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Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,



This Advent I am swept away by the words of a prayer, "give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility."



For many, the time preceding and including the holidays is a challenge. When the pressures of modern society, or the loneliness of companions missed, or concerns for the future become overwhelming, we are asked to put on our armor of light and cast away the darkness. We are granted the grace to do this powerfully by God. And the special thing about light, my friends, is that it affects the world around us. When we put that armor of light on ourselves, we can light the way for others. Isn’t that a beautiful vision of the world?



In this newsletter you will find several ways Dove is putting on the armor of light this Advent. Will you join us in lighting the way in Central Illinois? If you or your organization’s members would like to…

Our 2016 Holiday Poem

The holiday season

Comes just once a year,

Bringing in family

From far and from near.



So we cook and we clean

‘til we think we may drop,

An the we clean more,

Could it be we can’t stop?



Then right in the middle

Of all we must do,

We stop! And we gather

With friends, old and new.



For today is the day

To pretend it’s all done,

And to sit back and relax

and just have some fun.



This day is the day

We will celebrate you.

It’s our way to say thanks

for all that you do.



So fill up your plate
With a lot of good food.

Then pull up a seat

And let us set the mood.



Some things we will do

You may have done before,

But rest assured there

are a few surprises in store.



We shall start with a speaker

Ans some music sublime

Play a few games

And just have a good time.



And our wish is that by

Time we are through,

you will know we are thankful

for each one of you!



Thank you so much for another wonderful year of service!

Poem by

Sheryl Whisman

DeWitt County RSVP Coordinator






Check our facebook page for mor…

Christmas Baskets - Then and Now

"Dove's Christmas Drive is underway!  We ask your help in making the 1986 Holiday Season a Happy one in homes throughout Decatur and Macon County.  As in the past Dove will be conducting Food and Toy Drive during this Christmas Season..."  November 1986 DoveTales Newsletter


"DOVE will work again this year with the Prince of Peace program from St. John's Lutheran Church to provide Christmas baskets for people that we work with during the year.  If your family, Sunday School class or group would like to provide a basket or donate money for the project, please call..."  December 1972 DoveTales Newsletter


"DOVE is participating with the Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corporation, DARE and St. John's Northeast Center to provide Christmas baskets to low-income families in Decatur.  If you would like to contribute either food or money, please call the DOVE house, 428-6616.  Someone could use your caring." December 1975 DoveTales Newsletter


"…

Letter from the Executive Director of Dove, Inc.: Coordinating efforts to address unmet needs and social injustices.

Dear Friends,
As I write this the weather is turning cooler, the days are getting shorter, and the leaves are turning and beginning to fall.A group of high school volunteers are in my office at Homeward Bound moving files into storage. Another group is sanitizing the play area and toys. A group of skilled craftsmen and women are giving the domestic violence shelter client kitchen, bedrooms, common area and play yard a facelift.I look around at the good people who make Dove run and find myself deeply humbled by their commitment to our community.
In November and December amidst the hustle and bustle of holidays we’ll continue to band together to distribute Coats for Kids donations to area agencies, Stand Down for Veterans, learn about issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness at Box City and Hoard No More training.We’ll be filling baskets for hundreds of area families so that they can share in the air of celebration.
As we celebrate, I ask you please to also turn an eye to local and stat…

Making Christmas Bright

It’s hard to believe, and some of my co-workers will want to throttle me for saying this, but there are only 58 days left until Christmas. I know, I know. It’s not even Halloween yet and I keep bringing up Christmas. Yes, I’m one of THOSE people. Ask anyone who knows me at all and they’ll probably say something about what a Christmas crazed person I am (hi, Susie and Charlie!). They’re not wrong. I love basically everything about Christmas. The decorations, the baked goods, shopping for gifts for people, the music, sending out Christmas cards. Yes, I even love cold weather and snow.  I blame my grandma, who loves Christmas about as much as it’s possible to love a holiday.

Of course when I was younger, Christmas was all about the latest toy or book I wanted, if my cousins got more stuff than I did from “Santa,” the various Christmas parties with family and at school. It wasn’t until I started getting a bit older that it became more than a time when I got gifts and we looked at pretty l…

What is acceptable?

In October, the winds of change blow as summer gives way to fall.Trees change colors as the browns and oranges of fall replace the lush green of summer.October also brings the color purple, as the nation remembers victims and survivors during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
For too many years, people made jokes about domestic violence.They too often laughed at the victim and empowered the abuser by just going along with what he or she did.Even if they heard or saw violence happening in their neighborhoods they “didn’t want to be involved”.For far too long it was believed that what happened in the home needed to stay in the home.Victims and children who lived in homes where violence occurred were told not to talk about it for fear of “what the neighbors would think.”Many times some of the people who acted in this way were the officials who were supposed to support the victim and stop the violence and hold the perpetrator accountable.They were supposed to treat the abuse for what it i…

25th Annual Coats for Kids

Just the facts!
The 2016 Coats for Kids drive will begin October 12.  We will be collecting good, used coats for families in need through November 30.  And of course, we'll accept new coats for kids!
It's simple, look in your closets for coats you no longer need -- (all sizes accepted, it's a coat drive focusing on kids, but we are happy to help out adults too).  Take them to one of the places listed below and  place in the collection barrel.  We'll take it from there!
Participating Cleaners will make sure the coats are clean and fresh and ready for the clothing rooms to distribute. (All addresses Decatur unless noted otherwise.) 


