Friday, December 1, 2017

Well, it's begun.


Family and friends have started asking me what I want for Christmas this year. Each year it gets more difficult for me to come up with tangible gift ideas. The truth is, there isn't much of anything I'm lacking. I'm not saying that to brag, but because it's a realization I've come to over the last few Christmases. A lot of this comes from working at the Christmas Baskets Program here at Dove. I look around a room filled with hats and gloves, toys and gift items that will go to about 350 families - around 1,300 individuals, and it dawns on me every year how lucky I am. How thankful I am. How easily things could change for me and I could be one of those in need of a basket for my family for the season.
 
Each year I take calls from people who are facing hardship: the recent death of a spouse or provider, a job loss just a couple of months before the holiday season, a family with so many medical expenses that they can't afford Christmas dinner and presents for their children. It's heart-wrenching to listen to, and I can't imagine having to experience it, and yet I'm always aware that it could be me. It could be you, too. It's why every donation and volunteer at the Christmas Baskets is so vital.
 
Each toy donated is one more child that we can provide a gift to on Christmas morning. Each dollar given is one we can use to purchase toys, hats and gloves, and wrapping paper. Each hat and gloves set brought to us can assure that one more person can stay a little warmer this winter. Each volunteer who comes to help during baskets week ascertains that the baskets get packaged and delivered to the families we=re serving on time.
 
I remember as a child how enthusiastic I would get each day closer to Christmas. Everything excited me. The music, the lights, the food, the presents. Seeing the stores all decked out with decorations, and then putting up our own decorations at home and at my grandma=s. I still love Christmas, but there=s a certain amount of bittersweet heartache that goes along with it now, knowing there are so many people in need and that no matter how many people we help, there are more out there that we will never even know about. I suppose this is all part of being an adult and losing the easy fantasies of youth.


When people ask me what I want this Christmas, the truth is now that things I wish for aren=t tangible. There is a song that best sums it up for me, and made popular by Amy Grant titled, "My Grown Up Christmas List." The lyrics to the chorus are as follows:
 
No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start
and time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end,
oh
This is my grown-up Christmas List.
 
 
 


Items Needed for the Christmas Baskets Drive:Items for infants (clothes, toys, diapers, etc.) Gift items for teen boys (hoodies, cologne, watches, games, etc.)Wrapping paper, tape, gift sacks of ALL sizes (doesn=t have to be Christmas-oriented)Hats and gloves and scarves

 

We will need people to deliver baskets on Saturday, December 23rd, starting at 8:30 AM.  If you are able to deliver to places out of Decatur (Mt. Zion, Moweaqua, Blue Mound, Macon, etc), please call Angie ASAP and let her know that you're able to do this. Traditionally these clients have had to pick up their own baskets from Decatur but if you're willing, we=d certainly appreciate it!

 

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Heritage and Holly Historical Home 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 2017 event will be held the weekend after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday the 25th, from noon to 6:00 p.m.

 
$18 Advance Tickets are available at the following locations through Noon, November 22:

  • All Things Beautiful, 219 N. Main Street
  • Dove, 302 S. Union Street and 788 E. Clay Street
  • Land of Lincoln Credit Union, 4850 Prosperity Place, 3130 E. Mound Road, 2890 N. Oakland Ave., 151 N. 22nd Street and 1435 N. Water Street
  • Novel Ideas, 480 E. Main Street
  • Wildflour Artisan Bakery, 256 W. Main Street (who can accept Debit/Credit cards)

To link to the online site, visit the Volunteer page on www.doveinc.org



First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 250 W. Decatur, is the first stop of the tour and a $20 day-of-event ticket can be purchased there. The tour will feature eight stops, decorated for the Holiday Season in the Historic West End of Decatur. 



Thanks to our sponsors, WDKR WXFM and NSU, Network Solutions Unlimited.



Dove, Inc. is a social service agency serving Central Illinois for 47 years with the current programs: BABES, MAX and DAX, Homeward Bound, Children’s Clothing Room, RSVP and the Domestic Violence Program.



