Friday, April 27, 2012

Vision of MAX

Working in a world where you have no control of your income. What a foreign world this was for me as I began my married life. When a time came in my life calling for additional income I would set out to get yet another job. I try to live within my means but costs for everything continue to rise. Always my thought was Aneed more, work more.@
 =t mean we must discontinue the things we hold important to us. It just means we must find other ways to support what we value, much like getting that additional job. Over the years I have had to explain many times how you can achieve your goals while working in an environment where you have no control of your income. In the church we have goals, visions, or what we wish to accomplish for the year. We have to ask members, supporters, to pledge to that vision in order to reach it. We know that individual situations change throughout the year and our income toward that vision will also change. When we see ourselves falling behind we re-communicate the vision to remind of the value we placed upon it and ask for additional, sacrificial support. This is very different from most individual budgets. In most homes we do our best to live within our income, not often looking for ways to support the additional desires other than extended credit.
That was my life before working in the church and at Dove in the MAX program. I have learned many people are being asked to do more with less. Programs are funded by State or Federal funding which is being cut or even canceled while the need they are working with continues on. Now I know of the world where you have no control of your income! The reality is everyone is being asked to do more with less. Also with the fears the economy has dealt us, we as donors are holding back. Everything is costing more and the extra jobs we use to be able to find are just not there anymore.

Yes, things have changed in the way I currently think about controlling income. But that doesn
 =s not easy, finding financial help these days. It would be easier to get a second job, if you can find it, or have the skills for it.
Many of the clients we see at MAX have known this feeling of having no control of their income. Lost jobs, fixed incomes, or situations beyond their control have left them coming up short of supporting even the basic of visions. But what I see every day is people out working for the additional support they need. It
 =t the funds to help. Our vision at MAX is to be there for those who just can=t make it, those who are working hard just to stay in their homes, pay the bills, and keep food on the table. Your help with this vision is needed now more than ever before. Let=s keep the vision of MAX strong for our community.
In these past months we have experience a great increase in requests due to the lack of government funding to our community. Many are being turned away just because we haven
Thank you
Rev. Dr. Stacey Brohard
MAX Coordinator

Friday, April 20, 2012

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. - Aesop

Who does not remember Aesop's story about the mouse and the lion?  The lion caught the mouse and was going to eat him.  The mouse begged for his life and told the lion that he might someday need his help.  The lion just laughed.  How was that little bitty mouse going to help him?  He got his answer sooner than he expected.  Caught in a hunter's net, his courage, sharp teeth and claws could not save him.  Along came the little bitty mouse.  He gnawed through the net and set the lion free.  Moral - no matter who you are, you can make a difference.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked one time, "What is the first sign you look for, to tell you of an ancient civilization?"  Thinking it would be pottery, tools or an article of clothing, Margaret said a healed femur bone. The femur is the large bone in the leg.  She went on to explain that when someone breaks their leg, they are completely helpless.  They must rely on others for food, shelter and safety.  A healed femur shows that a person was taken care of instead of being abandoned.  A difference made in the life of another.

The mouse volunteered to help the lion, the people involved in the ancient civilization volunteered to help an injured person.  Small task or large volunteers make a difference. 

Volunteering is a part of the fabric of the United States.  Our parents and theirs and theirs before all raised families, earned a living and made their community better by lending a hand.  They volunteered for altruistic reasons, for social interaction, to have personal needs met, for personal fulfillment, to share their talents and knowledge and because they were asked. 

April 15, 2012 through April 21, 2012 is National Volunteer Week.  A time to honor all volunteers.  Those who read to children, who deliver meals, who serve in their faith community, who build homes, who transport, who coach youth sports, who visit or call others, who entertain, who distribute food, who serve on boards and committees, who work hotlines, who clean up parks and so many more.  No one person can solve the our communities' problems, what we do as individual volunteers does make a difference.

Thank You to Volunteers - Author Unknown

Thanks to our volunteers
For advocates who care and speakers with a flair
Important calls and free for alls
We know that you are there
We thank you so much

Thanks to our Volunteers
You really saved the day and we are here to say
The jobs you did, we cannot kid are worth more than you are paid
We thank you so much

Many’s the time that we needed you and many’s the time that we’ll heed you
We took a poll and we agree you are just the best, above the rest,
So, thanks to our volunteers

We love you short and tall, we love you one and all
A finer bunch, we have a hunch you really could not call
Awfully glad we found you
We thank you so very much.

--Silvia Comfort is the RSVP Program Coordinator serving DeWitt County. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Joy of Art

It’s a three-letter word that can have more power and meaning behind it than many other three-lettered words in the English language. According to, art is defined as: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

What the definition doesn’t tell you is that, according to many research studies, art is also valuable in helping people overcome issues, troubling emotions, and expressing themselves in general. And making any kind of art work can be therapeutic.

Did you know that Dove’s domestic violence program has an art group that meets every Monday? This has been going off and on for a few years now. The groups are led by an art therapy intern from Millikin, and there’s always a staff member that sits in, as well. Usually I am that staff member. I always look forward to the group because art has this amazing way of bringing people to a new sense of awareness and helps them to get out of their own minds for awhile—and that’s something that everyone needs occasionally.

Here’s an example of one project we did a few weeks ago. The concept involves pouring some paint of various colors on half of a piece of thick paper, then folding the paper. It turns out looking something like your own “ink blot” test designs:

And then you try and see if you can see any particular images in the paint. It was a really fun exercise that went over very well with clients and staff (me!) alike.

If you’d like to know more about our art groups, please call 217-428-6616 and ask for Angie. Or if you have some art supplies that you aren’t using, such as unused painting canvases of any size, scrapbooking paper, or even a good set of markers that you no longer need, we’d be thrilled to have them! And if you’d like to talk about an idea for a project, I’d be thrilled to listen!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Child Abuse Awareness Month.

For those who don't know it, April is Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Prevention Month.

It would be remiss of us not to bring this up on our blog, as one of Dove's programs is the domestic violence program. Domestic violence and child abuse very often go hand-in-hand, as do domestic violence and sexual assault. They are issues that people tend not to talk about.

But if we don't talk about them, if we don't educate ourselves, if we don't look toward solutions, the issues will remain, and the victims will continue to be scarred by the forced silence.

In 2010, there were 26,442 victims of child abuse and neglect reported in the state of Illinois. 

As of February 29, 2012, for the year 2012, Dove Inc. has served 57 children who were either witnesses to, or victims of domestic violence. 

If you want to help, Dove has a domestic violence training scheduled to beginning  Monday, April 30th.  Participants must be registered by noon on April 24th. Please call and ask for Bart Blakey for more information, at 217-428-6616.

For more information on child abuse, please contact the Macon County Child Advocacy Center. For more information on sexual assault, please contact Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center.

The winds of change are upon us

  As the summer fades away, the winds of change are upon us.    The wildflowers are in bloom along the roadways, the crops in the fields are...