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Showing posts from 2013

Let's stop a moment

The Holiday season is now upon us and everyone is scrambling around to finish their Christmas shopping. Everywhere you look there is advertising that is claiming they have the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We tend to get lost in our greed and the material goods of this season, but it is this time of year we need to stop and think about those who are not on someone’s gift list. Thousands of children will wake up on Christmas morning to find no presents under their tree. It is a sad statistic, but a true one. We need to stop for a moment, no matter hard that may be to do during this season, and remember the greatest gift we were all given; a baby named Jesus. He wouldn’t want any of His children to be forgotten during this special time of year. So please volunteer your time or donate a gift to the Dove’s Annual Christmas Baskets. These gifts mean so much more than the material goods they receive. They send the message that someone cares. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to

do something

My husband threw a few logs on the fireplace the other night and standing there watching the dancing flames, I had a feeling of guilt overtake me. I thought, “I am really blessed in the grand scheme of things! I have a roof over my head and a kindling fireplace to enjoy the warmth with my family. Yes, I am blessed; however, too many families aren’t so fortunate.”   As the cold air whirled outside my cozy home I knew there is someone; some family; some small child who was not warming by a fireplace but who instead would be fighting off the frigid weather, without a home and some even without basic winter apparel. Far too many people will go through this Holiday season struggling to stay out of the harsh elements and we will sit around our fireplaces with our families enjoying life. Is that a bad thing, of course not? Nevertheless, it should be concerning to us that at last count; there were nearly 250 people in this community without a permanent residence.   Yes, 250 men
My post today was originally going to be about the Christmas Baskets program, but as I sat down to write, I found that my heart was heavy with another topic. It is heavy because it is the biggest holiday season of the year and a young girl was killed just over a week ago, allegedly shot by another young person. Let me begin by saying that I did not know the victim. I don't know her family, her friends. I don't live in her neighborhood. I've heard stories from many who did know her, who are devastated by her loss. All the sympathetic words and the vigils in her honor combined cannot piece the lives that were destroyed back together. Not even time can do that entirely. But I would be remiss in remaining silent despite not knowing her personally. She did not die a natural death. She did not pass away peacefully in her sleep, or even from a long drawn out terminal illness. She died at the hands of another child. When I was fifteen, it never even crossed my mind that I could

Coats for Kids

The 2013 Coats for Kids drive is in great shape now, but we still need your help to meet the need of families seeking coats.  When coats are donated, they are taken to a cleaner to make sure the coats are ready to wear when they are distributed by participating clothing rooms.  There are wonderful volunteers keeping the coats moving.  We don't store them for some big give away day, they are taken from the cleaners to the clothing rooms to be given out as soon as they can be. There are so many wonderful places that allow us to collect the coats.  It shouldn't be hard to find a place convenient for you: Classic Cleaners, 2474 N. Main, Decatur Corner Cleaning Connection, 1154 E. Prairie Ave., Decatur CVS, Monroe & Pershing, Eldorado and Fairview, 16th & Cantrell in Decatur Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin Street, Decatur Decatur Township, 1620 Taylorville Road GT Church Jane's Cleaners, 664 W. Eldorado Jerger Pediatric Dentistry, P.C., 2101


Lifestyle, by definition is the typical way of life for a person or a culture.   Lifestyle choices can encompass many things.   You may choose to be married, or single, or some variation in between.   You may choose to buy a home or rent or live with family.   You may choose a “green” lifestyle with the ideal of leaving a better world for future generations.   You may choose many things to fill your leisure time, many things to be interested in, many things to teach your children…….which you may or may not choose to have.    Location, finances, education, family or work responsibilities….all of these things and others can have an impact on the lifestyle choices you make. But domestic violence is one thing that is not a lifestyle choice.   For far too long society assumed that a victim of domestic violence…………….and victims come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all genders, all education and all economic levels………….chooses to live this way.   Victims are assumed to be weak…….to

