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“I have severe mental health problems for many years and since I started GTI I can’t believe how far I have come.”
Though the three women are still living with their illness they are all very quick to let people know that once you are brave enough to step forward, there is a whole lot of help and information available.
“Once you’re in a group like GTI it is easy to open up. Everyone understands if you’re not having a good day and we’ve all become such good friends now we can act as a support for each other,” said Helen.
“We have suffered from mental health problems, but we’re not nutters, we’re just ordinary people from different backgrounds,” added Michelle.
(Source: Derry Journal)
Earlier this year, during the highly successful Donegal Shores Festival in Kincasslagh, Ireland’s best-known mother let slip that she had just knitted a few pairs of socks for Pope Benedict XVI.
Ninety-two year old Julia O’Donnell, mother of Daniel and Margo and indeed an author in her own right, decided to knit the socks for the Pontiff when she had read about the harsh winters expected all over Europe this year. Of course she used only the very best Donegal wool for the job!
Speaking to the Donegal Democrat she said: “I just decided to knit a few pairs of socks for the Pope. It would be nice to think that he had a few pairs all the way from Donegal and to be honest I expected to hear no more about it.”
But early last week, Julia got a very pleasant surprise when the postman delivered a package to her which came all the way from the Vatican and included a pair of Rosary beads, a personal letter of thanks, a blessing and a signed memento by the pontiff.
“To be perfectly honest I just couldn’t believe it at first. I never thought that anybody would take the time to do such a thing. I am absolutely honored and you can rest assured that these gifts will have pride of place in my home,” said the formidable Julia.
(Source: Donegal Democrat)
Life on the farm isn't always sunny for Christa Bahner.
"You can't just grow the vegetables and expect to sell them. There's a lot of steps after that," she says in the greenhouse of her farm in Belmont.
But thanks to the Community Supported Agriculture Program, she's developed quite the following.
"It's a great way to get to know families in our area. It's a great way for us to know where a lot of our vegetables are going.
Customers pay a flat fee, then stop by once a week to pick up fresh vegetables that are in season.
The farm currently operates a 30 member CSA.
"It's really important for us to get that financial support because we only have cash income May to October.
" Which is why the city of Belfast wants to increase the number of users. "You spend money on a local farmer, their local farmer, that local farmer will put it back right in his community and we want to support that," says City Manager Joe Slocum.
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