. Treat yourself to a new "do". Or buy that new pair of pumps you've been "eyeing" at the mall. Just be careful not to overspend, (which also contributes to holiday stress).

Follow these timely tips for greater joy and less stress during this holiday season!
Have a safe, soulful celebration.
We look forward to connecting with you in 2014!

Thoughts?

Image courtesy: J. Banks



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thoughts of Thanks...

 

 
 
As the Thanksgiving holiday dances at our heels, there's no better time to pause from our busy schedules, reflect and give thanks for this year's blessings.
From family, to shelter, to health, to good friends and good times...the list is endless. True?
 
An attitude of gratitude helps us to focus more on what we have than what we hope for.
In keeping, here are a few quotes on being grateful and content, to take us into the next week and the next month.
 
"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."---CELIA THAXTER
 
"Ignorant men don't know what good they hold in their hands until they've flung it away."
---SOPHOCLES

"The greatest wealth is health."---RALPH WALDO EMERSON

"In all things give thanks."---THE BIBLE

"Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy."---JACQUES MARTAIN



We at Ina Mae Greene Foundation are eternally grateful for your donations, partnerships, friendship, generosity, prayers, and support.

From our doors to yours...Wishing you a holiday filled with abundant blessings!

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Play it Safe This Halloween...Tips to Remember

Most of us can remember Halloween as one of our favorite holidays as kids.
Didn't you just love being able to dress up as one of your favorite super heroes or cartoon characters?
Going from door to door and getting loads of candy and treats added to the joy of the evening.

Fast forward...

Today Halloween is somewhat different. Unfortunately, there are many opportunistic, unstable people who use this day to dress up in disguise and commit crimes and cause real-life "horrors."

Don't be a needless victim.
Be careful of your surroundings. When possible, walk in crowds in well-lit areas.
Don't carry more than you have to.
And don't open your doors and give access to just anyone.
Better safe than sorry.

Wishing you a day filled with lots of treats and treasures!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN ...FROM OUR DOOR TO YOURS!

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net
ammer

Friday, October 25, 2013

 
 
 

 

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A VICTIM--THERE IS HELP FOR YOU!

 
 
 
 




For more information- or to get help for you or someone you love who is being abused, visit our website--www.inamaegreene.org

.....because the road to safety should not be a dead-end!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Domestic Violence Slated to Hit the Big Stage--A Closer look With Playwright, Lillian E. Mitchum

 




Sunday, October 13, 2013

Domestic Violence Awareness Continues...

Chances are, even if you've not been impacted by Domestic Violence personally, you know someone who has. Domestic violence impacts individuals of all races, religions, educational backgrounds, and ages. Which is why we at IMGF are devoting this month, (and related activities) to increasing awareness, and providing local and national resources to those in need.

If you or someone you know is a victim, know that help is available.
You don't have to suffer in silence. Don't let shame or fear keep you from the life you desire and deserve.

Reach out to the various community, law enforcement agencies, and online organizations dedicated to helping those in need.
Break the cycle. Break the silence.

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

OCTOBER IS DOMESTICE VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH!

                             OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

Domestic violence awareness month gives us an open opportunity to talk about the issue of relationship violence in our community.

This is the time to learn about a resource for someone who might need that information one day. It is a time to learn more about a crime that either kills or seriously injures thousands of women and children in our country each year.

Domestic violence, relationship violence, family violence; are all avoidable. You can make a choice not to abuse, you can make a choice to not continue to live with abuse.
You can choose to save your life and the life of your child. Choose not to be humiliated by someone who claims they love you; and are treating you this way for your own good!

There is nothing good about abuse in a relationship, any type of abuse; physical, verbal, child abuse, emotional abuse, sexual, financial, LGBT abuse.......sadly the list can go on and on.

Domestic abuse is the most under reported crime in America, and with more resources available for victims than ever before, there are more reported cases of abuse than ever before in the history of our country.

But we can stop domestic violence it if we take a stand; say enough NO MORE ABUSE--please don't look away when you know someone is being abused. Let's make a choice to stop domestic violence.

Please visit our website and read more about how to help someone you know who is being abused.....www.inamaegreene.org--because the road to safety should not be a dead-end!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Motivation Monday! Quotes to Empower and Inspire You...


It's the beginning of the week and the end of summer.
(Where has the year gone?)
For some, this marks a time when encouraging words can help to feel more energized and optimistic, to go the distance.  

