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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!

Friday, January 20, 2017


Looking back through the DoveTale from days past, the February 9, 1973 issue had this little article

... children's clothing
... good furniture
... volunteers
... $ to meet expenses

Yep, 3 of the 4 - still a need today in 2017.

(The good furniture, we'd refer you to Central Illinois Christians in Mission to donate to and when we need furniture, we check with them first.)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Volunteer Training

Make some plans now to become a volunteer in the Spring!

The BABES, Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies, Program will be hosting the next Volunteer Training on Tuesday, February 14, 11:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.  After the training you and another volunteer will be able to do the BABES presentations  in area K-3rd grade classroom.  Learn more about BABES on the website,  And to sign up for the training, call Sandy Laesch at 428-6616 or

The Domestic Violence Program will be offering Education and Volunteer Training in May.  Registration will start on March 15.

May 8, 9, 10, 11

May 15, 16, 17, 18

May 22, 23, 24

1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Dove, Inc. / Anna B. Millikin Home, 302 S. Union, Dean Simcox Conference Room

Check the website for more information about the Domestic Violence Program, Contact Barb Blakey for more details on the Training.
How to Register:
Complete a phone interview beginning March 15 through April 28, call 428.6616
Attend registration meeting on Wednesday, May 3, at NOON

$150 training fee, some scholarships available.

RSVP, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs is always seeking new members to add to their 500+ amazing group of volunteers.  To learn more about RSVP, check out the website, and from there you can print off an enrollment form.  After receiving the form, staff will work with you to find a good fit for your volunteer skills at one of more than 80+ agencies in Macon and DeWitt Counties.

The Volunteer Page on the website is a great place to look volunteer opportunities.  As a need comes up at Dove, that is the place to find out more information.

Friday, January 6, 2017

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

Dear Friends,

It is with a grateful heart that we start the new year at Dove, Inc.  Because of our caring community the past month has been full of simple kindnesses which made a world of difference. Between Christmas Baskets and Coats for Kids thousands of area individuals were affected by your commitment to love our neighbors. 

With the turn of the calendar new challenges will face us as we continue in our work to coordinate efforts to address unmet needs and social injustices. As the state budget stalemate continues with no end in sight, social services will continue to struggle to provide needed assistance. Justice, equality, and understanding among all people seems a daunting goal.  Yet here at Dove, our faith is strong that this culture can be built right here in central Illinois with God’s help. Each of us has the ability to influence the culture of our inner circle of close friends to alter our prospects for the community’s future.

But how shall we begin? Here are some suggestions:

  • We have the ability to boost the local economy by choosing to spend our dollars at local businesses and national businesses operating locally.  In doing so we create jobs and affect the opportunities for every sector of our population to flourish.
  • We can continue to affect our local culture by using our voices in the local election season which is just getting under way.  Local elections traditionally have a low turnout, but have a greater everyday impact on our lives than state and federal elections.  Register, encourage your friends to register.  Then get educated, vote and bring your friends to the polls on April 4, 2017.
  • We can maintain the culture of caring we have locally by providing support to agencies to keep their doors open. I hope you’ll take a moment to consider the value to our community of legal advocacy to support a victim who needs an order of protection, children’s support groups for vulnerable family members, case support for a homeless person, and life and employability skills training to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. Your personal commitment to support these services in any amount makes all the difference.

If you or your organization’s members would like to learn more about supporting Dove’s mission, please reach out to our Volunteer & Community Relations Director, Barb Blakey.  Dove, Inc. is only as strong as its member organizations, volunteers and advocates.  It is my sincere hope that you will be a part of making our home a community free of human suffering in 2017.

Happy New Year!

Christine Gregory