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

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.  ...