Training Available to Volunteer in the Domestic Violence Program

Have you always wanted to know more about domestic violence? Would you be interested in working with domestic violence victims and their children? Our program is always in need of volunteers - to assist in answering our hotline, covering the shelter, clerical tasks, assisting with orders of protection, co-facilitating support groups, etc. Our next Domestic Violence Education & Training will begin on October 15th. Sessions will be every Tuesday and Thursday night through November 21st. Cost is $150, however there is a waiver process that may be considered. - Teri Ducy, Domestic Violence Program Director Dates and Times: October 15, 27, 22, 24, 29, 31 November 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Registration information: If interested, please contact Barb Blakey, Director of Volunteers and Community Relations at 428 6616. Complete a phone interview by noon, Tuesday, October 8 Attend one of the registration meetings to complete the process, Thursday, Oct

Hello - meet Daniel

Hello - meet Daniel.   He is 8 years old and lives with his Mom and Dad in a nice 3 bedroom home in a quiet neighborhood.   Daniel is always well kept and taken care of; however, he is often sad and withdrawn.   He has a hard time staying focused at school and has recently started getting in fights. What others don = t know is there is a secret of what has been happening at home.   Daniel loves his Mommy and Daddy so much but sadly, to him, it seems like they don = t love each other.   They fight constantly; his dad screams at his mom, curses her and says very hurtful things to her.   Recently, Daniel has seen his dad punch his mom really hard, pulled her by her hair and also break things in the house and punch holes in the walls. Sometimes Daniel runs and hides but he = s a big boy and he wants to protect his mom.   At times he has gotten in between his parents, screaming at his dad to stop.   One time, he saw his dad pull out a knife and threatened his mom with it and Dani

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Each October, the Domestic Violence Program hosts ceremonies in recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  These events are called a "Candlelighting Ceremony."  Each county where we offer services,  hosts an event and each one is different -  but each have a time to light candles in memory of those who have suffered the effects of Domestic Violence.  Each event also recognizes those who have survived and those working to end the abuse. Please mark your calendars now to attend one of these meaningful events.  Show your support to the survivors, to the families of those who suffered and died and to those volunteers and staff members, working each day to make a difference.   Shelby County - Thursday, October 3, 7:00 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 205 West Main, Shelbyville. Come join with us for a short service to recognize those who suffer and have suffered from family abuse. Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony. Mac

Domestic Violence Counts

Every year, the National Network to End Domestic Violence requests that domestic violence shelters and programs across the country participate in a 24-hour survey to count how many DV survivors are served during that period. That date is quickly approaching once more. This year the survey is being done from Sept. 17-Sept. 18, beginning and ending at 7 AM. Last year, the survey returned results of 64,324 survivors recieved services across the country ranging from shelter to legal advocacy to support groups. 20,821 domestic violence crisis calls were answered, and 25,183 people were educated in how to help prevent domestic violence. Unfortunately, in that same time frame 10,471 requests for services were unable to be met due to lack of funding and lack of housing/shelter bedspace, and lack of staff to serve those who needed services. Here's hoping that this year, the statistics will be better. If you'd like to learn more about the census and how it works, go to http://www.n

For Every Girl...

For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable. For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence. For every girl who is tired of being called over-sensitive, there is a boy who fears to be gentle, to weep. For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity, there is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes. For every girl who throws out her e-z-bake oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one. For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires, there is a girl facing the ad industry’s attacks on her self-esteem. For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier. WWW.CRIMETHINC.COM Shared by Mary Hughes Moultrie County Domestic Violence Program Coordinator

Where has the summer gone?

Where has the summer gone?   Suddenly, it’s the end of August, students are headed back to school, and so am I.   My life is about to get very busy, because I spend much of the school year in high school and junior high classrooms, sharing information about relationships, Dove, and its services.   It’s my favorite time of year!   As Dove’s Youth Services Specialist, I work in the agency’s Domestic Violence Program, providing crisis and supportive services and advocacy for adult and child clients.   Each domestic violence staff member has an area of specialty and mine is providing teen dating abuse prevention education, advocacy, and support for teens and their families.   Research indicates that for 1 in 5 teen girls, the most memorable event of her high school years will be abuse by a dating partner.   Although boys suffer less physical abuse, both teen boys and girls endure emotional and psychological abuse from dating partners. There are a number of factors that put teens a

There is still a place for you in our village.

