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Showing posts from August, 2016

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 …