Friday, November 15, 2019

Countdown to Christmas!


I always get excited about working on the Christmas Baskets Program in late summer and early fall. There’s a lot to be excited about this year, including our new partnership with Toys For Tots. I’m also excited to be working with several new schools and agencies in Macon County, including Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center, Meridian Elementary School, Richland Community College, St. Patrick’s Catholic School and Warrensburg Elementary.


When you have a goal of serving up to 3000 children, you have to make some new connections and come up with new ways of doing things.


The other thing we’re doing this year that we haven’t before is having our Christmas Baskets Team take public applications. The way this works is that we set up in our conference room downstairs at Dove, Inc., and spend the day signing people up who walk in for an application.


On Thursday, November 14, from 8:30 – noon, and 1 – 5 pm and 6 – 8 pm anyone in Macon County who’s in need of a basket can come by, show proof of need (through the use of a medical card, WIC booklet, unemployment letter, etc.), proof of who’s living in the home (again, medical cards are great, but birth certificates, photo ID’s or pieces of mail addressed to each person individually are acceptable), and be signed up to receive a basket. We’re doing this again the following week, as well, on Tuesday, November 19, during all the same times. If you or someone you know are in need of a basket, please come by one of those two days so we can assist you! We’re happy to help.

We are still going to be cross-referencing with other agencies doing Christmas baskets so we can all serve the most people possible without over-serving any one family, so if you sign up with us, please don’t sign up somewhere else, too.


We’ve already begun receiving donations – including 700 or so more blankets from Project Linus, who were awesome enough to think of us again this year – and we’ve got quite a stash of toys building in our hallway. The only thing this year we’re asking not to receive are clothes.


We’re definitely still in need of the following:

  • Stockings (call for a pattern if you need one!)
  • Hats and gloves in all sizes
  • Wrapping paper (partial rolls are okay)
  • Tape

Volunteers – please call Angie, Basket Program Coordinator
 at 217.428.6616 
or email her at awilliams@doveinc.org to schedule a time! 


Friday, August 23, 2019

Journey to Justice




Registration Open Through Noon on August 28!


There is still time to register for this wonderful event!!!  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what these 2 dynamic speakers, Kit Gruelle and Mark Wynn, both nationally recognized advocates for victims of domestic violence, will be sharing with us in our Journey to Justice!!  Kit is a survivor of domestic violence and has worked in the field as an advocate for nearly 30 years, training scores of advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, health care providers, clergy and others on the effects domestic violence has on each and every one of us in our world today.  Mark is a retired Lt. of Nashville Metropolitan Police Department and travels the country on a mission to change society’s response to crimes against adult and child victims of domestic violence. He is a national expert on child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault and has received 121 commendations and 51 awards and certificates.  Mark relates exceptionally well with members of the criminal justice system – from law enforcement personnel to prosecutors and public defenders to judges and advocates. 


Be sure not to miss this opportunity and plan to attend this very worthwhile and much needed event in our community.  Sign up today – the event is free, but registration is required.   Help us fill the room to hear these extraordinary trainers as they share their stories and hope in our Journey to Justice!!!!


Teri Ducy, Director

Dove Domestic Violence Program

Friday, July 5, 2019

Children’s Rap Session


The Children’s Rap Session is a part of Dove, Inc.’s Homeward Bound program and provides homeless and formerly homeless youth (age seven and up) the chance to partake in a positive and structured learning environment—discussing topics such as safety, peer pressure, problem solving, goal setting, critical thinking, self-esteem, life skills, as well as an opportunity to express their feelings. With each session, the children watch a video, have a discussion, and/or complete an activity that addresses that session’s topic. Daciena Simmons is the Children’s Specialist for Homeward Bound and she not only leads these weekly sessions, but also provides one-on-one services to the children in the program, offering family counseling (intervention as needed) and is an advocate for Homeward Bound children within the school system, too. Currently, Daciena is in need of supplies to go along with her weekly lesson plans for the Rap Sessions. The following items needed are: Pencils, Paper, Paint, Paint Brushes, Colored Pencils, Glue Gun, Scissors, Clay, Planting Seeds, Small Flower Pots, and Yarn (various colors). Donations are greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at Homeward Bound.
Caitlin Cannon 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Giving to the Next Generation


Giving to the Next Generation
sharing from ACL.gov

 

From self-expression to self-direction, there are countless ways for older adults to stay engaged and give back to others at the same time. Some of the most rewarding ways to express yourself and contribute to your community involve passing on experiences, wisdom, and skills to the generations that follow.

 

Everyone has something to share, and these ideas can help get you started.

 

Mentor. Use professional or personal experiences to guide a child, young adult, or even a peer. Example: Visit Senior Corps at nationalservice.gov to learn about becoming a foster grandparent.

 

Volunteer. Put skills to use while giving back to your community.

Example: Sign up to collect food/clothing donations, serve meals at a local soup kitchen, or help older friends with daily tasks at home such as paying bills.

