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Friday, January 27, 2017

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 violence requires a shelter stay or not, we offer a wide range of services.  Victims can get one-on-one assistance by means of a domestic violence counselor to work through the pain of their circumstance, learn all the ways an abuser can cause harm beyond the standard physical violence, how to begin to cope with the abuse, and ultimately how to empower our clients back to a state of strength and self-sufficiency full of self-esteem and confidence.  Victims can also receive case management services in order to begin to fill in the gaps and meet the needs that the abuse may have caused; such as housing, employment, education, budgeting/finances, recovering documentation, physical and mental health, childcare, debt, transportation, and any other gap needing met. 

Dove’s D.V. Program also aids with the legal process through multiple legal advocates trained to help our clients through the intimidating process of filing for an order of protection.  We explain the options for our client’s, assist with the paperwork, aid in finding attorneys, and even attend court hearings, ensuring our clients are supported every step of the way. 

In addition, we offer a host of other services for everyone.  Our program has a staff children’s specialist to work with kids one-on-one and to lead children’s support groups.  We have a staff parenting specialist who meets with parents one-on-one and also leads healthy families support groups.  Two of our supervisors each lead a weekly domestic violence adult support group to provide a safe place to talk with other victims and survivors about their experiences, struggles and successes; while also learning about different domestic violence topics along the way. 

What does all this mean for you?  Every service I just shared, and then some, are all areas where our volunteers get involved each week.  We need your time, your skills, your compassion, and your willingness just to be there for someone in crisis.  If you’re a little unsure of whether or not you are able to help with such big issues, you’re in luck!  All of our staff and our volunteers all go through a required 40-hour domestic violence volunteer training certification.  You will be more than qualified by the time we are done training you.

In a world, and frankly in a state like Illinois, where domestic violence is still very much an issue but funding for services is limited; we are always in need of compassionate volunteers to help fill the gap.  And make no mistake, the difference you make is massive.  We know that domestic violence is cyclical and that is escalates over time.  Any chance that victims have a program like Dove there to help them get out of that cycle is a chance for them to break free from the very real threat of fatality down the line.  That means that your contributions of time and talent can in fact save a life.

We are ready for you to join us in our fight to end domestic violence in Decatur and Macon County.  Our next volunteer training is coming up in May 2017.  Here are a number of ways that you can help make a difference at Dove D.V. as a volunteer.

  • Assist with our 24-hour domestic violence hotline
  • Assist with intakes for new clients
  • Assist with orders of protection
  • Go to court with clients seeking orders of protection
  • Help with shelter coverage
  • Assist with filing and clerical work
  • Assist with children’s groups
  • Assist with adult support groups
  • Assist with special events for clients
  • And the list goes on…

Don’t be afraid to let your expertise or passion direct you in a way to volunteer.  We are ready for creative people with great ideas.  Maybe you want to have a Zumba class for clients.  Maybe you want to assist with budgeting and finance.  Maybe you are an artist who can come lead a class.  My guess is that all you brilliant people out there reading this have a gift to share and a way that you can truly make a difference in the lives of domestic violence victims.

 

Jared Bohland
Client Services Coordinator
Dove Domestic Violence Program

link to Dove's Website for current information on training!

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