So whether you're dealing with a challenging job, a "full" plate, a broken heart, or simply need to be uplifted, the following quotes are designed to keep you encouraged and help you to experience a more positive, productive week ahead.

Enjoy.


"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."---Eleanor Roosevelt

"Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it."---Jerome K. Jerome

"Macho does not prove mucho."---Zsa Zsa Gabor

"The more you complain, the longer God makes you live."--- Anonymous

"Everyone must row with the oars he has."---English Proverb

"Age is not a handicap. Age is nothing but a number. It is how you use it."---Ethel Payne

"A woman is like a tea bag. It's only when she's in hot water that you realize how strong she is."---Nancy Reagan

"In youth we learn; in age we understand."---Marie Von Ebner


"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."---Ingrid Bergman

" Be still and know that I am God."---Psalms

"The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed."---Nicolas Chamfort


















Sunday, September 8, 2013

Honoring National Grandparents' Day...




"Grandma's hands clapped in church on Sunday morning.
Grandma's hands picked me up each time I fell."


In a tribute to his beloved granny, Bill Withers penned this popular song many moons ago. Yet, the lyrics are still relevant today and resonate for so many of us.
Can I get an amen?
Who can deny the special place grandparents hold in our hearts even as "grown folks," or forget the lasting imprint they have had on our lives and in our cherished memories? 

It is for this reason, that we at Ina Mae Greene Foundation invite you to join us as we honor and recognize National Grandparents' Day.

Originally established in 1978, by a proclamation established by President Jimmy Carter, this special day each September, gives us an opportunity to say thanks for their contributions to our families, churches and communities.

If you are blessed to have yours still in the "land of the living" here are a few suggestions of activities and gestures to extend tomorrow.

  • Make up a cute coupon that entitles them to "one free day of house cleaning or errand running" next week.
  • Rent their favorite movie and watch it with them. Bring popcorn, candy, ice cream, or their favorite treat.
  • Prepare a home-cooked meal.
  • Treat them to a day at the Spa, or a professional massage.
  • Call them on the phone and listen to what they've been up to. Convey your love.
  • Send them a card and flowers.
  • Attend a church service with them.
  • Give them a few bucks to shop and browse at the local thrift store.
  • Write them a personalized poem.

The possibilities are endless. Just like their love.

And if your grandparents are "on the other side" remember them in prayer and reflection.

Wishing you and yours a "grand" Grandparents' Day!


Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, September 2, 2013






2-FMS_CosmeticLine
Yesthat is right! Our website has finally gone live! WWW.FORMYSISTERSCOSMETICS.COM
Although our official launch date is October 27, you can place your orders on line for your favorite
For My Sisters Cosmetics products!

We are still working on the site so please be patient, but most of you who have tried our brand, have been asking about getting more of your favorite lip sticks and lip glosses again.  You will see them online waiting for you!

Ordering is simple and fast. Just fill your cart, when you are ready to check out, click the cart button at the top of the page, it is that simple!

As you all know the sale from these products will go to help support the Ina Mae Greene Foundation and domestic abuse victims’ services, i.e., women's shelters, victims outreach services and other important help and assistance that victims of domestic violence will need to take their lives back after abuse.

Our lip sticks and lip gloss products are made from natural ingredients like Vitamin E and coconut oil! Our shadows are mineral based and healthy, with nothing that will harm you or the environment!

BECAUSE THE ROAD TO SAFETY SHOULD NOT BE A DEAD-END!
Click on the pictures below and explore now!
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We offer an array of beautiful colors that will complement every skin tone; yes we have something for everyone!

So try us out, and go to our blog to leave a comment, www.inamaegreene.blogspot.com - we would love to know what you think!
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Thank you for your support!



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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Discover the Joys of Journaling...





Most women can recall capturing their school-girl crushes and adolescent woes between the pages of a pretty diary growing up.
Some with pastel colors, pretty patterns, and lock and key.

It was the one place we could be “heard” and not feel judged.
But just because we’ve outgrown our teenage turmoil and awkward stages, doesn’t mean that we should “close the book” to keeping a journal.

In fact, writing in a journal can be therapeutic and beneficial, no matter what your age or stage.

