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Showing posts from 2012

Merry Christmas!

I have to admit, this blog is going to be short and sweet because we are so busy with the Christmas Basket Drive!  We partner with Northeast Community Fund each year to provide food, toys, hats and gloves to families in need.  This year, we are preparing over 350 baskets!!!  This morning agencies picked up baskets for their clients and today we are filling the rest of the baskets in preparation for deliveries tomorrow.  It has been a busy and crazy week, but so worth it.  From all of us at Dove, Merry Christmas!!!  I'm headed back to "grand central station" to work on the baskets some more! 

Looking Forward

If asked, my co-workers would undoubtedly tell you that my favorite holiday is Christmas, and has been as long as they've known me. I do love Christmas. I start counting down around the beginning of July and it drives everyone around me just a little bit nuts. I do my Christmas shopping throughout the year most years, so I don't have a huge list of things to buy all at once. I decorate around Thanksgiving time. I try to get all of the big stuff done and out of the way long before the actual day, so that I can sit back and enjoy it. But I have to admit that the last few years, I've been looking more forward to New Year's than to Christmas. It's not because I'm a big partier. To be honest with you, I've never been to an actual New Year's Eve party. The most I've engaged in on New Year's is playing a few rounds of UNO with my family. So why has this become my favorite holiday? As I've gotten older, I've begun to look forward

A note of gratitude

In the next DoveTales Newsletter, many of the staff share by reflecting back on 2012.  If you'd like to recieve the newsletter, please email us at "When I think of all the blessings I have received throughout the year I am filled with joy. My family has expanded (three more grandchildren this year) and my work family has also expanded (three new staff this year).  However, a most special joy for me has been the growth of my Faith by witnessing the everyday miracles that occur not only within the perimeters of the program but more often occurring far beyond. Witnessing those who seek services move beyond their crises, their fears, their doubts and reach heights that they never anticipated. Witnessing those who have the opportunity to give; GIVE willingly, has given me great joy this year. Witnessing the community coming together to address issues, develop strategies and implement viable solutions has given me great joy. Despite the cutbacks and pitfalls and o

A Squirrel on the Windowsill is Worth Two in the Tree?

Sammy, Dove Inc.'s unofficial official mascot. One of the best things for me about moving into the Anna B. Millikin home in 2007, was that my office window looks out into the garden area. Over the past few years I've grown fonder of watching the birds flit around--something my mother has done for years. One day in the summer of 2009, I was sitting at my desk working on data entry when I heard a tiny thud. I looked over to see that a squirrel had landed on my windowsill and was peeking in at me. He walked all along the sill, and then moved back to where he'd started, and peered in again. This is probably where I should stop and tell you that I have an affinity for rodents of all kinds. I've had guinea pigs since 2004, and at one point, fostered a hamster for a client who was in shelter. I love them. They're fuzzy and cute and squirrels are no exception. That day I went to Wal-Mart and bought a bag of mixed bird seed. The day after, I sprinkled the seed

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have noticed a trend on Facebook.   Many people are posting what they are thankful for each day in November.   I have greatly enjoyed reading friends’ “thankful” posts.   The lighthearted ones make me laugh and the serious ones make me reflect on what I’m thankful for in my own life.   Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to shout how blessed we are from the rooftops! Here at Dove, we do our best to say “thank you” all year long, but it never seems like enough.   Our volunteers, staff, donors, religious organizations, and all of our supporters give so much of themselves all year long.   We are thankful for each and every person who is involved with Dove.   We are thankful for the agencies we collaborate with, the opportunity to serve the community, and those who give us the means to do so. As you sit down with your families, friends, and neighbors this Thanksgiving you might be thinking of what you are thankful for.   We’d like you to remember that Dove is thankful for YOU

Domestic Violence -- It's Everyone's Business!

You’ve probably heard the saying that domestic violence is everyone’s business . It is our business, and our responsibility to get involved when someone we know is being abused or terrorized in their home, or anywhere else. It is our business because domestic violence affects us all in some way, shape or form. Often times, however, people don’t have a clear understanding of what domestic violence looks like. So if you’re interested in reading some personal accounts of domestic violence to see how people are affected, I’ve gathered some links for suggested reading, and will add to this post when I find more, so keep checking back! I am not a victim, I am a survivor Actor Speaks Against Domestic Violence at Fundraiser Candice's Story

What, When and Where of NHHAW

Next week, November 11 th – 17 th is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and the Continuum of Care will be participating in several events throughout the week to bring awareness to these two vital issues in our community. Two of the largest events will take place on the same day, Friday November 16 th , Box City and the Community Service Day and Veteran’s Stand Down. The Coalition for Veterans Concerns and Dove, Inc. are co-sponsoring the Community Service Day and Veteran’s Stand Down. This event will include providers from social services, healthcare, employment, housing and other fields coming together in one place to provide those in need with the services they are seeking. The event will take place at Old King’s Orchard, 815 N. Church here in Decatur from 12 noon – 4:00 p.m. Anyone needing further information should contact Joan Meeder at Dove, Inc. 217-428-6616 or Lucy Brownlee, 217-875-1006. The second event that will take place on Friday, November 16 th w

Where's the purple?