 

Teach. Impart expertise via formal or informal education and tutoring opportunities.

Example: Check with local schools that may need reading, math, or science tutors.

 

Speak. Sign up for speaking engagements, paid or unpaid, as well as storytelling events.

Example: Open-mic events, often at theaters and libraries, welcome speakers of all ages.

 

Engage. Visit a senior center or organize a gathering focused on connecting with others.

Example: Book clubs attract participants of all ages and encourage the exchange of ideas.

 

Write. Pen an article, op-ed, or even a book to communicate wisdom and lessons learned. Example: Start with something you know the most about, such as a career, hobby, or historical event, and submit a column to your local newspaper.

 

Create. Pick a medium and use art to express yourself and share your perspective.

Example: Paint, draw, sculpt, play music, dance, make crafts – whatever suits you.

 

 

Looking for more ideas? Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads Older Americans Month, a national observance focused on community engagement and other issues important to older adults. Visit https://oam.acl.gov/ any time for resources and inspiration.


Friday, April 5, 2019

Thanks Volunteers!

National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 7th through the 13th.  This is a great time to thank the volunteers you encounter in the community or the ones who work along side of you at your agency, church, or community event.  Please be sure to thank volunteers for  their service and dedication to our communities.


Dove has its roots in volunteering, beginning in 1970 as a place for members of congregations to put their faith into action and to make intentional friendships with others in their community.  Today, as then, programs thrive and services are extended by the care and talents shown of our volunteers.  Please check our website if you'd like to volunteer at Dove.


Most volunteers feel they get far more from their volunteer opportunity than they give.  Put your time and talent to good use and VOLUNTEER!

Friday, March 22, 2019

MAX eXpanded hours!



In April of 2018, it was very exciting to announce that the MAX program, Macon County Assistance eXchange would soon offering more program hours for those seeking emergency assistance. 

Now, a year later, it is good to announce that new sites have been in place for the year and there are more opportunities for people to get help.




Decatur First United Methodist Church is the cornerstone location for the program at 201 W. North St., Decatur.  Our sincere thanks to DFUMC for their faithfulness to this program.


MAX Sites - Spring Hours
Decatur First United Methodist Church, 201 W. North, Decatur / Monday - Thursday, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Dove Clinton Office, 803 W. Leander, / Tuesday Mornings, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. - Warm Neighbors Cool Friends
Homeward Bound Offices, 788 E. Clay / 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
The Good Samaritan Inn, 920 N. Union Street, Decatur / 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Prairie Avenue Christian Church, 2201 E. Prairie, Decatur / Wednesday Mornings, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.


Along with the MAX hours, this change means there will be more opportunity for seeking assistance with the Warm Neighbors/Cool Friends Program. Dove has been the Macon and DeWitt County service provider for this Ameren Illinois program for many years. 

A few facts - July 1 2018 to end of February:
MAX has assisted 770 families with $64,178.26WNCF assisted  164 families with $38,958.00
A Few of the types of assistance given:Birth Certificate Bus pass vouchersDental voucher Gas cards Prescription
Rent
Vision
Water bills




Friday, February 8, 2019

Bears Repeating


Dove, Inc. Domestic Violence Program was extremely blessed to get a donation of teddy bears from the Decatur Youth Hockey League and the Decatur Blaze.  This collection of toys is more than just some stuffed animals, but represent a piece of joy in the midst of heart ache, confusion, and unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar place for children coming from abusive households.  The fact that a group of young men would take the time to not only collect the items, using their podium in life to make a stand against domestic violence, but would also take the time to come out in their free time and hand deliver them says a lot about the hope that rests with our future.  That very night a young princess received a little princess bear whose shiny little dress practically matched the one she wore as she skipped around the shelter in excitement.  That very night a boy who was learning that it was now safe enough to finally talk about what life with his dad was really like received a strong teddy bear almost as big as he was, cool enough even for tough little survivors like him.  We at Dove are thankful for our local partners, including the ones who are strong enough to take a hit on the ice and stand up for survivors of violence at the same time. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Kudos to our Volunteers!

Dove is blessed to have many Volunteers join us in our programs and the work we do.  We would like to take a moment to highlight a few of our amazing volunteers within the Domestic Violence Program, and some of the milestones that were reached in November, 2018.
 

Lesley Dowell (R) is a dedicated volunteer who is always around when we need her. She has recently dedicated herself to assisting with the legal advocates, be it helping with Orders of Protection or attending court hearings with our survivors to help support and advocate for them. Lesley also is a volunteer who doesn’t hesitate to help cover the shelter when needed. It is my pleasure to share that Lesley has reached her second milestone and surpassed 100 hours of volunteer service within our program. Thanks Lesley for all you do!




