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Friday, April 15, 2016

June 1972 DoveTales Headline METHODIST TO JOIN DOVE!

"DOVE is happy to announce that the central group of the Decatur District of the United Methodist Church voted that their churches should have the opportunity to join DOVE.


Letters have been sent to all of these churches detailing what DOVE is about.  Each congregation will make its own decision about joining.


As most of you are probably aware, DOVE originally stood for DISCIPLES ON VOLUNTEER ENLISTMENT.  Today, DOVE represents Christian people helping others.


We are looking forward to having our Methodist brothers and sisters join us in the Reconciliation effort!"
Ray Batman, Coordinator
(DoveTales is the newsletter of Dove, Inc.)


Today, the list of congregations is long and there are many denominations represented across central Illinois.  Next Thursday, (April 21) Dove will host its Annual Meeting where these congregations are encouraged to come, share, learn and to elect Dove's Board of Directors. 


If you are in a congregation seeking to see if Dove is a good fit for your outreach mission work and to encouraging volunteering, please contact us to learn more. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

National Volunteer Appreciation Week

April’s Volunteer Appreciation Week is an opportunity to share our sincere thanks to the many volunteers who make a difference at Dove and in the community each day. Some of the activities have been held already and some will take place in the next two weeks. Some of the activities include a lunch or a cup of coffee or a small token of appreciation. All of the activities in a small way thank the volunteers for their amazing service and dedication. 



Below we want to share a few comments from volunteers in the programs, answering the question "I choose to volunteer with Dove because....."





I love the organization and what they stand for. The staff are very on top of their game.

Domestic Violence Volunteer



I like to give back to community

RSVP Volunteer



Many people need help and the thanks we get from them, is so meaningful...

Clothing Room Volunteer



I believe their mission

RSVP Volunteer



I enjoy helping in a way that I can contribute, that makes me happy and helps the wonderful ladies of Dove!

Domestic Violence Volunteer



I had heard positive things about Dove and how important their work is in the community.

Domestic Violence Volunteer





I wanted to help out those in our community less fortunate than myself and it’s an extension of my lay ministry of visiting shut in and taking communion to then once a week.

RSVP Volunteer



I wish all children to have a chance to have what clothing they need.

Clothing Room Volunteer



I wanted to help those in our community that could use a helping hand after my retirement

RSVP Volunteer



I choose to volunteer because it is a Christian thing to do.

RSVP Volunteer

 

Dove provide so many services that are needed in the community. I also enjoy working with and meeting the other volunteers.

Clothing Room Volunteer

 

Throughout my life someone has been there to help, a volunteer. I therefor must keep that thought process proceeding forward. It’s the least I can do to say thanks for what I’ve been given.

RSVP Volunteer



This community is so blessed have a group such as Dove that gives so much help to so many people in need. I feel so gratified to be able to help whenever I’m able. Thank for you including me in your organization.

RSVP Volunteer

 

Dove is a wonderful organization!! I really enjoy how the children loves the program.

DeWitt County BABES Volunteer



It makes me feel good about myself for helping.

Food Pantry Volunteer



I enjoy working with children helping others is what we are suppose to do.

DeWitt County BABES Volunteer, RSVP Member



I am a Christian who believes we should help others if we can. Since I am healthy, I want to do my part - especially for children.

Clothing Room Volunteer



We see so many people that need help. It feels good to help.

Clothing Room Volunteer



It helps me give back to the community. It feels good.

Food Pantry Volunteer

 

I enjoy talking and working with young children! I promised myself to volunteer when I retired from banking.

BABES Volunteer



I love working with children. The BABES program allows me to teach some very important life lessons to children. This program allows me to do what I love doing, yet the scheduling is flexible enough to fit into my schedule.

BABES Volunteer



I love the organization. The staff is very professional Dove does so many things to help people in need.

Domestic Violence Shelter Volunteer



BABES teaches such good core lessons! Many Decatur students need these lessons. I enjoy the connection with students.

BABES Volunteer



Because it is a great organization and does much good.

RSVP Volunteer



I love doing things/activities for people who need help

RSVP Volunteer



I want to be a part of giving

RSVP Volunteer



We all need to get out every day and be with people and try to do a served for those less fortunate. We need RSVP to find opportunities where we can do volunteer work. It is important to do work at several places. It is especially good when new opportunities come up and we can meet new people. It does wonders for our mental well being when we help others. Without RSVP we would not know about many opportunities that we may volunteer for.