I grew up in the “Baby Boomer” generation.   In those days it was usually common practice for Grandma or Aunt Betty to live right down the street, or just across town, very close by.   If Mom and Dad were both away from home, which did not happen often,   one of the nearby relatives stepped in to fill their roles.   As society evolved, and more families were either single-parent or dual-worker households, or perhaps had just not lived up to their responsibilities, things began to change.   Perhaps your family had moved many miles away, or Grandma and Aunt Betty had jobs of their own outside of the house.   It became apparent that society had to change to fit the changed environment and provide for the latch-key kids, as they began to be called.   Schools began to offer programs before and after school;. Daycare facilities came on the scene….the popular mantra of the day was that “It takes a village to raise a child” and new and different components of that village came into existen

Back to School with the BABES Puppets

It is back to school time and the Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies (BABES) Program is getting ready for another busy school year.   So what is the BABES Program?   The BABES Program is a program which combines puppets, stories and discussions designed to help school children develop positive living skills.   For the Kindergarten thru 2 nd grade the lessons include feelings and self-image, decision making and peer pressure, coping skills, alcohol and drug prevention, asking for help, and when you don’t know what to do.   For the 3 rd grade lessons are expanded upon what they learned in a K-2 nd grade program.   These lessons include, decision making and peer pressure about smoking, coping with divorce, dealing with feelings, bullying, and what to do when… Dedicated BABES Volunteers bring the six week prevention program to K-3 rd grade students in area schools.   Several of the BABES current volunteers have been facilitating in the classrooms for over 10 years

Volunteering with RSVP

One of our many dear RSVP Volunteers shared below a little bit about volunteering with the program.  RSVP Volunteers go out into the community, sharing their time and talents.  If you are 55 plus and are looking for quality ways to spend your volunteer time, please send us an email dove@doveinc.or or check our our web site to find out more. RSVP members in Macon and DeWitt County volunteered 120,953 hours in our 12/13 FY       "I started volunteering when I retired in 1988 from Federal Kemper Insurance Company. I have been at many different sights done all kinds of things and picking the hours that I could help.   I started at the Office of Aging at the Civic Center filling out various forms and doing any other office duties that needed to be done. I have been at the Girl  Scout Office, Gift Shop at Nursing  Home, visiting shut ins, cutting out coupons, and at many other places that needed a volunteer. Just doing  what needed to be done. I a

News from the Neighborhoods

How many remember the days of not having to lock your car doors, or your house doors for fear of strangers walking in, let alone a burglar? How many remember that a new face in your neighborhood just meant there was a new neighbor or someone had lost their way looking for an address, not someone casing the neighborhood looking for a house where the family is not home or who has alarms and who does not? Or how many of you could sit on your front porch and enjoy the evening listening to the quiet of the neighborhood, instead have to listen to   the constant booming of a stereo and watching ‘supposedly’ covert drug deals? Most of these things are pretty much a reality now, and they can happen in the most upscale neighborhoods.    The months of July and August are vacation times and there are increased home invasion instances reported during these months.   There is an Annual crime prevention awareness program called National Night Out [NNO] and it is just that - a National Aware

Bob Evans Fundraiser

If you're interested in supporting Dove's domestic violence program while eating amazing food, look no further. From August 1 to August 30, 6 AM - 9 PM, Bob Evans is hosting a fundraiser! If you come by Dove, you can pick up a flyer that you can present at the time you're ready to pay for your meal, and Bob Evans will donate 15% of your bill to Dove. Thank you to Bob Evans managment and staff for helping support the fight against domestic violence!

Sharing a comment...

