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It's Back to School Time!

The back to school season is quickly approaching and for some it has already arrived and with it comes the back to school shopping for supplies, shoes, and clothing. Have you ever asked “what happens for the children whose parents are just making ends meet?” How do those parents supply everything on the never-ending supply lists, only to see the list grow one the first day of school?Where does the money for shoes, supplies, and clothing come from if you are barely making the rent?

Thankfully, Dove Inc. Children’s Clothing Room offers clean gently used clothing to any parent in need. Parents can select up to three outfits per child every thirty days. We try and offer new socks and underwear to all children as well but as summer winds down so does our supply.

The beginning of every school year can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time, but it is not all about the No. 2 pencils, new shoes, or even new books, it is about the children. So, while you are out shopping for that perfect…

Heritage and Holly Tour

Dove, Inc. is honored to have been selected to carry on the traditions of the Annual Heritage & Holly Tour.  NWRAPS, Near Westside Restoration and Preservation Society, has hosted this event for 26 years. The annual tour focuses on architectural treasures, local history and Decatur community restoration. When looking for an organization to be the event’s future sponsor, NWRAPS approached their neighbor, Dove, Inc. Dove, Inc. Governing Board President, Rev. Jason Butterick, states, "It’s a good fit, focusing on restoring area homes and families inside and out." Dove, Inc. plans to continue the event as an annual fundraiser to support local programs.



The Heritage & Holly Tour will continue to bring area history to light and feature area historic homes and businesses. The Trolley will be available to transport visitors to sites on the tour. New this year will be a bit of the rich history of Dove and its programs. Donna Williams, who has organized the tour for more than …

A New Box of Crayons

As the calendar turns to August, the trees and grass and flowers have begun to look a little tired.Advertising turns from summer fun equipment to Back-to-School sales.Harried moms begin to look hopeful and kids are either excited or sad, depending on how they feel about school.I was always one of the excited ones because I liked school.I also loved summer vacation, but by August I was ready to return to a familiar routine.I liked the new clothes and shoes that back to school time brought, but I was also excited to get new school supplies.One of my favorite things was a new box of crayons.I can still remember begging and pleading for the biggest box of crayons available.When I opened my new box of crayons, all sorts of possibilities loomed------beautiful works of art (although I was never really blessed with artistic talent); graphs to color for math or scienceprojects; maps to mark with separate colors for each country in geography class.The crayons were somehow symbolic of all there …

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

Dear Friends,
We live in an amazing community.Hope for a brighter future, generosity of spirit, faith in God, and a will to make lemonade from lemons is the trademark of our home here in Central Illinois.In the past roller coaster of a month, Dove has continued its mission despite the odds and we have come through it strong.
To say that I am proud of our staff, clients, and this community which supports them, would be an understatement. Thanks to all of you we have reached a point of stability, and are able to plan for a bright future.We are hiring to fill vacancies and planning to continue to provide services for domestic violence victims, homeless individuals, and community needs.We have partnered with volunteers from NWRAPS to become the new host of the annual Heritage & Holly Tour, and worked with our partners in the community to continue our mission to coordinate efforts to meet unmet needs.
Thank you for being ready to share in Dove’s work.To explore how you can grow with us to…

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

Greetings Friends,
I write today to express my deep gratitude to you as Dove celebrates its 47th anniversary.From the 8 churches which began our mission, to the over 120 supporting and member religious organizations today who see Dove as extension of their mission reach into the world, Dove has become a part of the fabric of the five counties we serve.
None of that is possible without each of you.I thank God for you every day.Your gifts, prayers, donations, service, advocacy, and vision continue to change and save lives.Because of you we have remained flexible to the changing needs of our community and committed to supporting our most vulnerable neighbors. Please know that you are in my prayers, and keep our staff and clients in yours as we continue His work in the years to come.
If you or your organization’s members are ready, please reach out to our Volunteer & Community Relations Director, Barb Blakey.Dove, Inc. is only as strong as its member organizations, volunteers, and advoca…

47 Years of Service

Since 1970, 47 years ago this week, Dove, Inc. has been providing services to the community in Central Illinois.  These services are the services the community, our churches, our state, and our country have asked us to provide.  We have stepped up time and time again to address unmet needs and social injustices. 