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everywhere you look people are draped in Pink to show their support of this worthy cause. ISU and Illini volleyball teams are going to “paint the gym pink”.   Virtually every player on my beloved Chicago Bears is wearing pink shoes, sweat bands, mouthpieces or towels. An animal shelter in Decatur is wearing pink t-shirts all month long. A percentage of my purchase of yogurt, bottled water, and bread is going toward breast cancer research. And don’t even get me started about the pink flamingos. I LOVE PINK FLAMINGOS! The staff at Dove 100% supports the efforts to raise awareness and money toward finding a cure for Breast Cancer. There is another very important awareness campaign in October – National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Our color is purple. The color purple represents the bruises left on the skin of adult and child victims of domestic violence. We don’t have electronic billboards or a “Real Men” wear purple advertise

You've been BOO-ed!

Today I’d like to share a fun way to get involved with your neighbors and community this Halloween.   The Community Services Program here at Dove encourages getting out in your neighborhoods and improving the communities in which we live.   You’ve been BOO-ed gives is something that gives you the opportunity to get out in your neighborhood AND have fun at the same time! Here’s the gist of it and what the poster says: The phantom ghost has come to town To leave some goodies…I see you’ve found. If you wish to make this a happier fall… Continue this greeting, this phantom call. First, post this Phantom where it can be seen, And leave it there until Halloween. This will scare other Phantoms who may visit. Be sure to participate, you don’t want to miss it! Second, make two treats and two copies from Deliver them to two neighbors, try to stay calm. Don’t let them see you, be sneaky, no doubt… And make sure they put their Phantom Ghost ou

Coats for Kids!

The 21st Annual Coats for Kids! will begin next Wednesday the 17th and will run through November 30.  It's simple folks, donate a coat you don't want or need anymore.  The cleaners will make them clean.  Then we'll take them to a clothing room so someone who needs a nice, warm winter coat can take it home with them! When this drive started 21 years ago, one of the problems facing area clothing rooms was the lack of children's coats, never enough to cover the need.  Well, the coat drive has helped a great deal over the years.  But there are still cold kids who need a coat and so we keep hosting the program. WAND has been the cosponsor of the drive each and every year.  Each year, one of the meteorologist  lends their time and talent to the drive. RSVP Volunteers keep the coats moving.  RSVP volunteers are amazing and this is just one of many, many projects they make happen each year. 61,252 coats have been cleaned and distributed to clothing rooms through this p

Take a stand against domestic violence

How many times have you picked up our local newspaper, or turned on your TV to listen to the local news, only to read or hear about yet another domestic violence incident that has occurred in our community? What were your thoughts when you heard about the situation? Did you know either of the parties? Were there children involved? Did you perhaps witness the incident taking place? What was your response? All of these questions come into play more and more often in the community in which we live. Did you know that within our state’s attorney’s office, one third of all criminal cases are domestic violence related. Have you noticed the increase in the number of pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence? Pregnant women are 60 percent more likely to suffer from domestic violence than women who are not pregnant. Too often domestic violence is just ignored. Sadly, many people still believe it is a private matter and therefore they should not get involved. Domestic violence kno

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the finance department!

We’ve definitely been keeping extra busy here in the administrative office.   Dove is currently undergoing the annual Audit.   Dove’s fiscal year runs from July through June and so every year beginning in September we undergo an audit which takes several weeks to complete.   The auditing firm looks at everything (and I mean everything ) that Dove is doing.   From receipts for toilet paper to large grant income and expenses to payroll to client files.   They make sure we’re doing exactly what we should be with grants and generous community donations. Sometimes it’s easy to forget everything that must happen behind the scenes in order for Dove to provide services.   Our department and the staff members within the programs work all year long to assure everything runs smoothly come audit time.   To say going through the audit is fun and exciting would be stretching the truth.   That being said, when it’s all over we are all proud to have accomplished such a large task.   It helps remi