WAND is and has been the cosponsor for the event all 25 year!  Thanks for that support!
Below is a confirmed participation list as of today:
Participating Cleaners Classic Cleaner, 2474 N. Main


Corner Cleaning Connections, 1154 E. Prairie Ave.


Peerless Cleaners, 519 N. Monroe


Pride Cleaners and Launderers
  2553 N. Main
     1804 E. Eldor…

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For those of us who work with domestic violence victims, we understand the dynamics that surround this unforgiveable crime. For victims - it is a personal violation to their person that will affect them for the rest of their lives. 

One of the most difficult and frustrating matters is the lack of education that so many have about domestic violence which causes them to re-victimize the victim. Victims are constantly blamed for the abuse and judged by those who have absolutely no understanding of the causes and effects of domestic violence.
How many of you have asked the most unacceptable question of "Why don=t they just leave?"  or voiced the statement "They must like it or they would leave." Sadly, it has nothing to do with either of these!! Instead, one should wonder or ask "What are the barriers that are keeping the victim there?"  and "How can we best assist the victim and let them know this abuse is not their fault and there are options they …

And the winners are……

Last week Dove Inc. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Macon and DeWitt Counties held their 40th Annual Volunteer appreciation Luncheon to celebrate the volunteers who do so much in our communities. Every year we accept nominations for outstanding volunteers for our Recognition of Service Excellence (ROSE) award. We then honor one man, woman, couple, and volunteer station at our luncheon. This year the selection committee had their work cut out for them with all of the wonderful nominations but ultimately had to choose just one for each category.
Our ROSE award winner in the men’s category was Mr. Kenneth “Dick” McQuality who has been an RSVP volunteer since 2007. He currently volunteers twice a week at the Cancer Care Center with Decatur Memorial Hospital. His nominator wrote “he is always very helpful, courteous, and friendly with the patients and their families” and we couldn’t agree more.

The ROSE award winner for the women was Barbara Higdon. Barbara has been an RSVP …

School is Back in Session

We are now  half way through September, which means school is back into full swing. Parents are rushing to get their kids ready and out the door each morning, school buses are busy running their routes, and teachers are caught up in the stress of planning lessons and adjusting to a new class full of students. In the midst of all this stress we cannot forget to slow down and observe our surroundings and for teachers observe the very students that fill their classrooms each day. Teachers are often the first to notice a change in a student who could be experiencing domestic violence in their homes. These students could suddenly become withdrawn or depressed; or they could go the complete opposite and start acting out or become aggressive with other students. Along with changes in behavior, you often may see the child victim’s grades drop, incomplete assignments, extreme tiredness, and even physical signs of abuse on the child’s body.
A teacher who is suspicious that a student of theirs co…

40th Annual Appreciation Luncheon for RSVP!

As I prepare for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) 40th Annual Appreciation Luncheon* scheduled for next week I am in awe of all that our RSVP volunteers have accomplished this last year in Macon and DeWitt Counties. I am excited to be celebrating 40 years with some amazing volunteers, staff, stations, and sponsors of our program.
This year the RSVP Advisory Council and staff have worked hard to make this year’s event special. Our guest speaker City of Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe is just as excited to be sharing this mile stone with all of the volunteers. Dolci-Note’ will be on hand to share their wonderful talent and of course we have pie for all our guests after lunch.
It takes lots of hard work and preparation to make the RSVP Appreciation luncheon a success and year after year we have had some fantastic sponsors that support this event. Some of our repeat contributors are Kroger’s South Shores who donate the wonderful R.O.S.E. Award flowers so that each winner kn…

Letter from the Executive Director

In today’s world the news seems to have taken a turn for the violent and intolerant. Whether you’ve been personally touched by the tragedies overseas and at home or have only seen the news, we are all a part of this story and it is time to recognize our part.Walking together in love through diversity of practice is one of the most challenging parts of having a mission.As yet there it is, love our neighbors as we are loved.
In what ways are you challenging yourself today to be loving?Are you listening with an open heart and mind?Are you challenging your root biases and presuppositions?Are you actively engaging in conversation about issues?
One of the least loving ways we can approach one another is by ignoring one another.Study after study tells us that loneliness and isolation are two of the most common issues faced by all member of society.We need communion, compassion and companionship to serve the mission well.
Dove works to serve the mission well by upholding these shared values:
Dove…