Friday, October 20, 2017

Just the Facts!

The 2017 Coats for Kids drive is in full swing and we will be collecting good, used coats for families in need through November 30.  Participating Cleaners will make sure the coats are clean and fresh and ready for the clothing rooms to distribute.   Please  think of the good you can do, by clearing out those closets OR by doing a bit of shopping for those hard to get sizes (about 2nd -6th graders.)






Participating Cleaners make sure all the coats are clean and also a collection site for donations:


Classic Cleaner
2474 N. Main

Peerless Cleaners
519 N. Monroe

Pride Cleaners and Launderers
2553 N. Main
1804 E. Eldorado
912 W. Eldorado
2056 Mt. Zion Road
1154 E. Prairie Ave.

Waite's Dry Cleaners and Launderers
1004 S. Main, Decatur
664 W. Eldorado
115 Magnolia, Forsyth





Drop off sites serve as an easy way to drop off your coat donation, while you are out.



Decatur Public Library
130 N. Franklin

Decatur Township Offices
1620 S. Taylorville Road

GT Church
500 S. 27th Decatur

Jerger Pediatric Dentistry, P.C.
2101 N. Main, Decatur

Kroger
Brettwood Plaza
South Shores Plaza
Fairview Plaza
Airport Plaza

Land of Lincoln Credit Union
2890 N. Oakland
3130 E. Mound
4850 E Prosperity Place

Longcreek Township
2610 Salem School Road

Regions
2340 Mt. Zion Rd.
350 N. Water
1355 W. King
333 E. Pershing Rd

Richland Community College
#1 College Park, Decatur

Soy Capital Bank and Trust
560 E. Pershing
455 N. Main
4825 US Route 36
 
St. Teresa High School
2710 N. Water Street

Texas Roadhouse
US 51 North

Friday, October 13, 2017

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but domestic violence is something we all should be aware of every day. For so long, domestic violence was considered to be nobody’s business because it usually happened in the privacy of the home.  We realize now that domestic violence IS our business; indeed it is everyone’s business.  The costs to our economy are staggering.  The pain the abuse causes the victims and their families is sometimes unbearable.  Bullying and other forms of violence can result from exposure to domestic violence as well.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior designed to keep the victim of abuse under the power and control of the abuser.  This occurs in a family, intimate partner, dating or caretaking situation.  Domestic violence has no boundaries; it happens in all income brackets and at all levels of education to people of all races, religions or sexual orientation.  More than one in three women and more than one in four men report abusive incidents or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetime.  1.3 million women report being assaulted every year; 85% of victims are women.  The economic costs are staggering; domestic violence costs our national economy $5.8 billion dollars annually. DV victims lose 8 million days of paid work each year, equivalent to 32,000 fulltime jobs.  Each year, 5.6 million days of household productivity are lost. 

The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence recently released the results of their annual survey of domestic violence homicides in Illinois.  From July 1, 2016 to June 31, 2017, 44 domestic violence incidents resulted in 61 deaths; 47 were homicides and 14 were suicides.  All of the suicides followed a homicidal death; none were stand-alone incidents.  When you read these facts and examine the statistics, it is obvious that domestic violence is something we need to be aware of every day, not just in the month of October.

What can each of us do to help stop domestic violence and to offer support to victims?  If you suspect domestic violence is happening to a friend, neighbor or loved one, reach out to them to offer support and encouragement.  Just knowing that someone cares can sometimes be a first step to a victim seeking help.   Refer them to your local domestic violence program and let them know there is help available.  If you hear……or think you hear…….domestic violence happening, call your local authorities.  It is better to call and be wrong, than not to call and be sorry if something terrible happens.  Educate yourself on domestic violence to know the signs.  All of our Dove programs offer community education and are thrilled to present it when we are asked to do so.  Dove also offers volunteer training a couple of times each year to educate people who have a desire to help.  Our rural programs are generally staffed with just one person, so we would welcome all the help we can get.  Even though our Decatur program is now at full staff, volunteers are the lifeblood of our programs.  We never have too many trained, caring individuals to help with our mission.   Consider donating to your local programs financially as well, or talking with your church leaders about joining the Dove family of congregations to support our programs.  Finally, prayer for the victims and their families, for the abusers and for our programs is always welcome.  Together, hopefully we can stop………..or slow down…….this horrific abusive pattern.