At Dove, we operate with minimal staffing, a wonderful pool of passionate staff and volunteers, and significant cost controls.  The new budget will pay approximately 87% of the work which the State contracted with Dove to provide in the 2016-17 Fiscal Year. Dove will take a hit of a bit over $100,000 for the year for services which we have already provided in good faith.  While this is difficult, we understand that this is a necessary part of beginning to unravel the State’s ongoing financial issues. We are grateful to the many community members who have stepped forward with donations and grants to keep us able to serve the needs of our community. Many thanks to the amazing D…

Garden Tea Luncheon

I would like to personally invite everyone to this year=s Annual Garden and Tea Luncheon!
This year we are going to be doing something different. Instead of a tour of the lovely gardens in DeWitt County, we are having a presentation put on by the well-loved Bloomington Tea Ladies. It will be titled AThe Beauty of a Victorian Garden@.  The Garden Tea Luncheon will also be a sit down lunch with a dessert buffet. This will take place before the presentation.
Date:   Saturday June 17
Place: First Church of the Nazarene, 1220 Kleemann Drive, Clinton
Time: Luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. the presentation will begin at 1:00 p.m.
Ticket Price:   $15.00
Where to purchase tickets:   CADV committee members, Dove and The Flower Corner.
**Please note that since this is a luncheon, in order to make sure we have enough food for everyone, tickets will only be sold in advance. We will not sell tickets at the door.




Jennifer Tolladay
DeWitt County Coordinator
Domestic Violence Program

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,



June is a time of joy for me, and I hope that it is for you. Dove is doing so many things which give me such hope for the community. Community conversations about how we can respond to crisis needs in the community, and how we can grow. Development of a Coordinated Entry Assessment plan for homeless served by any agency or service in our community. Planning and training of volunteers for next school year to work with our children and youth. Community festivals and opportunities to come together.



As I write this, the Illinois State Budget is not resolved, and we have had to limit some services as a result. But there is also room to hope. The advocacy of our Dove family and the community is working. Please pray for us. Pray for our government leaders to resolve the Budget and allow us as state to plan, respond, and move forward with doing the good work that we do. Pray for opportunities to meet the challenges our clients face. Our hope is in the Lord. He is with…

Board of Director's Elected

Dove's Annual Meeting was held on Monday, May 8.  At that time, the following slate of Board Directors were elected to serve the July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019 term,
Mrs. SuEllen Brauer Rev. Jason Butterick Rev. Vivian Clarington Ms. Keturah Owens Mrs. Amanda Podeschi Mrs. Marianne Taylor Mr. William Taylor
Thanks to all who are choosing to serve on the Board.
They will be serving with the following who are serving a July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 term
Ms. Jo Carter Mrs. Tami Crouch Mr. Darrel Parish Ms. Teri Fickes Mrs. Kim Stahl The Rev. Richard Swan
The complete list is always available on the Dove website www.doveinc.org

Fr. Swan who is currently serving as the Vice President of the conducted the election of the Board of Directors.

Mother’s Day is a time to honor all Mothers

Unfortunately, some children are not in a loving relationship with their Mother. I found this poem below from the St. Paul Almanac, created in 2005. It is a tribute to women. I feel it is appropriate post to share for Mother’s Day, entitled "The Strength of a Woman." 


The St. Paul Almanac is a "literary-centered arts organization that shares stories across cultures and cultivates dialogue to promote understanding, relationships, and collaborative action". The Saint Paul Almanac helps to center the people of the St. Paul community into the heart of storytelling. Please enjoy and please honor the supportive women in your life.


Teri Ducy
Domestic Violence Program Director


The strength of a woman is carrying the burden of family without expectation that someone will feel her pain or cry her tears.

The strength of a woman is the first one to wake up and the last to go to bed.

The strength of a woman is to pretty and doll up all the masks she has to wear in o…

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

Dear Friends,
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and spring rains have started to fall.This time of refreshing the world is a time for use to reflect and re-center and think about how we live in the world through faith.One of the best ways we can do this is to join our voices, talents and funds with others in support of the less fortunate.Dove works to coordinate our efforts to make sure that people in our area who are suffering have a place to go and people who care.Together our voices mean a great deal to a person in need.
We need you to also use your voice in service as an advocate for a resolution to the State Budget Impasse.Dove continues to feel the effects of the State’s failure to appropriate for domestic violence programming in the “Stop-gap” budget for FY17.In non-payment for contracts to Dove the State of Illinois is already nearing the quarter million-dollar mark as of March.Using your voice to put pressure on our State elected officials to resolve their disputes so…

RSVP Volunteers “Age Out Loud”

Did you know that May is Older Americans Month?
Each May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). Their theme this year is “Age Out Loud”. What it means to age has changed, and celebrating Older Americans Month is a great time to look and see what our retired and senior volunteers are accomplishing as they age out loud.

