Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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 remind us every year that we are doing a good job serving the largest amount of people in the right way with the funds we have available.

>Dove’s Finance Department

Friday, September 21, 2012

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


Friday, September 14, 2012


Today as I write to you I am reflecting on a recent study I completed called ACompassion, 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; ADoing for others what they can do for themselves is charity at its worst.@ AWe should not give irresponsibly.@ AThere is something in one-way giving that erodes human dignity.@ And AIt is only when one is ready to take responsibility for his own life and face the daily discipline of right decision making that support becomes beneficial.@

Once I finished Dr. Lupton=s study I began applying it to the MAX program by asking some tough questions. What are we doing to build human dignity? How are we helping our neighbors take responsibility and face the daily discipline of right decision making? Are we assisting them in a responsible way? Many of our answers to these tough questions have created new methods for MAX. Several of our areas of assistance have become match funding programs while other areas require additional documentation from the clients.

It=s not that we have cut back on assistance; rather we are asking the clients to take more responsibility in their situations. Already this year MAX has assisted more families than all of 2011. What we are doing is using our heads as well as our hearts to build value into people as they work through tough situations. Everyone we meet has a value they can offer toward the solutions they seek, MAX is striving to help them realize their value and use it. I believe that value will be realized when authentic exchange occurs, not a one-way transaction.

Thank you for your support of the Macon county Assistance eXchange program.

Rev. Dr. Stacey Brohard
MAX Coordinator

This is a preview about MAX from our October monthly newsletter, DoveTales.  If you would like to recieve a copy of the newsletter, please give us a call 217.428.6616 or email,  For additional information about MAX, please check our web site at

Friday, September 7, 2012

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. 

So, what is love?  How can a teen (or adult) know if his/her relationship is healthy?
·         Love is freedom – it’s not about possessing anyone or anything.
·         Love is accepting – it isn’t telling someone what to do, what to wear, or how to act.
·         Love is secure – it isn’t being jealous, suspicious, or paranoid.
·         Love is trusting – it isn’t keeping tabs with obsessive calls and texting.
·         Love is respect – it isn’t ignoring your personal boundaries or dismissing your feelings or opinions.
·         Love is safe – it should never involve fear of your partner.

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell when a relationship crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive.  Teens can use these warning signs of abuse to see if their relationships are going in the wrong direction:
·         Checking your cell phone or email without permission
·         Constantly putting you down
·         Extreme jealousy or insecurity
·         Explosive temper
·         Isolating you from family or friends
·         Making false accusations
·         Mood swings
·         Physically hurting you in any way
·         Possessiveness
·         Telling you what to do
             Parents can prepare their teens for healthy relationships by discussing respectful relationships, healthy boundaries, and safety with their sons and daughters before they begin dating.  However, parents understand that as their children strive for greater independence, they are often the last to know what is going on their teens’ lives.  Here are some warning signs that your teen might be in an abusive relationship:
§  Your teen’s partner is extremely jealous or possessive.
§  You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
§  Your teen’s partner emails or texts excessively.
§  You notice that your son or daughter is depressed or anxious.
§  Your son or daughter stops participating in extracurricular activities or other interests.
§  Your teen stops spending time with other friends and family.
§  Your teen’s partner abuses other people or animals.
§  Your teen begins to dress differently.
          For parents, knowing that your son or daughter is in an unhealthy relationship can be both frustrating and frightening.   Teens in abusive relationships are scared and confused.  As a parent, you are critical in helping your child develop healthy relationships and can provide life-saving support if he or she is in an abusive relationship.  Here are ways you can help your teen:
  • Tell your teen you’re concerned for his/her safety.  Point out that what's happening isn't "normal."  Everyone deserves a safe and healthy relationship.  Offer to connect your son or daughter with a domestic violence program or a counselor, who they can talk to confidentially.  If the abusive partner is using stalking behavior, an order of protection and safety plan with your teen’s school may be necessary.
  • Be supportive and understanding.  Stress that you’re on their side.  Provide information and non-judgmental support.  Let your son or daughter know that it’s not his or her fault and no one "deserves" to be abused. Make it clear that you don’t blame them and you respect their choices.
  • Believe them and take them seriously. Your child may be reluctant to share their experiences in fear of no one believing what they say. As you validate their feelings and show your support, they can become more comfortable and trust you with more information. Be careful not to minimize your child’s situation due to age, inexperience or the length of their relationship.
  • Help develop a safety plan. One of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship is when the victim decides to leave. Be especially supportive during this time and try to connect your child to support groups or professionals that can help keep them safe.
  • Remember that ultimately your child must be the one who decides to leave the relationship. There are many complex reasons why victims stay in unhealthy relationships.

Help is available!  Often, teen dating violence becomes a bigger problem than the teen or family can handle by themselves.  Dove provides teen dating violence prevention education to schools and youth-serving organizations, individual counseling and family support for victims of teen dating violence, assistance with orders of protection, and advocacy with schools, law enforcement, medical, and mental health providers on behalf of teen dating violence victims.  To schedule an appointment or arrange for a presentation, contact Dove at 217-428-6616 or the Dove Domestic Violence Hotline at 217-423-2238.

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...