RSVP Volunteer



Our community has so many needs. As a retired senior, I can’t sit around and do nothing to help all the non-profits organizations that could not operate without the help of volunteers. We need RSVP to guide us to the organizations who need our help.

RSVP Volunteer


Thanks to the many, many individuals who take on the role of volunteer and in doing so, make a difference in our communities served, each and every day!

Friday, April 1, 2016

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



I have spent the majority of my life looking up, studying God's creation and exploring how it all fits together. I was fascinated by endless connections and relationships. Yet, right here, in my own community is a significant population of people who are disconnected, disenfranchised, and hurting. Over time I felt a calling to stop looking so far afield and focus on the needs which are right in front of me. This is how I came to Dove, Inc.

Beginning in 1970, a group of area churches came together to address unmet community needs which are barriers to achieving this dream. Over the last 46 years Dove has developed programs to address domestic violence, homelessness, emergency financial support, preventative education, and connecting communities. When approaching any task I like to ask 3 guiding questions: 1) What do we want? 2) How will we measure success? 3) When do we want it? For the people of Dove the answers are: a self-sustaining community free of human suffering; indicated when all community members are cared for and on a pathway to their highest level of self-sufficiency; as soon as possible. There is still a lot of work yet to do.

In 2014, Macon County ranked first amongst Illinois Counties in per capita prison incarcerations, per capita sexually transmitted disease sufferers, and per capita teen pregnancies. We were 2nd in domestic violence victims, and 254 individuals were found to be homeless. It was clear that we were far short of our goals, despite anecdotal evidence of a oftlinethriving, supportive system of community services. The Continuum of Care, for which Dove is the lead agency, was born out of recognition that a systems approach was needed. Dove collaborated with Crossings Healthcare, Good Samaritan Inn, Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corp, Decatur Housing Authority, Salvation Army, Heritage, Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education, City of Decatur, Millikin University and Community Investment Corporation of Decatur. We collected data about the homeless population and the barriers to achieving self-sufficiency and met as a Continuum to collaborate and begin to address these barriers both systemically and through individual case management. In March, our most recent data set was released and indicates that Macon County has reduced homelessness by approximately 1/3 in 2-years. Given the success of this data-informed systems approach, we hope to look at other unmet needs and social injustices which Dove and its partners address for ways to implement and scale this technique. 

Dove, under my leadership, is seeking to avoid duplication of services by starting within our own programs. This month we took steps to allow our domestic violence program and homeward bound program to share services such as life skills, parenting, and employability programs. Our Max program is joining the Continuum of Care advisory to look at gap needs and prevention of homelessness. And I am meeting with community partners to determine where we can share roles, and who is best equipped to refer which need.
Dove’s funding has historically come from 4 sources: Church-giving, Corporate giving, individual giving, and government funding. The largest portion of our current budget is funding from the state of Illinois. In today’s economic climate, this is no longer viable. Each year for the past 4 years our funding levels have been lowered and in FY16 the state is in arrears to Dove, Inc. for nearly 200k dollars. Dove has had to make some hard choices. Our community services program, which was instrumental in developing a strong network of community organizations in Decatur and the surrounding area and helping to coordinate services was closed. This is currently contributing to increased duplication of services amongst those organizations. Our retired and senior volunteer program which connects skilled seniors with organizations or stations in need of mentors, organizers and volunteers has not received a single dollar of promised funding from FY16. In addition church giving and participation has been on a downward trend as well.


Despite all of this, I have hope which is based in faith, and also in knowledge of the strong and vibrant community we have here in Decatur and the surrounding area. I know that we can by working together find ways to reduce our reliance on government funding without giving up on our dream of a self-sustaining community free of human suffering. We have taken the first step, increasing efficiency and decreasing our expenses through partnerships. To that end I am seeking corporate and individual funders to actively drive these local efforts. This money will be used to enhance data collection an analysis of systemic barriers to decreasing domestic violence, to systemically look at human services in this area and create sustainable partnerships, and once identified to focus our efforts and guide our steps. You can help by making a pledge today or committing to increased giving through your existing church giving program or by joining us in one of the many events highlighted in the latest issue of Dovetales. It is my sincere hope that you will be a part of making our home a self-sustaining community free of human suffering.

Sincerely,

Christine Gregory