Friday, June 28, 2013
I have been a contributor to the Dove blog since it began. As a make my last blog post as a Dove staff member, I am filled with bittersweetness. I have been at Dove for almost 10 years and I feel like I grew up here since I started when I was 18 years old. I can't explain how amazing of an organization Dove is and I am so sad to be leaving, but excited too for what the future holds. I have worked with so many wonderful people here who will all leave footprints on my heart. We usually don't make the blog posts personal, but I felt like I should write what's on my mind as my last post.
Thank you to all of you who read the blog on a regular basis. Please share it with your friends and family. If there is anything specific you'd like to see on the blog in the future, please send feedback and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thank you for supporting a great organization like Dove, Inc!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Today marks the first official day of summer, and mother nature agrees! What are your plans this summer? A friend of mine recently told me that her family is creating a summer "bucket list", a list of all the things they want to accomplish before school is back in session and cool fall weather arrives.
Her family has things on their list such as "go to the beach", "make smores", "catch lightning bugs" and "go fishing". I thought this was a great idea since summer seems to fly by quicker each year.
But why not take it one step further? How can we use the "bucket list" to give back? I challenge you to make a summer bucket list and include at least 5 ideas for giving back on your list. Here are some examples:
- Help your neighbor mow on a hot day
- Pull weeds at a local shelter (hey- I know someone that needs that done *wink*wink*!)
- Clean out your kid's closet and donate some of their toys
- Buy an extra box fan and donate it to a senior
- Plan a neighborhood block party
- Find a bargain on toiletries or diapers and donate them to one of Dove's programs
- Get a head start on knitting Christmas stockings for the Christmas basket drive
- ...the options are limited only by your imagination!
Friday, June 14, 2013
Last night (June 13th), Dove participated in an event celebrating Father’s Day with local families. The celebration was held at Garfield Park from 4-7 PM. Many people came out to enjoy the evening with their families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. We had a booth of information on three of our agency’s programs: BABES, Homeward Bound and Domestic Violence.Several other local organizations participated, including the Decatur Police Department, Decatur Housing Authority, Pershing Early Learning, and others. It was the perfect evening for it; the weather was warm but not hot, and there was a nice breeze. Festivities included a bounce house for the kids, basketball (in which several police officers played with the children), a DJ and music, door prizes, and a demonstration from the K9 Unit.
Everyone I saw seemed to be in good spirits and enjoyed their time at the event, myself included. To those who couldn't make it: we hope you have a great Father's Day weekend. To those who did come out and join in the fun: thank you for coming out!Did you attend the holiday celebration? If so, what did you enjoy the most?
Friday, June 7, 2013
Neighborhoods are alive and well in Decatur. Summertime is the best time for neighborhoods and their activities because we are a network of being outside enjoying the summer sun in our parks! The winter weather keeps us inside way too long. Who wants to picnic in the snow? The neighborhoods schedule, clean ups to make their area look good, they have pot luck picnics and regular picnics at a drop of a hat. Some of them have recruitment celebrations to bring in new members, summer gardens to share with their small community, and there are even neighborhoods that work with the Park District and their Free Lunch Program in the parks. If you notice most of these activities involve food. What better way to get to know your neighbors than a picnic or a dinner. Down through the years people have been doing things like this over food. Then to wrap everything up is the large celebration of National Night Out and give a going away party for crime. Soon after then it will be time to return to school.
This year there are going to be some Block Parties, and neighborhood walks with the city governments, art classes, and celebrations in some of the parks for special occasions not to mention the neighborhoods that have park concession stands. There is nothing any more appetizing than smelling freshly popped popcorn coming from a park especially when there is a ball game in that neighborhood park that’s free to watch.
The best part of working in and with your neighbors is to work at creating relationships with the people you see every day, every week, every year whether it’s across your fences or out on the street when you are leaving and coming home. You all watch same seasons change and you watch each other’s children grow up. And in worst cast scenarios you are there in emergencies for each other. Sometimes it’s a bond that lasts for years. So take advantage of activities in your neighborhood, it doesn’t cost a thing except a small portion of your time.
-Francie Johnson, Dove Community Services/Decatur Area Project Director
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