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What if?

Well, the excitement was building…a little nervous but mostly excited!  I got a new job as Shelter Specialist at Dove Domestic Violence!  I was so excited!! It sounded like something I had always wanted to do!  My first day of work was supposed to have been January 6th, 2014, but it ended up being a snow day.  So, the excitement and nervousness would be put off for another day.  I was pretty nervous not having worked full time for about five plus years, but knew this was going to be something special!  I was ready for a challenge, and a challenge, indeed, it was! 

Let’s fast forward to today, July 22nd,  2014, and see if I’m still that nervous and excited!  Nervous…no, thank goodness!  Excited…yes!  Going back to work full time at the age of 58 was a little scary, to say the least.  Of course, all of the questions flooded my mind, “What if I can’t catch on?”  “What if I’m too old?”  “What if I can’t remember anything?” “What if….what if…what if?”   Finally, I asked myself, “What if I can do it?”  “What if I love it?”  “What if I can remember?”  “What if it all works out?”  Six months later and I absolutely love my job!  It is everything I dreamed of and more!  I work with a great group of women that are so compassionate and knowledgeable and I admire each of them!  The women and children that come into the shelter have blessed me in so many ways.  I tell them they are some of the strongest women I have ever met!  Some of them come in so downtrodden with just a little spark of light left and by the time they leave here I see their confidence, determination and desire to keep on going  growing stronger each and every day.  I am humbled and blessed to be a small part of such an amazing organization which truly loves and cares for those who are powerless and hurt.  “What if I help one woman gain her confidence?”  “What if I comfort a child who is afraid and scared?”  “What if I listen to a woman express her fears while her tears are flowing?”  “What if” can be discouraging or encouraging, a stumbling block or a stepping stone.  Depending on the words following “What if” you and I can make a difference to a woman struggling to find shelter, hope and peace.  What if you decided to accept the challenge to volunteer in one of the many positions available at Dove that need someone just like YOU?!?  And, what if you, like myself, truly end up enjoying it?

                                                        Cheryl Carpenter

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Training is available for individuals interested in educating themselves on the issues surrounding domestic violence. The training will take place April 30 through May 16, Monday through Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., in Decatur, at Dove, 302 S. Union, Dean Simcox Conference Room. This 40-hour training is approved by ICADV, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This training is being facilitated by two Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professionals, one of whom is also an Illinois Certified Partner Abuse Intervention Professional. There is a $150 fee for the training, with some scholarships available.



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