Decatur office                   217-428-6616                                   Crisis Line                           217-423-2238

Clinton office                    217-935-6619                                   Crisis Line                           217-935-6072

Shelbyville office             217-774-3121                                   Crisis Line                           217-774-4888

Sullivan office                   217-728-9303                                   Crisis Line                           217-728-9334

Susie Kensil
Shelby County Domestic Violence Coordinator

Friday, September 29, 2017

Do I Qualify For an Order of Protection?

As her eyes looked to the floor she said in tears, " I don’t know if I am in the right place. I have no bruises; he does not hurt me." But as she talked, her partner daily called her bitch, whore, and stupid, threatening she would never see her children again if she left. She was experiencing daily verbal and emotional abuse which lowered her self-worth, leaving her paralyzed in fear of doing anything until someone referred her to Dove. After she told her story, she looked at me with tears streaming down her face saying "Do I qualify for an order of protection even though he does not hit me?"



Sadly, we hear and see this scenario often. When victims do reach out for help, they are not sure if they qualify for services or an order of protection because they are not being hit. The answer is yes, a victim of domestic violence does qualify for an order of protection for emotional abuse even though there is no physical abuse. There also must be relationships established through the IL Domestic Violence Act to also qualify for an order of protection.



To determine a domestic violence relationship through the IDVA means they must be in a dating relationship, sharing/shared common dwelling, child in common, family member, spouse or former spouse, partner or former partner, child, related by blood or marriage, sibling, or one in a caretaker role. There are many other forms of abuse that victims of domestic violence, friends, family members, and people within the community do not identify as abuse. I have listed below forms of abuse those victims of domestic violence experience daily, weekly, monthly or periodically. No matter how frequent or less frequently abuse occurs, it is never okay or acceptable for a person to abuse their partner, spouse, or another family member.



Physical Abuse is pushing, shoving, hitting, slapping, strangling, pulling hair, punching, kicking, grabbing, twisting arms, tripping, biting, beating, throwing him/her down, using a weapon against him/her.



Spiritual Abuse is when they are not allowing her/him to have or maintain their own spiritual belief system, forbidding her/him to attend church or religious gatherings, ridiculing their beliefs and keeping them away from their source of spiritual strength.



Emotional Abuse consists of verbal attacks, put downs, name calling, humiliating comments, playing mind games by telling them they are going crazy.



Economic Abuse is putting a person on an allowance, not letting a person have access to family income and or stopping a person from getting or keeping a job.



Isolation is controlling what the other person does, who they see and talk to or where they go. Often times they are isolated from family and not allowed to have friends. Without emotional support from family and friends, the abused person has no emotional support which keeps them in the abusive relationship.



Sexual Abuse is pressuring, threatening, or forcing your partner into unwanted sexual intercourse or unwanted sexual acts and or physically attacking the sexual parts of their body. Each individual have ownership over their own body and this means even when you are married.



Using Children against the other person, threatening to take the children away, and using visitation as a way to harass the other parent.



Using Male or Female Privilege is treating a man/woman like a servant and making all the big decisions and acting like the King/Queen of the "castle".



Threats in saying they will do something to hurt the other person or to hurt themselves. Threats become more severe and dangerous when she/he decides to leave.



Intimidation occurs when she/he is afraid of their partner when they use looks, actions, gestures etc. They smash things of sentimental value, destroying property, abusing pets, displaying weapons.



All of the above forms of abuse, rather it is one or a combination of several forms of abuse, qualifies one for services to obtain an order of protection, shelter, domestic violence support group, and short term domestic violence counseling.



An order of protection is a legal tool to use to keep the batterer (the person doing the battering) 500 feet away no matter where they are at. One may also request possession of the residence and many other remedies that are available depending on their circumstances. The order of protection is to be used in addition to their own personal safety plan.