Here’s why:
  • It’s a way to think on paper, purge feelings, and pent up anger.
  • It helps to enhance creativity, (poetry, essays, books).
  • It helps us to chronicle our past and learn from former mistakes.
  • It allows us to measure our growth and set goals for the future.
  • It helps us to capture those “Kodak” moments worth remembering in the future.
  • Depending upon what we pen between the pages, it can even be left for our kids and grand kids to know more about us, when we “transition” on.

 
Now that we know "why," here are some examples of “what” types of diaries to consider:

A BLESSINGS JOURNAL-
can be used everyday to record things that we are thankful for. Did you get a raise? Leave a bad relationship safely? Find a new place? These are worth noting here.
A TRAVEL JOURNAL--is a great way to write about interesting places you’ve traveled, the culture, and “hot spots” to visit in the future. You can even take photos and place them in your journal to enhance the experience, and provide visuals.
A CREATIVITY JOURNAL---
many writers will attest that some of their best writing evolved originally from journal entries. Go with the flow.
A DAILY JOURNAL----These are typically used to record the good, the bad, and the ugly of daily living. Use it everyday, or just when the mood hits you. There’s no right or wrong approach here. If you include a lot of personal details, be sure to keep it in a safe place, under lock and key.
     
     
    Consider picking up a pretty diary that reflects your personality at your local stationery store, or local Dollar Store. With the holidays and the new school year approaching soon, no doubt there will be much to write and reflect on!

How about you?
Do you still keep a diary? Do you find it helps you to deal with the pressures of life?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Saturday, August 3, 2013

National Friendship Day--How to help a friend affected by Domestic Violence




August 4th marks National Friendship Day.
A day to honor and celebrate those whom we cherish.
Those who are like our "extended family."
Who can deny their importance?
Even the Bible makes mention of friendship in various chapters and verses.
So today's post will provide tips to help those who may be impacted by Domestic Violence.
This is being provided for informational purposes, and is not to be substituted for professional, legal, or medical advice.

But, it just may save a life...

 It‘s a grey area for many people. On one hand, you want to respect other's privacy and observe boundaries. But, on the other hand, you care about their welfare. You also recognize that silence can sometimes be costly; particularly when it comes to violence, infidelity, or dealing with someone who is mentally unstable.

The TV news and headline stories serve as constant reminders.

 Still… countless questions surface, like… Should I speak up or look away? When is it okay to betray a confidence? Do I speak up after the first incident or multiple times?

Who do I tell? Why me? How will my relationship with the injured party be affected?

Will speaking up put me in potential danger too?
All valid questions…

And the truth is, the answers vary, depending upon the parties involved, the nature and frequency of the situation, and other contributing factors.

 HERE ARE SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES TO GOVERN YOUR ACTIONS:
1. Be there to listen to those who need to be heard. Always strive to be supportive, without passing judgment, when possible.

2. If there is concrete evidence of physical violence, always tell someone. Tell a relative, or make an anonymous call to your local police station. You may just save a life.

3. Pray. Sometimes when there are no other apparent answers, prayer can make a difference.

4. Suggest that your loved one seek professional help, such as a victim’s outreach service, or a church leader. Assure them that there are always options available.

5. Plant a seed. Maybe a friend or loved one may not be receptive to hearing your advice now, but sharing it may provide future help.

Remember--“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Note: This is an excerpt from "BLOOD RELATIVES" by Darlene Greene. Order your copy today at Amazon.com.
Thoughts?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Reading Recommendations---Know more, Grow more...





Are you “unlucky in love?”

Looking for Mr. Right? Seeking self-help to become more self-realized? Or perhaps simply striving to expand your knowledge base and make better decisions regarding your quality of life?

It’s “summer time and the living is easy.”
And there’s no better time to relieve stress, mellow out, and escape through the pages of a good book.

Take some much-deserved “down time.” Kick back, relax, and be prepared to be enlightened and transformed with these recommended reads!  

By the way... a good cup of java or herbal tea is not required, but enhances the experience.

Here's what's worth a book look:
 

ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN---By Steve Harvey
When most folks first learned that the famous “king of comedy” and talk show host had penned a book on dating and relationships, no dout many thought that this in itself was pretty hilarious! After all, what type of credentials would lend to a comedian's credibility in this arena? But Harvey proved his haters wrong. Here he dispenses sage advice that instructs women that if they want to be treated better to stop “lowering the bar”. He also lets us know that “every man has a plan” with regards to dating and mating. Overall, the book is definitely worth the price of admission. Pick it up!
 
 HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU---By Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
This popular relationship guide serves as a reality check for many women. It decodes the double talk of “Mars” inhabitants and helps women see their actions with greater clarity. More than likely, you’ll find a few of the guys you’ve dated amidst the many scenarios! Hello?
 
BLOOD RELATIVES---By Darlene Greene
 Knowledge is power. And if you haven't had an opportunity to pick up this compelling read, you should. Readers will find important information that is life changing and empowering. Discover what "the buzz is about". Copies available on line through Inamaegreene.org, or through Amazon.com.



LIFE'S SPICES--By Vicki Ward 
Life's Spices takes the work of women of color around the world, and shares their collective wisdom through a popular anthology series. Stories reflect a wide array of experiences and circumstances. You'll laugh, cry, and relate to over 200 pages of personal essays, poems, and even recipes. 

 
DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF FOR WOMEN--By Kristine Carlson
Stress less. Live a more balanced life, that is rooted in having the right priorities, and setting boundaries. Chapters include: Create memories for your children; fancy your femininity; stress busters, and more. Makes a great gift copy for a friend in distress as well.
 
 
Your turn. What's on your bookshelf this summer?

 





 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Heal Your Body, Mind & Spirit...




“Health is the greatest wealth.”----Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many of us spend countless hours caring for other people.
We tend to the needs of our kids, our families, our church communities, and even “bad” bosses.
We stretch ourselves like African Rubber.
Adding to the mix is the everyday stress of having to do more with fewer resources.
The sum total of this life equation? Burnout. Illness. Fatigue.
And even periodic feelings of being overwhelmed and under-appreciated. True?

It doesn’t have to be this way. Balance is the key.
A wise man once said, “You can’t give from an empty cup.”

With this in mind, here’s how to “fill your cup,” replenish your spirit, and lead a more balanced existence.

 
BODY

  • Get the proper amount of rest. Though needs vary, experts recommend 7-8 hours nightly.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, with proper portion control. Did you know that African-Americans suffer disproportionately with obesity? Be mindful of your food choices and act accordingly.
  • Treat yourself to a body massage. July 18th actually marks “Everybody deserves a massage week.” Consult your local listings for a qualified service provider in your area. You deserve it!
  • Summer heat can deplete. Keep your body flushed and functioning right with 8 glasses of water, and avoid excessive sun.
  • Treat your body like a temple. Set boundaries. Never accept abuse in the "name of love."

MIND
  • Keep positive thoughts. The Good Book tells us: “As a man thinketh, so it is.”
  • Learn to forgive. Forget the past. Grudges block blessings and waste energy. Devote your thoughts to self-improvement, spiritual principles, or expanding your knowledge base.
  • Get lost in the pages of a good book. If time is short, consider books on tape. These “audio versions” can be enjoyed in your car on your daily commute.

SPIRIT
  • Avoid toxic people, and folks that keep gossip and strife going. Stop the madness!
  • Treat yourself to things that give you pleasure. Don’t wait to be pampered by someone else--- be your own best friend. Make it a part of your weekly “things to do.” Treat yourself to a movie, a medi-pedi, a bubble bath with candles, chocolate, and the company of those who cherish you, accept you, and value you for who you are.
  • Listen to some good music. Studies show that it has therapeutic properties.
  • Have dreams and goals. What's on your "Bucket List"? Would you like to start your own business?  To get your body back in bikini-shape? Go back to school? Go for it! Dreams keep our hearts young and our souls inspired. Just make sure to keep them a little realistic for optimal success. :-)

Thoughts? How do you live a well-balanced, "full" life? Which one of these tips are among your favorites?



Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, July 8, 2013

 
 

Ina Mae Greene Foundation Domestic Violence Awareness PSA

 
 
 
 
 



Information and awareness is one of our most important tools in this fight to end violence against women and girls in our country. Please do not be to embarrassed to save your life or the life of your child.

You are not alone, there is an average of 5,000,000 women in this country abused every year.

It is time that we take control of our lives and our future. Stop domestic abuse!
The choice is yours.

For more information about the Ina Mae Greene Foundation, or to look for resources in your city visit our website-www.inamaegreene.org.

.....because the road to safety should not be a dead-end!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ina Mae Greene Foundation- How we are working to break the silence!

 
 
 

.....because the road to safety should not be a dead-end!