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

If you have ever wanted to know what service to our community looks like, you wouldn't  have had to look any further than yesterday's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Annual Recognition Banquet.  Congrats to the R.O.S.E. - Recognition of Service Excellence Awards Recipients. Their individual stories of volunteering and making a difference in our community was each amazing. As remarkable as their stories were, knowing many of the volunteers in the room, each could have shared about a lifetime of service and a lifetime of giving. Thanks to each member of the RSVP program! A few statistics: 2011-2012 RSVP of Macon & DeWitt Counties 621 RSVP Volunteers • 429 women & 192 men, average age • 75 Community Service Hours • 120,846 Community Agencies Served • 87  


Today as I write to you I am reflecting on a recent study I completed called A Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life @ created by Dr. Robert D. Lupton. This author has invested more than 34 years in inner-city Atlanta serving financially at risk families in their daily struggles. Dr. Lupton shares stories of how things worked well for him and when they went wrong. In the stories of what went wrong he speaks of the corrections which were necessary to bring health to those programs. I love it when someone will share what didn = t work and how they corrected their efforts. As I progressed through this study I began recognizing many methods we currently use in our own community towards helping our neighbors in need. I also began recognizing many bi-products our efforts are creating. Isn = t it remarkable how reading about these things as someone else discovers them is easier for us to understand than seeing it right under our own nose?   Let me share some quotes from this study

Love Is Respect…

As students head back to school, teens focus on academics, sports, extracurricular activities, and relationships.   Dating is an important rite of adolescence in which teens grow towards adult relationships.   Although dating should be a fun and exciting part of the teen years, statistics show that one in three teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship.   In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse. This abuse takes many forms – physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, jealousy and isolation, and stalking.   Dating violence crosses all racial, economic, and social lines. Although victims can be male or female, most are young women, who are also at greater risk for serious injury. Often, teen dating violence is hidden from adults and friends because teens are inexperienced with dating relationships, have romantic views of love, want independence from their parents, and are pressured by peers to act violently.  

Labor Day

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” - United States Department of Labor la·bor   noun \ lā-b ə r\ a : expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory b: (1) : human activity that provides the goods or services in an economy (2) : the services performed by workers for wages Today I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what this upcoming holiday weekend is all about:   LABOR.   Most of us will get the day off on Monday and are thankful for the break.   On any given day around here, you’ll see staff and volunteers laboring away for the greater good.   And our volunteers are providing FREE labor- let’s give them a mental round of applause, shall we? Here at Dove, I can’t think


Here at Dove, Inc., we get a lot of calls from people wanting to help: help the homeless or domestic violence clients, help with our children's clothing room, someone wanting to volunteer to help with Christmas baskets, or become an RSVP volunteer, or even by donating needed items or money. Help comes in so many forms it's truly impossible to list all of them.   Many people, however, have the mistaken belief that unless they are able to do something they consider huge, there's nothing they can do to help those who are hurting, or who need comfort. But that is so untrue! This quote sums it up beautifully:   Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia It's something we should all keep in mind because you never know how deeply you could change someone's life with the simplest act of k

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 1-4 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. 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. 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. It does not cost anything to be a member and there are several benefits such as mileage reimbursement, a supplemental insurance policy, and an annual Voluntee

Words of Wisdom from Mother Teresa

I'd like to share with you a short, simple yet powerful quote: At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by 'I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.' Hungry not only for bread -- but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing -- but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks -- but homeless because of rejection. ~Mother Teresa This quote is right in line with one of Dove’s Shared Values- that we care people, especially those who are powerless and hurt.   Even when suffering is so great that caring is all we can do, still we stand ready to share the burden and to suffer. We could all learn from these powerful words.  We hope you enjoy this upcoming weekend!

The hidden effects of emotional abuse

The effects of Physical abuse are often very noticeable. They are marked with bruises, broken bones, cuts and in very extreme cases, death. Emotional abuse is the silent abuse because the effects cannot be seen therefore no one can gage just how severe the abuse really is.  The victims often suffer severe emotional distress   because they themselves are not aware they are being abused verbally. They will try harder to make the abuser happy not realizing this is a form of brain washing.  Over a long period of time, the abuser chips away at the victims’ self esteem thus breaking them down as a person. After hearing the phrases “you’re stupid” or “you can’t do anything right” ,  “you’re fat or ugly”,  they not only begin to believe it but they further enforce this thought by telling themselves the same ugly words,   causing them to be prisoners to their own minds. By suffering this abuse it makes it very difficult to leave the abuser because they feel they cannot survive without th