A Dove Legal Advocate can assist those who need help in completing the order of protection and explain the remedies of the order of protection. Legal Advocates will also accompany victims to court hearings to provide emotional support and explain what will take place at each hearing.

If you are a family member, friend, employer, or community member and know someone who may be in an abusive relationship please call Dove for information or refer the person to the Dove Domestic Violence Program.



Anyone who is in an abusive relationship, or thinks you might be and would like more information on abuse, in addition to more information about an order of protection, please contact our 24-hour hotline at Dove. The first step in asking for help is the hardest but also is the first step of taking back control of your life.


Domestic Violence is about Power and Control; the batterer’s need to have power and control over the other person is abuse. YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE ABUSED!

Vivian Reed
Legal Advocate Supervisor

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

RSVP Volunteers, Our Shining Stars!


As I work to finalize all those little details that go into the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program’s (RSVP) Appreciation luncheon I am filled with pride and so very grateful I get to be the Director of such an excellent program. So many volunteers perform service to so many different and worthy causes that at times it can be difficult to keep up with them. Over 380 volunteers were actively serving community needs and worked more than 63,000 hours. 10% of those hours performed were by volunteers who are no strangers to service, our local Veterans. Every day I see what the power of compassion, dedication, and true grit can accomplish. Did I mention that the average age of our volunteers is 76? The wisdom and experience that RSVP volunteers share with our community members are simply amazing.

RSVP volunteers do it all; we have volunteers who help deliver Meals on Wheels, distribute goods at food pantries, and help prepare and serve meals in the soup kitchens, so no one has to go hungry. They perform outreach and disaster services whenever they are called, even in the wee hours of the morning. They work to protect our environment, recycle, and help ensure that all community members have access to nature and the beauty it holds. They mentor, tutor, and comfort our children and boost those children and make them stronger.  They unselfishly sort, collect, and manage donations large and small for Veterans, the elderly, and anyone else who has a need. The transport, visit and perform activities required for others to stay in their homes and engage in their community. The volunteers can do attitude, and perseverance changes others’ lives every single day of the year throughout the Macon and DeWitt counties. In small towns like Farmer City to the City of Decatur RSVP volunteers are contributing time, talent, and tenacity to make our communities the best place to live for all of us. 

So, when I say I am grateful and filled with pride to be the person who gets to brag on, uplift, and celebrate RSVP volunteers, you can bet I work to cross off every minute detail to give them an unforgettable appreciation luncheon.  From amazing speakers, surprise entertainment, and door prizes the RSVP Advisory Council, business donors, and I aim for the stars because our RSVP volunteers are our shining stars and they are out of this world!
Charlie Gillaspie
RSVP Program Director


Each year, a Volunteer Appreciation Event is hosted for our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program members. The 2017 event is September 21.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Happy Grandparents' Day!


Why are there so many different names for grandparents? Grandpa, papa, paw, gramps is just a few names we lavish on the grandfathers in our families while grandmas get names like me maw, Nana, or Ninny. Whatever you may call your grandparents you can be sure of one thing, when you call they come! Names for them are often something that has been passed down from one generation after another.



 Many of us honor our grandparents, but for children to be able to invite their grandparents to school for a day is very special to them. They love to be able to share with their friends their very own grandpa or grandma. Children get to participate in special lessons or special assembly programs during grandparent’s day at school. Sometimes this is the only time grandparents are asked to share the day with their precious grandchildren.



 This year Grandparents' Day is September 10, 2017, and I challenge anyone with a grandparent to make their day special. Grandparents Day is the perfect opportunity to show your grandparents a little extra special attention and love. Don’t have a grandparent to call your own? You can find one to love and support at your local nursing home, only call and ask. Many nursing homes need volunteers to share love, conversation, and patience with their residents. You can help with a fun activity like bingo, or help with the monthly birthday party celebrations. You can even just sit and talk with and listen to stories that only our older generation can tell.



