Thursday, August 30, 2012

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-bər\
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 of a better description for “LABOR” than the definition stated above…human activity that provides goods or services…without the awesome humans at Dove imagine the void that would be left in our community!  As the staff and volunteers of Dove (and all of YOU out there reading this) celebrate the unofficial last weekend of summer with our friends and family, let us relax and enjoy our day off work for it is well-deserved. 

Hold that thought.  We can’t forget that some services here at Dove run 24/7/365 and there will be awesome humans here providing those services on Monday…LABORing…regardless of the holiday- I think another mental round of applause is in order.

Helping others is the most rewarding type of LABOR there is.

Enjoy your LABOR DAY WEEKEND everyone!

Friday, August 24, 2012


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 kindness!

Friday, August 17, 2012

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 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. The Clothing Room also welcomes volunteers who are under 55 to help sort donations, hang clothing, and assist the shoppers.

The Clothing Room relies on help from the community and always welcomes donations of gently used items, including clothes for infants, school aged children, and teenagers, as well as shoes, and baby items. We are always in need of new socks and underwear and will gladly accept monetary donations to purchase these items. RSVP Volunteers will do the shopping for you with any money donated for socks and underwear. There is a locked, blue drop box in the church parking lot where donations can be deposited. Donations can also be left at the RSVP office located at 302 S. Union St. near downtown Decatur.

The Clothing Room is currently very busy helping Decatur families prepare for the new school year. We have school appropriate clothing as well as hot weather clothes. We participate in Dove’s Coats for Kids Program and will have clean, gently used coats available for the whole family including adults. Later in the fall we will be accepting donations of gently used winter coats which will be cleaned and distributed at the Clothing Room and other sites in Decatur.

It is operated by volunteers -- the heart of all of Dove's programs.

Susan Sistler
RSVP Program

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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 the abuser or they could not make it for various other reasons. In fact, the insults keep repeating like a record. If the survivor does escape the toxic relationship, they still will keep repeating the record in their own mind never feeling like they are normal or good enough. It often takes years of counseling to retrain their thinking to be able to see themselves as the strong survivors they are. 

If you find yourself or someone you care about suffering from low self esteem from emotional abuse there are several steps you can take to regaining your positive self image. 

Start by Positive affirmations. “I like myself”, “I am a positive person and I create a positive life”, “I am a confident person” “ I feel good about myself “ “I am a wonderful person of immense value and deserve to be loved.”   Believe these thoughts - after all - who appointed the abuser to be the expert on what a smart, beautiful or a good person looks like?   J  

Make a list of your positive qualities. When this is done, go back at least 3 times a week and add to it. The more you get to know about yourself the more you will grow to LOVE yourself.   Celebrate every achievement you make even if it’s not a huge step . Eventually the little steps add up to great distances. Don’t forget to tell yourself that you have left the abuser;   you are a survivor. Be aware of your thoughts. When you start to think negative thoughts, stop yourself and replace it with a positive thought. You are a good person, you are smart and most importantly you are good enough and you deserve to be treated with respect! Do not mentally beat yourself up for a relationship gone badly. Remember that you are the strong one and you were brave enough to allow yourself to open up and trust someone.

Support groups are another wonderful resource in the community. There you will get support from people who have suffered from emotional abuse just as you have. They know what you are going through and along with your loved ones they can be your biggest supporters and fans.  Surround yourself with only positive people who you know have your best interest at heart. Change your think patterns. When you start the negative recordings, stop yourself and look at the situation in a positive mindset.  Accept compliments AND believe them. It is awkward at first but you’ll soon learn to appreciate that others see you in a positive light.

Take ownership of your life. You are responsible for your life so work hard and push forward and most importantly DO NOT compare yourself to others. Do not beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time. It’s all a matter of perspective.  Remember --
  Thomas Edison's teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive." As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall."
~ Confucius

Jennifer Tolladay
DeWitt County Coordinator
Domestic Violence Program

Friday, August 3, 2012

August 7 National Night Out

Have you ever wondered what makes you have pride in your community, a sense of belonging, a moment when you think this is my community, and I am proud of this community?  One of my ah ha moments and favorite events of the year happens the first Tuesday in August each year, National Night Out.  On that night, as we pull up to each of the neighborhoods on the caravan, and meet the individuals that live and support that community, my goose bumps form, and I see the pride that each of these individuals have for their neighborhood.  You see the pride that they have for their neighborhoods on their faces and in their actions, and you see them passing the importance of giving back to their community to the youth.  It is so much fun to see young and old, greet and meet the caravan, and show the pride that they have for their neighborhood with all of us.  You find that food, fun, and games, break down the barriers, and allow everyone to co-exist for the greater good of the event, helping promote neighborhood spirit and grow police and community partnerships in a fight for safer communities and a safer Decatur.  Without money, of course, we know that this event would not be successful, so we are so lucky to have Target be the National Sponsor of the event, embracing the community in which they are a part of.  Although they are the National Sponsor, countless others commit, time, money, resources, and talents, to make this event successful, and we are so lucky to have them on board.  The greatest gift that you can give anyone is giving back to your community, and what a way to showcase the best we have in each of our neighborhoods.  Kudos to them!  And oh, by the way, would you like to support this great event, but you can’t make it?  Why not show your support by “keeping your porch light on” and creating a safer community.  What a simple and visible way to show your support!

Mindy Peterson-Lindsey, U of I Ex. CED Program Coordinator
 and National Night Out Committee Member

Thanks to our guest blogger, Mindy and active volunteer with the Community Services / Decatur Area Project Program.

Tuesday, August 7
If you would like to join in the festivities that evening and be at a site when the Caravan arrives, here is the schedule:
5:00 to 5:15 p.m. Press Conference at the Civic Center, the Caravan will form from there
5:30 to 5:45 p.m. Nelson Park Parking Lot below the large pavilion
6:00 to 6:15 p.m. Galloway Park, East Wood Street
6:30 to 6:45 p.m. Park City Neighborhood, Community Building, 32oo Delta Ave. 
7:00 to 7:15 p.m. GM Square Neighborhood in Monroe Park, Harrison and Monroe
7:30 to 7:45 p.m. Old Kings Orchard Community Center, 815 N. Church St.
8:00 to 8:15 p.m. Neighborhood United Neighborhood, parking lot of Durfee School on Garfield street

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...