Every day our RSVP volunteers “Age Out Loud” and respond to the needs of our communities. Many of our volunteers serve in places that ensure “Healthy Futures” for so many people in our communities. This includes giving to those aging in place by helping with transportation, meal delivery, companionship, coaching exercise programs, and distributing information, or staffing hotlines, food pantries, and soup kitchens. Within the last fiscal year, our volunteers served over 27,000 hours in this category alone. According to the Independent Sector, a volunteer’s time in Illinois is worth $25.34 per hour. Tha…

1987 Wish List

From the January 1987 DoveTales newsletter - below is a copy of  the Domestic Violence Program "wish-list"
Child's record playerWooden building blockLarge wooden dollhouseChild Guidance toystable and chairsHand PuppetsFelt, assorted colorsStuffed animalsScrap lace, ribbon and rufflesTape RecorderPuzzlesPopcorn popper Sound fun doesn't it? 
The current list going in the May 2017 newsletter is below.  Little more practical.  So if you can help us out with a few plungers or dishwasher pods or even a tablet, maybe thrown in a hand puppet or two!  It will all be greatly appreciated.
Domestic Violence Shelter Needs BOX FANSTOILET PLUNGERS NIGHTLIGHTSRADIO/ALARM CLOCKS, ELECTRICWHITE NOISE MACHINES (2-3 for 2nd/3rd shift working clients trying to sleep, as well as large families, to mask noise)TABLET (for Group use)9V BATTERIESGAS GIFT CARDSNEW STROLLERSWALMART GIFT CARDSDISHWASHER DETERGENT ‘PODS’SNACKS (HEALTHY)ADVIL, IBUPROFEN, ALEVEANTIBIOTIC OINTMENTHYDROCORTISONE CREAM…

Spring Cleaning?

During the dark, cold days of January----possibly inspired by the “clean slate” of a brand new year-----I undertook a major clean-up of my office.Evidently, when I started this job many years ago, I thought every piece of paper I received was sacred.I was rapidly running out of storage space, so I began the process of cleaning, sorting, shredding and tossing.As the job progressed, a few things became apparent.First, I was probably about one ream of paper away from a visit from the nice folks at the Hoarders TV show.I had a lot of moments asking………Why did I save that?.....How long has that law been obsolete?……Whatever were you thinking when you saved that???As I sorted, cleaned, tossed and carted off to the dumpster, I had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and a new sense of organization.Coming to the office, opening a desk drawer or file drawer became a much more pleasant experience.
As I reflected on how cathartic this experience was and the benefits I continued to reap, it occu…

Be the HOPE

When people become involved in their communities they take ownership of the problems facing all residents.Community engagement is about people working and learning together, gaining strength from each other and sharing visions and actions that lead to a common goal.Volunteering is a great way to begin your community journey, but did you know there are already many dedicated volunteers serving in our community? There are opportunities for volunteers of all ages to get involved and make great things happen. We have national, state, and community-based organizations that help mobilize all of those cherished volunteers, but did you know the need for volunteers never decreases? There is always an opportunity to get involved with something you care deeply about. Do you want to help build homes, help keep our environment clean, teach someone to read, delivery a nutritious meal to a shut in, rock and read to babies, or respond when disaster strikes? All of these volunteer opportunities exist …

Clothing Room here to help

The Dove Children’s Clothing Room is a place where families may select free, good quality clothing for infants and children. The Clothing Room is located at Prairie Avenue Christian Church, 2201 E. Prairie Avenue in Decatur. It is open Monday through Thursday 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.. Families can "shop" for their children once every 30 days and are allowed 3 outfits per child, as well as 2 new pairs of new underwear and socks if available.



The Clothing Room serves children and young adults from infants to age 18. We do not require referrals, but we do ask for each child’s age and gender for our records.