Volunteering in our community is what the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is all about. We harness the wisdom and experience of those 55 years of age or better to share their talent in our community helping others. Won’t you join them this Grandparents Day?


Charlie Gillaspie
RSVP Program Director

Friday, August 18, 2017

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 binder, lunch box, or superhero folder for your own little one become a superhero to another child and purchase some new socks and underwear for Dove Inc. Children’s Clothing Room so we can meet the need, together we can make a child smile even on the first day of school.


The Children’s Clothing Room is located at 2201 E. Prairie St., inside Prairie Ave. Christian Church. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 1:00pm to 3:30pm.  We serve children from newborn to 17 years of age. All sizes for both genders are greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Charlie Gillaspie
RSVP Program Director

Friday, August 11, 2017

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 decade, and other NWRAPS members will continue to consult and volunteer through the transition.



The 2017 event will be held the weekend after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday the 25th, from noon to 6:00 p.m., with $18 advance tickets and $20 at the door. Advance Tickets will be available beginning November 1 through noon on November 22, at all Decatur Dove offices, All Things Beautiful, all Decatur Land of Lincoln locations, on-line, and at other additional convenient locations.



Please watch our website www.doveinc.org  for other locations that will join the Anna B. Millikin Home / Dove, Inc. location for the tour. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

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 science  projects; maps to mark with separate colors for each country in geography class.  The crayons were somehow symbolic of all there was to learn that year.

I recently opened a box of crayons as I was going through some items that were donated to my program.  I learned that the smell of those sticks of color can still send me back to that place of the promise of a good year ahead.  Will the child that gets those crayons be excited and hopeful and eager to learn?  Will he or she have people in his life to help him achieve those things?  Will the school year hold opportunities to create art and learn about our world?  As I sort through those donations, I pray the simple box of crayons will hold magic for that child as well.

I noticed something else as I studied that box of crayons.  All of them stood sharp and tall and neat, not caring who---or what color---was next to them.  White was next to pink, black and brown.  Blue was surrounded by a myriad of colors, as were all the rest.  They rest in the box in perfect harmony.  All the colors are necessary to make a beautiful picture, to create a map or scientific graph.  Humans could learn a lot of valuable lessons from a box of crayons.  We are all necessary to create the world we live in.  We may look different on the outside, but on the inside we are all the same.  When we learn to coexist peacefully in spite of our differences------when we appreciate the different things each of us bring to the big picture----when we learn each of us is equally important to the world we live in----we will be on our way to being as beautiful and harmonious as the box of crayons.  Opportunity and promise will lay in front of us as it did in the eyes of that schoolgirl in all those Augusts years ago.
Susie Kensil
Shelby County Domestic Violence Coordinator


Friday, July 7, 2017

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 Dove staff and volunteers who have given so much of themselves to make ends meet.

 

For the 2017-18 Fiscal Year we have been proactive at seeking non-state funding, in order to maintain cash-flow and continue operations in all of our programs.  We do not, at this time, have a full sense of how or when FY17 payments and FY18 contracts will be processed even with the budget deal as there was no prioritization scheme included in the final budget. 

 

As for how the State got here and how the elected officials chose to resolve it, we can only urge you to hold your elected officials responsible.  Reach out to your elected officials, advocate for your needs and those of our community, and please participate in every opportunity to get educated and vote.  We understand the many passionate viewpoints in this trying time and are grateful for support you have given which has provided Dove with the opportunity to continue to serve the community.
Christine Gregory
Executive Director 

Friday, June 2, 2017

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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.

Friday, May 12, 2017

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 order to survive.

The strength of a woman is crying herself to sleep at night then embracing you in the morning with a hug and a smile.

The strength of a woman is my mother, a woman who says she’s okay when you can tell she’s in pain, a woman who smiles when the going gets tough and a woman who finds laughter after crying.

The strength of a woman is to raise a child she does not know.

The strength of a woman hears a child’s cry and knows exactly what they want.

The strength of a woman is courage and independence.

The strength of a woman is doing whatever it takes to survive.

The strength of a woman is the backbone that holds everyone together . . . behind every strong man there is a strong woman.