Janet Broderick, (L), is one of our hardest working volunteers as well. Janet has filled a number of amazing roles, using her extensive backgrounds and trainings to make an impact in our program. She has helped with creating better tools to assist during crisis intervention with survivors who disclose suicidal or self-harm struggles. She has helped with shelter coverage and children’s services on numerous occasions. Janet focuses her talents heavily on assisting with legal advocacy, as well as using her specialized training and licensing to offer volunteer therapy sessions to victims of domestic violence. Needless to say, there are some services that literally wouldn’t happen if not for Janet’s volunteering. It is my pleasure to share that Janet has reached her first milestone and surpassed 50 hours of volunteer service within our program. Thanks Janet for all you do!


Jared Bohland, Client Services Coordinator



Janet and Leslie from the 2017 Candlelighting Ceremony where they were recognized for the contributions to the Domestic Violence Program

Friday, January 18, 2019

Next Goal - 3 Million!


Military Coupons for Overseas Military Families

Since 2012 Dove’s RSVP has been encouraging volunteers and community members to collect manufactured coupons and send them to military families serving overseas. Families overseas do not have access to manufactured coupons, but if someone sends coupons to them, they can use them up to six months past their expiration date.


Since becoming the RSVP Director in 2013, we have continued this program and expanded it to what we see today. When I look at how beneficial this program is to military families, I wanted to be sure it could continue. The RSVP Advisory Council were on board to do whatever it would take to maintain including reaching into their own pockets to ensure shipping costs were covered for each box.  I am happy to announce that due to volunteers, churches, and community members in December 2018 we reached our 2 MILLION coupon goal. That’s right with your help, and the generosity of financial donors paying the shipping costs for 114 boxes the RSVP of Macon and DeWitt County has shipped 2,026,017 coupons to military bases around the World.


Here is how you can help, keep collecting those manufactured coupons and sending them into our office. Remember no store specific or restaurant coupons are allowed. We ask that your coupons not be expired for more than one month. Volunteer to sort and clip coupons, or should you feel inclined to donate shipping costs each box is about $17per box. One box can contain more than 20,000 coupons, and that equals a whole lot of savings for our military families living on tight budgets.


Thank you again for helping to reach our coupon goal. Here is to the next goal post on to 3 MILLION we go!


Charlie Gillaspie
RSVP Program Director  

Friday, January 11, 2019

19 Ways to Join With Dove in 2019



Financial support is always needed to keep the doors open, keep services offered and to keep our strong outreach to the community. Below are 19 other ideas join with Dove in 2019!

  1. Items drives for the clients of the Domestic Violence Program and Homeward Bound Program - check out current lists in the DoveTales Newsletter and on the website
  2. Food drive for the pantry in Clinton
  3. Check the projects page on the website to tackle a hands-on need at one of Dove’s facilities
  4. Become a RSVP Volunteer to put your time and talents of a lifetime to good use in one of more than 80 social service agencies, must be 55+ years of age - enrollment form on the website
  5. Collect manufacturer’s coupons to ship overseas for our military families
  6. Watch for fundraisers and attend when you can and encourage other to participate
  7. Encourage clothing donations to the Children’s Clothing Room, inside of Prairie Avenue Christian Church and share that resource to families in need
  8. Encourage financial donations for use in the MAX, Macon County Assistance eXchange and DAX, DeWitt County Assistance eXchange
  9. Volunteer! Take the needed training - Domestic Violence Education and Volunteer Training, 40-hour training, certified by ICADV, which allows individuals to volunteer in the Domestic Violence Program and/or BABES Volunteer Training for the upcoming semesters
  10. Attend Macon County Continuum of Care, Homeless Advisory Council, 2nd Thursdays of January, March, May, July, September, & November, 1:30 p.m., 788 E. Clay, Decatur
  11. Help with RSVP Days of Service - in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. in January and Veterans’s Day in November
  12. Share information on special awareness months - February on healthy dating relationships for teens, May is Older American’s Month, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, October is Red Ribbon Week
  13. Macon County Continuum of Care Community Breakfast, March, where the Point-In-Time numbers are released and plans for getting involved in reducing homelessness in our area is outlined
  14. Do a back-to-school drive for the children in the program
  15. Join your neighborhood group, organize your neighborhood, join in the city-wide National Night Out - 1st Tuesday evening in August
  16. Attend one or all of the Candlelighting Ceremonies in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October - Decatur, Clinton, Sullivan, Monticello and Shelbyville
  17. Encourage participation in the Annual Coats for Kids Drive, mid-October through November 30
  18. Gather toys and/or food for the Dove and Northeast Community Fund Basket Drive, serving more than400 families each year
  19. 19 Participate in events of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the week before Thanksgiving - Box City, overnight awareness for area students, concerts, abd films

Please use this as a guide - check the DoveTales newsletter, the news feed on the website - www.doveinc.org - the Facebook page and twitter for the most up to date news on the activities and needs at Dove



Anniversary Reflection

I started my adventure with Dove in the Homeward Bound Program as the Employment and Life Skills Specialist. After my first year, I had th...