 
 
 
 
 

The attached video is an interview  with Miss Jane McCormick. We at the foundation are working hard to keep domestic violence an issue that can be discussed by women without fear of being judged for having been in a violent relationship. Please look the video and leave a comment, we welcome your input and ideas on how we can improve our work, and continue to break the silence about this deadly crime.




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June is Child Safety Awareness Month


Children are our most precious resource.
And as "stakeholders" in their future, it's crucial that we protect their innocence, their safety, and their formative years.

Dangers are ever-present.
Accordingly, June is designated as "Child Safety Awareness Month."
This awareness "focus" is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services to raise the consciousness level of parents, caretakers, and the general public, on how to foster a safe, healthy environment for today's children.

Depending upon a child's age, location, parental supervision, and environmental factors, there are many challenges and potential dangers they might be exposed to today.

Here are a few to consider:
  • Internet Predators
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Ingestion of harmful chemicals
  • Slips and dangerous falls
  • Mental abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Abductions
  • Domestic violence
Staying informed and educated is the best "weapon" for their protection.

With this in mind, here are some timely strategies and practices to protect today's kids.
  • If you're a parent or educator, keep the lines of communication open. Encourage them to share their fears and concerns in a healthy, age-appropriate way.
  • Keep chemicals under lock and away from toddlers and curious little ones.
  • Place monitoring devices and "blocks" on certain websites that might compromise your child's innocence.
  • If possible, place computers in a "general" visible area in the home, where everyone has equal access.
  • Never allow children to spend time at any one's home that you are not familiar with.
  • If you're a single parent, be careful and mindful of who you bring home, and potentially expose your kids to. There are many software programs and websites that will allow you to conduct a background check on your "new friend." Better safe than sorry.
  • Recognize that harsh words that belittle and demean can cause emotional scars, and contribute to mental abuse.   
  • Domestic violence is a dangerous cycle. According to Turning Point Services.Org, 90% of children from violent homes, witnessed fathers who were abusive to their moms.
  • They also report that abused children are arrested 4x more often than their non-abused peers. 

Let's all do our part to protect future generations, and break the cycle of abuse and neglect- by opening our ears, eyes, minds, and hearts and becoming more actively involved.

For more information and resources, visit WWW.CDV.ORG



Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Domestic Violence and the "Daddy Connection"



 

“Children live what they learn.”---

 
In the upcoming weeks, families across our country will honor and celebrate Father’s Day.
And it is recognition well deserved.

Good fathers serve a very valuable role in a progressive, balanced, stable, happy society.
They build strong families, offer support, nurturing and guidance, while providing the necessary “building blocks” for a solid foundation for our future generations.

Fathers are, by virtue of their roles, intended to be protectors and providers.

Boys learn how to be men at their hands, while daughters learn how to love through their example.
Often times, a girl who has witnessed domestic violence as a child views “love” and men through distorted lenses. It misguides. It sends the wrong message. It contributes to poor self-esteem, and may ultimately be her “undoing” and eventual death through an abuser.

An absentee father can be just as detrimental. According to statistics and studies provided by attorney Jeffrey Leving:

  • Fatherless children are 11 times more likely to exhibit violent behavior than their two parent peers.
  • Fatherless children are twice as apt to drop out of school than students living with a mom and dad in the household.
  • 75% of teen suicides are from single family households.
These sobering statistics speak volumes, as to the needs of today’s father to be present and a positive influence; particularly in a climate with so much violence and dysfunction.

For those out there who continue to do the “right thing” we salute you. And we give our heartfelt thanks.

To those who have “gone on” before us, we remember and cherish you.

To those who are negligent in their duties, we issue this public service message: “Man up!”

 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO YOU AND YOURS…

 

 
Image: Freedigitalphotos.net
 
stuart miles

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Signing Scheduled for Launching of Blood Relatives

Please join us June 8th!



hicagoDarlene Greene,DdDar 
Every 7 seconds a woman is beaten
and abused by a partner or ex-partner.

Every 48 hours a woman is being murdered
in the United States and 25% of all
homicides in this country of women between
the ages of 15-24 are relationship or dating related.”
Darlene Greene knows about these and
other related statistics when it comes to
domestic abuse and violence against
women and girls. In her book,

Blood Relatives: Breaking the Cycle, Breaking the Silence, Darlene opens a vein and bleeds her painful truth. 


 Discover what the "buzz" is about...