The strength of a woman is her ability to hold her tongue when her significant other is wrong
to stop her children from misbehaving with a look in her eye to pick herself up and dust herself off to make her family smile in the midst of a storm, to multi-task and adapt to different situations to swallow her pride.

The strength of a woman is her unconditional love for her children and others.

The strength of a woman is to be a peacemaker.

The strength of a woman is to be able to feel things no one else can.

The strength of a woman is having faith in God, for she knows God is the only one that has her back.


Helping others when they are in need, always there to take the lead.

Suffering hard times not for long, because her will is very strong.

Makes you happy with lots of jokes, most importantly they are jokes of hope.

Her colors are beautiful—scarlet red— lots of blessings upon her head.

The strength of a woman we’ll always know, because her strength will always show.

Friday, April 28, 2017

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. That means the RSVP volunteers of Macon and DeWitt Counties gave a value of $ 691,268 of services to our elderly, disabled, and hungry. Talk about aging out loud!!!


And that’s not all during this same time volunteers also contributed to disaster service programs, programs for the good of the environment, mentored or tutored children and adults, provided free tax preparation and helped build homes. Recycled plastic bags into mats for the homeless, and created afghans for anyone in need of a little comfort. Volunteers also participated in fundraising for their favorite charities, served on boards to help guide other non-profits, and collected coupons for the Expired Coupons for Overseas Military Families (ECOM). I could go on and on about how awesome our older adults in this community are but I would rather you get out and join them and “Age Out Loud” in your own way!!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

1987 Wish List

From the January 1987 DoveTales newsletter - below is a copy of  the Domestic Violence Program "wish-list"
 
  • Child's record player
  • Wooden building block
  • Large wooden dollhouse
  • Child Guidance toys
  • table and chairs
  • Hand Puppets
  • Felt, assorted colors
  • Stuffed animals
  • Scrap lace, ribbon and ruffles
  • Tape Recorder
  • Puzzles
  • Popcorn 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 FANS
  • TOILET PLUNGERS
  • NIGHTLIGHTS
  • RADIO/ALARM CLOCKS, ELECTRIC
  • WHITE 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 BATTERIES
  • GAS GIFT CARDS
  • NEW STROLLERS
  • WALMART GIFT CARDS
  • DISHWASHER DETERGENT ‘PODS’
  • SNACKS (HEALTHY)
  • ADVIL, IBUPROFEN, ALEVE
  • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT
  • HYDROCORTISONE CREAM
  • BABY MEDS (PAIN, STOMACH)
  • NOSE / EAR SYRINGES
  • CONTACT LENS MULTI-PURPOSE SOLUTION / CASES
  • AFRICAN-AMERICAN HAIR CARE PRODUCTS & BRUSHES
  • ORAJEL
 

Friday, April 7, 2017

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 occurred to me that the same thing happens with our lives.  The experiences we live through, some good, but often the more unpleasant ones, live on in our heads and our hearts.  They add up and eventually become the “baggage” that we drag with us as we continue our lives.  While the pleasant memories can bring happiness, the less pleasant cause stress, heart-ache and possibly additional unpleasant experiences to become more baggage.  The baggage we carry may cause physical and emotional issues that negatively impact our lives.  Future relationships can be affected by issues from past relationships.  Anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and other emotional problems may come from unresolved past issues.  Heart problems, weight issues, hypertension and autoimmune disorders can be caused or negatively affected by stress.  If nothing else, unresolved stress can simply rob you of the ability to enjoy life.

January is long gone, which for many people like me, removes one stressor…..the gray, cold days…..but spring time is an even better time to “clean house”, literally and figuratively.  The shine and sparkle of a freshly cleaned house is refreshing.  The same thing can happen when we clean house in our mind and bodies.

