This weekend is Memorial Day in the United States, a time to remember and honor those that served in the Armed Forces. It is a day to give thanks for the sacrifices made and to honor the lives lost. It is a day of remembrance.

According to, In 2018, the military experienced the highest number of suicides among active-duty personnel in at least 6 years. A total of 321 active-duty members took their lives. This is a tragedy of epic proportions, as often times the greatest scars service personnel wear are those unseen.

We are planting sunflower gardens around the world, with the message that hope is a skill that each and everyone of us must learn. As hopelessness is the number one predictor of suicide, we want to insure each and every person knows how to maintain a hopeful mindset, even in the most challenging times. We partnered with other organization that care about the issue, so that we can share what resources are available here and now for those struggling with hopelessness.

The activity is simple. Find a space where you can plant sunflowers – in your front yard, library, community center, church, or park (with approvals, of course). You can either customize your own sign with our template, or use ours that showcases our partners. Put the sign in front of the sunflower garden to shine a light on the issue, share resources available, and connect with others who may be in need.

We have a general Hope Training with a partner organization 7 Cups, and the 7 Cups app can also be downloaded and anyone can connect immediately with a trained listener in a time of need. 7 Cups has an online space for military members, veterans, their family and friends to connect and share support, and trained listeners for the military.

Give an Hour, another partner in our sunflower Gardens for Hope, has several programs to meet the needs of military, including spouse support, the defense suicide prevention office, and more, so be sure to check them out and what they offer.

As we plant these Gardens for Hope, we honor that we lost, and those that are still here needing support. As every person that sees the sign, has the opportunity to learn more about Hope and our partners solutions available free, and now, to those struggling. If you plant, please do post pictures and tag @ifredorg, #ChangeDirection #Hope.

Sending love, gratitude, and appreciation to all those that have sacrificed so much in support of our freedom.


  • Kathryn Goetzke

    MBA, Global Hope Ambassador, iFred Founder, Chief Mood Officer

    iFred, The Mood Factory

    Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, strategic consultant and global depression advocate. She is the entrepreneur and innovator behind Mood-lites™, a brand that achieved over 35 million dollars in retail sales. As her role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory, her goal is to ‘Improve Moods’ by teaching consumers how to get in the present moment through engaging the senses. Armed with an MBA in International Marketing, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, over 20 years of experience with small and Fortune 100 companies, and a successful product launch of her own under her belt, she aims to do just that with her new line of product based on how scents impact moods and 21 Day Courses teaching how to rewire the brain. In addition to launching Mood-lites, Goetzke founded a non-profit organization for depression called iFred (the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression – dedicated to eradicating the stigma of the disease using the sunflower, a focus on hope, the color yellow, celebrity engagement, creating hopeful mindsets, and education on the biology of the brain. According to the World Health Organization, there are 300 million people around the world with major depressive disorder, yet depression is treatable and episodes often preventable. She is most excited about her Hopeful Minds initiative (, based on research that hope is a teachable skill and aimed at teaching kids around the world so they may be equipped to always create, maintain, and sustain hope. Goetzke and her work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Home, InStyle, Family Living, Scholastic Choices Magazine, and others. She has spoken at the United Nations, World Bank, Global Mental Health Conference, Mental Health Community Associations Conference, the Scent Marketing Institute, and more. She has been featured on multiple radio and television shows including BBC, WGN Chicago, CBS Chicago, Tasty Trade, and eWomenNetwork. Goetzke is a regular contributor to the Thrive Global and PsychCentral, writes regularly for iFred and The Mood Factory, and serves on advisory boards for FundaMentalSDG, the Global Mental Health Movement, and Women's Brain Project, and is a member of the Founding Steering Committee Member of YMentalHealth, a global coalition for youth mental health nonprofits. Goetzke has a Master of Business Administration degree in International Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, International Studies and Biology from Winona State University. She currently resides in Reno, NV, where she enjoys hiking, meeting new people, playing with her nieces, exploring the mountains, skiing, and solving complex global challenges.