We count on the help from the community and always welcome donations of gently used items, including clothes for infants, school aged children, and teenagers, and baby items. We are always in need of new socks and underwear and will gladly accept monetary donations to purchase these items. There is a locked, blue drop box in the church parking lot where donations can be depos…

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

Dear Friends,
When I look back over the last year since I joined Dove I see a lot of amazing people who have come together to do wonderful services for our community.That’s really the heart of it isn’t it?We do what we do because our faith drives us to look at one another as precious creatures of God and treat each other accordingly.“Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of these, you did it to me.” Matt 25:40.
Service to others is not just a thread of programming at Dove, it is the root of all that we do.Dove began as a volunteer organization and all of our programming grew from this root into the diversified programs we coordinate today. This spring we have opportunities for individual and group service work. We have training for service with domestic violence survivors, early elementary programming with BABES, the Children’s clothing room, MAX and opportunities to mentor in life skills and employability.Without our wonderful volunteers so much of the program…

Good Mate

After spending several months on the back half of 2016 talking about abusive behaviors, we decided to take a different spin going into 2017.You see we spent a long time slowly working through and examining different forms and subtypes of abuse including the many forms of emotional abuse.This gave a very realistic look at some of the more “incognito” forms of violence that abusers get away with such as blaming, confusing behavior, corruption, destructive criticism, intimidation, isolation, manipulation, and even obsessive behavior.What we realized in closing out the year was that we had developed a very strong sense of what kind of traits and behaviors that we don’t want in our lives.On the flip side, we hadn’t really answered the question of what we do want in our lives.
It was a striking realization that while some victims of abuse started with a very pleasant life full of positive relationships, others have not been so fortunate.For those folks stuck in a life time of abusive relatio…

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Education

Dove’s Domestic Violence Program provides teen dating and domestic violence education to help teens understand healthy relationship characteristics and boundaries, recognize abusive behaviors and patterns, and know where and how to reach out for help for themselves or a friend. The Youth and Family Services Coordinator provides teen dating violence education to teens in high schools, middle schools, colleges, and youth organizations throughout DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, and Shelby counties. Teen dating violence is often the first manifestation of domestic violence – many adults report that their first experience with domestic violence occurred in a teen relationship. The highest rates of domestic violence occur between the ages of 15-25. 1 in 3 teen girls report physical and/or sexual abuse by a dating partner and 7 out of 10 teens (both male and female) report verbal/emotional abuse, threats, and/or stalking by a dating partner. Teen dating violence can be as damaging a…

Put Yourself First for a Change!

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and the many floral, candy and gift shops are getting ready for this romantic day of the year. For a lot of people who are fortunate to have that special someone in their life, this can be a very special romantic day together. For others, it is anything but romantic!



1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of domestic violence in her or his lifetime. While some are enjoying the candy hearts, flowers, and candlelit dinners, others have painful memories of past relationships or living each day in fear, walking on eggshells with their current abusive partner.


Whatever you may be feeling this year on Valentine's Day, I suggest you take the opportunity to remind yourself that you are special and you deserve to be loved, not just by a significant other, but loved by YOU. This is a perfect time to begin anew, and start taking care of yourself. Do something special for yourself. Make your favorite meal or splurge and go out to your favo…

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

Our nation and our state are feeling conflicted today. Perhaps you have been following events with the budget or the new federal administration, perhaps you have been focused elsewhere. It can be hard to know where to turn.For me, that simple answer is God who strengthens me.Conflict is not necessarily bad or destructive. Even when conflict is caused by sin and causes a great deal of stress, God can use it for good (see Rom. 8:28-29). As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1, conflict actually provides significant opportunities. By God’s grace, you can use conflict to:
Glorify God (by trusting, obeying, and imitating him) Serve other people (by helping to bear their burdens, advocating for their needs, or by confronting them in love)
Here at Dove, we are living into those principles every day.We believe in holy nature of the work we are doing to address unmet needs and social injustice, and to promote justice, equality and understanding among all people.
I want to thank the m…

You Can Make a Difference (and maybe save a life)

Ever wondered how you can really make a difference in somebody’s life?While some in this world have all the confidence in the world that they can move mountains, others might find themselves pacing back and forth or paralyzed at the thought of how they can really change somebody’s circumstances.I mean, you’re only one person right.Sure you might be able to brighten somebody’s day by being nice to them, and if you have money to spare, maybe your checkbook could make an impact in how somebody else changes somebody’s life.But what if I told you that you had everything that it takes to truly alter someone else’s situation, and maybe even save a life.
Dove’s Domestic Violence Program offers a host of services to victims of domestic violence on a daily basis, 24/7.Our crisis domestic violence shelter takes victims and their children out of harm’s way, and brings them into a sanctuary where they can begin to heal and put the pieces of their lives back together.Whether a victim of domestic vio…