Our Top 5 stories in 2018

Our Top 5 stories in 2018

As we wake up to a new year, many of us are reflecting on what did (and didn’t) work in 2018 and the goals we have for 2019. At WISH, we’re curious what inspired you to reach out and help another person or community?

Even what may seem like a simple act creates goodwill.

On New Year’s Eve, my mother calls my father to tell him the grocery store was all out of black-eyed peas. In my native Texas and other Southern states, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s for good luck is a tradition many follow.

Hearing this news, my dad says he will stop at another store to look for the prized pea. Once inside, he strikes up a conversation with another man, who is searching for the same item. When this man finds five remaining cans, he calls to my dad to tell him the good news. My dad took two cans, while his collaborator took three.

Shortly after this success, a woman walks by and asks, “Where did you find those black-eyed peas?” My father, knowing they’ve just collected the store’s stock, replies, “Here. Take one of mine. Happy New Year.”

It may seem simple. But these three strangers, by helping each other, demonstrated in their own small way that we’re all in this together. My family’s celebration may have a few less peas to go around, but I see each one as having more love and luck than if more were available.

One way WISH Cleveland is looking back on what inspired us is by reflecting on our most read stories in 2018. From a parent speaking up to finding a purpose after loss, Northeast Ohioans are taking action and creating change.


  1. Good Grief: Finding purpose after the death of a loved one by Emily Holody

I remember clearly the day I met my best friend Heidi. We were in sixth-grade homeroom, and she was new to the school. With our bad glasses and short, permed haircuts, we became fast friends. From that moment on, my life and soul were forever changed….Continue reading


  1. 400-mile mission to ‘hook up’ the homeless by Lori Pawlowski

If you saw Dean Roff walking down the side of the road – covered in tattoos, backpack slung over his shoulder, wearing dirty clothes and a baseball hat, with his face hidden beneath an overgrown beard and unkempt hair – what would be your first impression? Homeless? Criminal? Dangerous? Unapproachable? But if you met this apparent vagabond, you would soon discover that he is really an angel in disguise….Continue reading


  1. A Safe Haven for Homeless Women and Children by Lori Pawlowski

Becoming a mother was one of the most joyful events of my life. I remember the excitement I felt bringing my newborn baby girl home for the first time. And I also remember how helpless I felt when we walked through the front door on that blustery cold winter day into a home without heat….Continue reading


  1. Women are leading the way in NEO by Laife Janovyak

When attorney Jon Pinney presented his alarming report at the City Club on Cleveland’s poor economic health, I listened with interest to the radio broadcast. Pinney has become “a voice for a unified regional response to reversing negative economic trends,” as the City Club notes. I take his work seriously and am thankful to him for his efforts. We are all on the same team here, Team NEO, and Pinney is right to draw attention to what is ailing the economic health and future of our region.

Since then, I’ve gone back and listened to that talk a couple of times, and I would argue that a key factor has been left out of the assessment….Continue reading


  1. Taking on parent stereotypes: A mom speaks up by Amy Brown

“My mom likes to cook. My dad goes to the zoo. My mom likes to clean. My dad goes to the moon.”

Wait, what? The moon? Something doesn’t feel right here.

After a long day at the office, Rachel Ciomcia was shuffling through some papers sent home from her 5-year-old son Carson’s school. The Star Sight Word stories, created by Simply Kinder, caught her attention when she noticed obvious stereotypes in the “My Mom Likes” and “My Dad Went” series. After sharing images of the books on social media, Ciomcia realized she wasn’t alone in her concerns….Continue reading


What would motivate you to speak up and help others in 2019? Share your ideas by reaching out to us at hello@wishcleveland.com. It may inspire the next WISH story.

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