PLACE: TOCCO CHICAGO
1266 N. MILWAUKEE AVENUE
CHICAGO, IL 60642
773-687-8895
 
TIME: 2:00-5:00 P.M.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to You and Yours...

 
Mothers are among life's greatest treasures. They provide comfort, direction, support, wisdom, laughter, and understanding. Their sacrifice and love helps us to realize our full potential, so that we in turn can provide the same guidance to future generations.
They are our first teachers and role models.
They are our "silent" cheerleaders.
 
Where would any of us be without them?
 
Whether your mom is still here, or gone before you, take a moment to give thanks and reflective prayer.
 
Accordingly, the Ina Mae Greene Foundation would like to extend warm wishes for a beautiful and bountiful Mother's Day to each and every one of you.
 
May your day be filled with abundant blessings and memories worth cherishing...
 
 
 
Regards,
 
Darlene Greene  
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Look at Domestic Violence Through the Eyes of A Retired Cop...Interview With Gail Merriwether



In our efforts to enlighten, empower, and encourage those who have been touched by domestic violence, today IMGF shares an engaging interview with Officer Gail Merriwether.

Please feel free to pose your own questions through the "comments" section provided.


1. What's the biggest misconception that people have about domestic violence?

The Top three biggest misconceptions: That it mainly impacts poor minorities-- (it crosses every racial, social and economic boundary), that women aren't as likely to abuse (it's on the increase), and that those victimized are ready to end the relationship (not true).
 
2. How can a woman in a new relationship spot a potential abuser? Are there any red flags or warning signs?
 
 Biggest red flags? A man who discourages your other friend/family relationships (wants to keep you away from other people), and loses his temper too easily. This is not the same as discouraging the company of other guys he sees as potential threats (this is normal male behavior), or getting a little snarky after having a bad day. I advocate getting to know exactly who you're dating before getting intimately involved and that takes time as well as seeing the person in different situations.

3. Why aren't more perpetrators criminalized?
 
Actually they are quite often criminalized. The laws in Illinois take it seriously and favor the victim. So much so, that many men carry a scarlet letter on their backs (a domestic violence label in their record). But it cuts both ways---some innocent men have been falsely labeled after being accused out of vengeance or spite following an argument, or from having been part of a simple pushing/shoving match as an immature 17 year old. The result is a record that follows him/her for a lifetime preventing any future government employment or job that would involve weapons such as police officer or security guard.
 
4. Do you think that domestic violence is more or less prevalent in the time since you initially became a cop?
 
 I would say it is more prevalent. I would ascribe much of it to a breakdown in the family structure, which spawns girls with low self esteem (ripe victims) and fatherless boys who have never been schooled in how to treat a female (ready abusers). There was a time when a girl's father or brothers would 'have a talk' with Joe Blow if he maltreated their sister or daughter. With the last few generations bearing ever smaller families, and many women today living on their own, that 'protective big brother' ingredient is missing, leaving us to turn to the law to take the place of what used to be handled as a family matter.
 
5. Would you recommend, ( as a deterrent) that women take self-defense classes or carry a gun?
 
I definitely recommend women take self-defense classes (more than one type) because it gives you a sense of assurance that, if attacked, you have some kind of game plan in mind, it familiarizes you with adversarial physical contact, and at the very least, you go down fighting and hopefully taking a piece of him with you! I have heard that some advise not to fight back, and in the case of a weapon you have to weigh your options carefully, but you must always assume the perpetrator intends to kill you. Why go willingly?
 
I do advocate women learning to shoot. Take courses on a shooting range and qualify with different types of weapons. Shooting is not a male or female thing; it is a neutral skill that involves eye-hand coordination and concentration, and well worth learning. Not surprisingly, many women find they are good at it. Either way, acquiring the knowledge enables you, should you ever come across one, or decide to own one, to know how to handle, use, load, or unload it safely.
 
6. How can those of us that know someone who is being victimized help?

I mentioned before that not everyone in a domestic violence situation is always ready for help. Some are in denial. Some want to work it out. Some want to wait for the other person to change. Some truly love the abuser (albeit an unhealthy love) and will not leave the situation no matter what anyone says.
 
The best thing you can do is;

1) Be ready to listen with a sympathetic ear. Use caution in giving advice--it may backfire if the victim decides to get back together with the abuser.

2) Do not insert yourself in the middle of the conflict by confronting the abuser.