Back to School Lessons – Teen Relationships 101

Autumn is my favorite time of year, not because of colorful leaves and pumpkin-spice lattes (although they are pretty awesome), but because it’s back-to-school time!During the school year, I provide teen dating violence education to teens in high schools, middle schools, colleges, youth-serving agencies, and church groups.Within classroom and group settings, I teach learning activities and lead conversations about what makes a good dating relationship.Working with teens is challenging, thought-provoking, often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, and never dull, but I love it because I get to make a difference in young people’s lives.
Freshman (or 7th grade) jitters should include the normal stuff - navigating a new school, remembering that locker combination, meeting new friends– but not dealing with an abusive relationship!However, the teen years are when most people experience their first serious relationships and, for 1.5 million high school students nationwide, those relationships …

Yes, we're counting the days till Christmas!

It’s hard to believe, but as of this blog post, there are only 128 days until Christmas. Yes, you read that right. 128. The year has gone by very quickly and it’s approaching the time of year for the Christmas Baskets Program.

This year the preliminary work for the program began again in June, and already we’ve seen quite a few donations of things – from toiletries for hygiene bags, to toys for kids, to large donations of brand new books, to stockings and blankets and jewelry.

We’ve also been busy recruiting new agencies to work with in order to help as many people as we can. This year I’m excited to announce we’ll be working with the Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, the Cancer Care Center, the Special Olympics, and the YMCA. We’ll be providing these agencies with referrals for their clients and patients to receive baskets and we’re very excited to be doing so.

Each year we provide baskets to around 350 families in the area, and this doesn’t include the families who get adopted by ind…

Insights on the New Job Training Program

My name is Addie Smith and I am the new employment and life skills specialist here at Dove, Inc. I work within the Homeward Bound Transitional Housing and Supportive Services program where I teach life skills and jobs club classes. I also co-supervise a Job Training Program that consists of four positions that are filled by clients in the Transitional Housing program. Two positions are janitorial based at our Homeward Bound Facility and the Domestic Violence Shelter. The other two positions are focused on lawn care and building maintenance and clients perform all the landscaping at our facility and the apartments we own.
Being fresh out of college, I experienced the struggles that life sometimes throws at you and trying to navigate solutions to those issues has helped me to teach my life skills classes as well as learn with the clients as I go.
I have been a worker all of my life since the ripe age of twelve years old, walking up and down corn fields picking those pesky tassels. From …

Letter From Dove's July Newsletter

This month has an air of celebration about it.Celebrating our nation’s independence, celebrating 46 years of Dove’s work in central Illinois, and having - after a year-long stalemate - a partial state budget.Indeed, we have plenty to celebrate.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the state budget since its passage Thursday, most of which I cannot answer. The state budget is both a saving grace and a daunting challenge to our future. So when I am asked these questions, my mind draws from the text of The Gospel According to Mark 12:13-17.
In today’s Illinois there is a role for both government and God to play in how we focus our efforts to relieve human suffering.Our mission at Dove has become a work of God largely paid for by Caesar (or in this case the US and Illinois governing bodies, and ultimately the taxpayers). The challenge of being a faith-based organization in this circumstance, is making sure that we continue to focus on our mission and steady ourselves for the budgetary ebbs …

It Is A Pattern

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior which is designed to keep the victim, or victims, of the abuser under the power and control of the abuser.The word pattern is a crucial word in the definition.The word pattern indicates that this is a long-term problem, not an isolated incidence of anger which erupts in a verbal or even physical altercation.The words power and control indicate that during this long-term process, the victim is robbed of his or her ability to make their own decisions and choices and to control the direction of their lives.Children ask their parents for permission to do thing; adults should not require “permission” to make phone calls, go to the store, etc.This is the norm in most domestic violence relationships, however.Permission must be requested and for the most part it is never granted.Victims who have lived this way for a long time have no idea how to make choices or decisions, let alone good ones.Their self-esteem is shattered; they have been told for so …

Love Yourself (part 2)

As we continue to examine what it means to love ourselves better in light of healing from domestic violence and moving forward with a more positive sense of self, there are some more practical tools to be implemented that will make a world of difference.Let’s take a look a few more tangible ways that we can love ourselves better that will hopefully result in a more meaningful life and circle of relationships.
To begin with, we need to begin forgiving our past selves.Were you born this morning by chance?If not, CONGRATULATIONS!You have a past.With that out of the way, is there any chance that you are perfect in every way?Still no?Congrats!You also have dirt in your past, just like everyone else.We ALL have a past and those pasts are riddled with good choices, bad choices, successes, failures, wins, losses, mistakes, etc.You get the point.Living in the past can only keep you living in your mess.When you confront your past and begin to forgive yourself of the mistakes made, you can begin …