“Don’t let the past wreck your future.”   “Quit renting space in your head to him/her/it/them.”  “Look forward, not backward.”  All of this is well-meant advice, but not that easy to do without help sometimes.  The first step is to figure out what is holding you back; once you know, you can formulate a plan to deal with the issue.  Self-help books are available everywhere and sometimes can work for you.  Professional counselors are available in a variety of fields as are group counseling situations and self-help groups, 12-Step and otherwise.  If your issues include family abuse of any sort, Dove offers a variety of services in all of our offices.  We are well-equipped to offer assistance to victims and their families with counseling, legal advocacy and many other services to help you “clean house” in your mind and heart.  Our services are free, confidential and “you-centered” so we can help you recover from domestic abuse, whether it happened yesterday or twenty years ago.  As you begin this “cleaning” process, remember to also take care of your body.  Eat well, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and take time to do some fun things for yourself, even for just a few minutes a day.

My cleaning project took several days, but weeks later I still see the benefits daily.  Cleaning your mind and heart will be a continuing process, but the improvement you experience will be well worth it.  If we here at Dove can help with your cleaning project, please call us for an appointment.  We will help you become the best “you” possible.  Make yourself a priority this spring…….it will be so worth it.
Susie Kensil
Shelby County Coordinator
Domestic Violence Program

Friday, March 31, 2017

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 right here in our community and much more.

Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program sponsored by Dove is just one avenue for those 55 and older to get involved in their community and share their talent and experience with members of the community who are in need of a little love, encouragement, and hope. Volunteers can get started by calling anyone of your local non-profits and asking how you can give hope to those they serve. There is a whole network of volunteer coordinators who strive to find volunteers of all ages the perfect place to offer hope and they would all love to hear from you.

 National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 23rd-29th and it is a great time to show volunteers in our community a little appreciation and anyone can do so by simply saying thank you to the volunteers you encounter daily at local hospitals, libraries, museums, food pantries, community events, and neighborhood programs. Or you can get started volunteering now and be the hope your community thanks.
Charlie Gillaspie
RSVP Program Director

Charlie Gillaspie (L) with Sheryl Whisman, RSVP Coordinator in DeWitt County

Friday, March 17, 2017

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 deposited.



The Dove Children’s Clothing Room is operated by volunteers who are members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at Dove, Inc. The RSVP program is for people 55 and better who are looking for volunteer opportunities in the Decatur and Macon County area. Thanks to all who make this service to area families a reality!

Friday, March 3, 2017

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 relationships, or even for those stuck in a rut of bad relationship after bad relationship, it wasn’t enough just to recognize abuse.  Many of our folks were looking for the answer to “what should I be looking for?”  In fact, one client put it quite frankly by stating, “I already know what a bad guy looks like.  How do I know what a good guy looks like?”  And there was the big question. 

It makes a lot of sense really.  I’ve used the example I once heard myself by talking about money.  How can you tell the difference between a real $100 bill and a fake one?  For that matter, how do you know whether a $100 bill and a monopoly $100 bill is legitimate currency?  The answer isn’t in being able to spot a fake.  If you know what a fake looks like, you can only spot a fake.  In the same way, knowing what abuse is only allows you to spot abuse.  The real solution is knowing what legitimate currency looks like.  If you know all the hidden traits, water marks, magnetic bars, etc. of a true $100 bill, then you are able to spot a true bill, AND you are able to avoid the counterfeits who lack those traits.  Likewise, being grounded and knowledgeable about positive character traits, values, and virtues in a good relationship can help you to spot positive people and avoid the manipulative counterfeits.

So began our journey into finding what I have chosen to call the “good mate.”  Our new effort at the beginning of this year would be for our clients to begin learning about positive habits and traits instead.  We wanted to keep it broad to fully recognize the breadth of abuse.  So instead of “good man” or “good date” which would focus too specifically on romantic endeavors, I chose to include all relationships.  Whether you are looking for a romantic relationship, a spouse, a friend, a roommate, or even trying to maintain healthy boundaries with family members; we want to make sure that those closest to us are good mates. 

As a starting point, I have chosen to take two source materials I use as character building tools in my other role as men’s minister, and flip them on their heads as strong and positive character traits or virtues in all people.  Thus far we have tackled two of these traits.