3) Know the laws in your city regarding domestic violence and orders of protection, as well as abuse hotline numbers. Be ready to share this information with the victim should the opportunity arise.

4) Stay in regular contact with the person if possible; check on their well-being with phone calls or visits.

5) Be ready to call police if the situation warrants (hearing fights, screams, or things breaking). If they are never informed, the situation won't be on their radar.

6) Be ready to testify as a witness to incidents you have seen or heard

7) Be ready to call the nearest hospital or police station on the victim's behalf if they come to you for assistance. There are a number of organizations and hotlines who will handle it from that point.




Sunday, April 21, 2013

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month*Things You Should Know...

To increase awareness of sexual violence, April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States.

What is sexual assault?
Wikipedia defines it as: "Any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person."

Sexual Assault Awareness Month has a broad and deep history, with roots that first originated in England, through an event called "Take Back the Night".
This movement gained great support and then became recognized in the U.S., in the late 70s, in New York and San Francisco. Through protests and rallies, in solidarity, women came together to respond to attacks that were happening as they walked the streets late at night.

Through a series of events, Sexual Assault Awareness Month became recognized and officially observed in the U.S. in April of 2001. It now also includes acts perpetrated against men as well.
During April, educational programs, publications, and events are sponsored worldwide to help the public to understand what sexual assault is and how it can be prevented.

In keeping with this effort, here are some important statistics you should know:

According to Rape Abuse and Incest National Network,  RAINN.ORG
  • Every 2 minutes in the U.S. a person is sexually assaulted.
  • 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
  • 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
  • 97% of rapists will never be incarcerated, not even for a day

These alarming statistics underscore the importance of more education, effective legislation, and continued efforts to end sexual assault, so that we may restore safety to our communities and to our homes.

For more information visit:  http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/sexual-assault-awareness-month-home








Sunday, April 14, 2013

In Honor of National Poetry Month...




Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?
In addition to other important awareness days, giving recognition to the art of poetry is important.
Poetry enriches. It tells a story.
It has the ability to "speak" to people of all different races, religions, and walks of life.

Who hasn't been touched by the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning? Or moved by the works of Maya Angelou?

With this is mind, here are a few selections for your reading pleasure today. Hope you enjoy!


STILL HERE

I've been scarred and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, sun has baked me.

Looks like between 'em
They done tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!

Langston Hughes


LOOKED BACK OVER MY LIFE YESTERDAY...
 
Looked back over my life yesterday,
Looked at the girl, stared at the woman,
Smiled at her joy, lived again her pain.
 
Saw a crisis, stepped over it.
Her pain soothed by tears,
There were never enough.
Stop wasting time; she say to herself
Got a man-child to raise.
 
Nowhere to turn, what do I do?
Hell, how will I do it?  She moans again.
 
Saw that man-child reaching up,
Making his way with her,
Trust she gave him the right tools.
 
Don't know, she thinks,
Then, drinks just a little more.
 
Yeah, I looked back over my life yesterday,
Remembered the tears, the fears, the trials.
 
See, she's grown rounder, and wiser
Don't know how, never stopped
To see it coming; had a man-child ta' raise.
 
Rent ta' pay, and demons to fight.
Child callin', job callin' man callin',
She drinks just a little more,
 
Looked back at my life yesterday,
Now lookin back's not so bad.
 
Can see the whole picture now.
See teachers, struggles,
Found hope out of prayer
Moved forward assured.
Climbed out of potholes, tamed fears
Enemies slain, loves won,
No more man-child to raise;
For now he's a man.
 
Looked back at my life yesterday,
See me now, well worn, and fulfilled.

VICKI WARD

Vicki Ward
Excerpted from Life's Spices From Seasoned Sistahs


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Ring the Bell" Project Seeks to Break the Silence Surrounding Domestic Violence

Noted actor, Sir Patrick Stewart, "man"-dates 1 million men to stop violence against women in a recently launched initiative.
To gain support for this timely cause, and to underscore its importance, he shares that, "Every nine seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten."

This British-born "Star Trek" star is helping to increase awareness of domestic violence by helping to introduce and implement this world-wide campaign, whereby one million men are challenged to make "the pledge" and carry out concrete promises to end domestic violence.

"Ringing the Bell" is symbolic of "interrupting".
Stewart goes further to share how his experiences in witnessing domestic violence perpetrated against his mother, (by his dad), at the age of 5, established him as an unfortunate "expert" in this area.

Echoing his sentiment, is Mayor Richard Rawlings, (of Dallas), who in an effort to combat domestic violence, has urged others to "dial up the shame" and report violent incidents when witnessed.

Ring the Bell has many supporters, including popular, sultry singer Michael Bolton.

To learn more about this project, or to join the cause, visit Breakthroughtv/ring the bell:
http://breakthrough.tv/ringthebell/


http://breakthrough.tv/ringthebell/

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Sunday, March 3, 2013

6 Ways Women Can Honor Themselves During Women's History Month


In a popular song of former decades, James Brown sang: "this is a man's world; but it ain't nothin' without a woman or a girl." How true.
Women are the backbones of strong families. We are faithful servants within the church community, power players in the political arena, and "helpmates" to the men we love.
In the business arena, we are trendsetters and trailblazers. And there is great validity to the expression that a woman's work is never done.

Which is why it's so important, in all that we do, to make sure that we are also "giving" to ourselves.
So many of us wear ourselves thin with the daily demands of life,  that we devote very little time to our needs and well-being. True?

March honors National Women's History Month-- a time to celebrate and recognize our collective  strength, contributions, wisdom, and wonderfulness!

In keeping, here are six ways women can honor themselves, not just this month, but as a lifestyle practice.

1. Take care of your health.
This includes getting enough rest, managing stress levels, eating properly, exercise, and getting regular health screenings.

2. Set Boundaries.
Dr. Phil reminds us that "we teach people how to treat us by the things we accept." Respect yourself and others will follow.

3. Pamper Yourself.
Set aside a day or two for a date with yourself. Go shopping. Get a pedicure and massage. Unwind to a bubble bath and a good romantic novel. Even go off your diet for a day. You deserve it.

4. Avoid Dysfunctional, toxic relationships.
Strive to interact with folks who are positive, mentally "healthy", and worthy of your time.

5. Have a "girls-night-out" with friends.
Catch up on old times. Share common interests and issues over dinner and a glass of wine.
Having a support network helps us to feel less alone in times of stress, and improves our social, mental, and spiritual health .

6. Keep a journal.
Writing down your thoughts, dreams, and even your blessings, is a great way to express yourself, become more reflective, and chronicle some important life's lessons. Not to mention, it's very therapeutic.

We, at Ina Mae Greene Foundation, salute today's women of the world, and wish you abundant blessings during Women's History Month...and beyond.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ina Mae Greene Foundation Joins in Honoring Teen Dating Violence Month



 
Most people recognize February as a month that celebrates love, through one of the most romantic days of the year: Valentines Day.

But, did you know, (ironically) that February also focuses on “dysfunctional relationships” through Teen Dating Violence Month?

Since 2010, Teen Dating Violence advocates and partnering organizations have dedicated this time to increase social awareness of teen violence through resources, literature, and educational workshops and programs.

All in an effort to educate today’s youth and end the cycle of abuse.

According to statistics provided by TeenDatingViolence.org, here are some important things you should know:
  • Approximately 72% of 8th and 9th graders are dating.
  • Violent behavior, most times, starts between ages 12 and 18.
  • Over 1 million high school students nationwide suffer physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • 16% of college women have been sexually abused in a dating relationship.
  • 58% of college students report that they don’t know how to help someone who has been victimized by abuse.

These alarming statistics further support the need for awareness in promoting healthy relationships, and establishes why Teen Dating Violence is essentially “everybody‘s problem“.

Abuse exists in many forms.

Abuse can be:
Verbal---Such as demeaning language, profanity, inappropriate teasing, threats
Mental---Assaults on self-esteem and character, belittling, harsh criticism, stalking
Digital---Monitoring activity on social media sites, cyber-bullying, password breaches, posting negative comments on FaceBook
Important Resources

Along with TeenDatingviolence.org, another organization dedicated to abuse awareness, is Love is Respect.org. This group provides supportive services through a national helpline, (accessible 24/7), as well as informative literature and workshops.

In honor of Teen Dating Violence Month, Love is Respect.org is asking supporters to wear Orange on February 11th as a way to show solidarity, and to promote healthy partnerships, respect and dating safety.

For information, visit their site at Loveisrespect.org, or call 1-866-331-9474.

To learn more about teen dating violence visit the IMGF website.

…Because “what you don’t know, CAN hurt you.”