First we have examined what it means to be a determined mate.  Recognizing right off the bat that determination can also be a very negative trait used by abusers, we were very specific in how we examined this trait.  We talked about determination being habit of refusing to quit until we accomplish our goals, with the biggest stipulation being that the goals themselves were positive and good for all involved.  Taking these good morals into consideration, the question became whether that person in your life is will to do what it takes to succeed, even when it requires personal sacrifice. 

We discussed that many people, unfortunately men in particular, take their drive and energy and use it to take the easiest possible route instead of channeling it toward real success with their goals.  For abusers this tends to play out in forms of manipulation, control of others, and blame shifting.  Recognizing that the road to good goals is often marked with road blocks and obstacles, you can ask yourself, does my mate react positively or negative toward such trials.

Another good tool for recognizing positive determination in someone is simply asking yourself whether or not you can name any positive goals that person has.  If you have a decent relationship with someone, but can’t name any positive goals of theirs, odds are they are very unmotivated and undetermined, or they are the wrong kind of determined. 

Lastly we examined the fact that determined mates refuse the nostalgia of the past, such as getting stuck in the glory days of your youth or being stuck on the wrongs of your past, or the speculation of the future, such as always looking forward toward what may be and not being grounded in the present.  Neither of these habits provide any motivation or determination toward success in the here and now.  Instead determined mates are ready to embrace the present and pursue their goals. 

The second trait we have examined is that of a coachable mate.  Coachable mates are defined as someone who is willing to take and respond rightly to critique.  This is a really important value in any mate in your life, and especially from a domestic violence perspective, as abusive personalities tend to be quite the opposite. 

Unfortunately, in today’s world many folks, often times men, grow up without any real strong mentors, role models, or father figures.  For many this results in feelings of emptiness and insufficiency.  It is at this cross roads that people can choose to let their circumstances define who they are or motivate them to become something better.  Those that choose to be defined by their circumstances often don’t want others to see their inadequacies and attempt to bury the truth of their weaknesses.  They might replace the truth with masks of false conceitedness, defensiveness, apathy, or even outright abuse.  On the other hand, those that choose to be motivated by their circumstances can choose to be coachable and learn something along the way to better themselves or their situation.

We discussed a number of evidences that help define or point out coachable mates.  Coachable mates don’t believe in excuses.  They can admit when they are in need of help or assistance.  Coachable mates are able to admit that they don’t have all the answers, and can ask questions.  They don’t blame others, their situation, or even their experiences for their behaviors, and they take responsibility for their actions.  You can expect coachable mates to accept the role they played in their own problems when necessary.  They aren’t too proud to own up to their own weaknesses or ignorance’s.   Coachable mates are willing to make positive changes in their life, even when it’s difficult.  Maybe as important and telling as any are coachable mates’ willingness and desire to learn and grow.  You will notice that coachable mates have positive and respectable relationships with multitude of diverse people.  And not always, but many coachable mates will have their own positive coaches or mentors in their life that they are drawing wisdom from. 

Some other quotes we examined from Darrin Patrick were, “The [one] who refuses to grow in dying a slow death.  Learning is like oxygen in our lungs or cold water on a hot day.  It’s what we are made for.”  This stresses that there is an inherent wiring inside of us that thrives when we learn and expand our being.  Also, “the first step toward teach-ability is recognizing that we have everything to learn and we can learn parts of it from several people.”  Being coachable means recognizing that you don’t have all the answers and you can’t do everything, but there is a world of people out there who can fill in the gaps in your life, a diverse world of people who all have a part to play in making you an even greater person. 

We are excited about finding out more and more on how to spot the good mates in our life, keep the bad mates at a distance (if in our lives at all), and thrive in all our relationships.  Maybe you can take part of this journey along with us.

 

Jared Bohland
Client Services Coordinator
Dove Domestic Violence Program

 

  

*Source Material used includes The Dude's Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits by Darrin Patrick

Update from the Domestic Violence Program

A victim of domestic violence faces many challenges, however, during these times with COVID-19, they are faced with even more barriers.  ...