Each summer, we make an effort to get comments from those volunteering, participating and clients of the many programs at Dove.  The questions asked vary from program to program, but below is one comment from the question asked "what has this help meant to you and your family?" "Dove has provided me with a safe and supportive place to stay during one of the most difficult transitions of my life. In my relationship, I continually denied the abuse I was suffering, but the staff at Dove has help me to recognize and accept it for what it was. Just being able to say, "I was being abused," has been a big step for me. The Domestic Violence Program, here at Dove, has also provided me with information to help keep me safe in the future. It has included signs of an abuser to watch out for, as well as, how to get away from an abuser safely, should I ever find myself in a similar situation. This information has been invaluable in the confidence it has given me. Do

Keep Your Cool This Summer!

RSVP Volunteer Opportunities:   KEEP YOUR COOL THIS SUMMER !    Volunteer at these COOL in-door locations! Decatur Public Library : Volunteer opportunities are always available in the local history room at the library.  Greet patrons, search files for information, do data entry, scan pictures.  Use your computer skills, help others and keep your cool all at the same time.  Call us at the RSVP Office for contact information at the library. Decatur Macon County Senior Center : Volunteers are welcome to help out with the many ongoing events at the Center or with the Thrift Shop.  Call Leslie at 429.1239 if you are interested in spending some of your time there. Girl Scouts of America : Call Jody at the Girl Scout Office at 234.0475.  Help her at the office preparing for events and activities for the Girl Scouts.   If you are not an enrolled member of RSVP of Macon and DeWitt Counties we invite you to join us.  Already volunteering in the community?  Why not l

Happy Anniversary Dove!

Last week I arrived for a meeting at our Clay Street location twenty minutes early. I wandered into an old storage room and found scrapbooks containing pictures, newspaper articles, and copies of Dove Tales from the past. It was startling to see how many people from the past continue to support us today. You were all a little thinner and a lot less gray but the energy and commitment jump off the pages. This organization is rich in history. And as we approach our anniversary it is the perfect time to look back. Dove has thrived for more than four decades because of a commitment to mission. A simple concept - from our founding churches; to meet the unmet needs of the community . We have seen programs come and go. We look different today than we did five years ago; and I suspect we will look different in five years than we do today. But we recognize that the needs of the community constantly change. As an organization, we are aware and flexible enough to adapt to these changes. We
I have been a contributor to the Dove blog since it began.  As a make my last blog post as a Dove staff member, I am filled with bittersweetness.  I have been at Dove for almost 10 years and I feel like I grew up here since I started when I was 18 years old.  I can't explain how amazing of an organization Dove is and I am so sad to be leaving, but excited too for what the future holds.  I have worked with so many wonderful people here who will all leave footprints on my heart.  We usually don't make the blog posts personal, but I felt like I should write what's on my mind as my last post.   Thank you to all of you who read the blog on a regular basis.  Please share it with your friends and family.  If there is anything specific you'd like to see on the blog in the future, please send feedback and ideas to   As always, thank you for supporting a great organization like Dove, Inc!   Sincerely, Brandy Finance Specialist   

The Summer "Bucket List"

Today marks the first official day of summer, and mother nature agrees!  What are your plans this summer?  A friend of mine recently told me that her family is creating a summer "bucket list", a list of all the things they want to accomplish before school is back in session and cool fall weather arrives. Her family has things on their list such as "go to the beach", "make smores", "catch lightning bugs" and "go fishing".  I thought this was a great idea since summer seems to fly by quicker each year. But why not take it one step further?  How can we use the "bucket list" to give back?  I challenge you to make a summer bucket list and include at least 5 ideas for giving back on your list.  Here are some examples: Help your neighbor mow on a hot day Pull weeds at a local shelter (hey- I know someone that needs that done *wink*wink*!) Clean out your kid's closet and donate some of their toys Buy an extra box fan

Happy Father's Day!

Last night (June 13 th ), Dove participated in an event celebrating Father’s Day with local families. The celebration was held at Garfield Park from 4-7 PM. Many people came out to enjoy the evening with their families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. We had a booth of information on three of our agency’s programs: BABES, Homeward Bound and Domestic Violence. Several other local organizations participated, including the Decatur Police Department, Decatur Housing Authority, Pershing Early Learning, and others. It was the perfect evening for it; the weather was warm but not hot, and there was a nice breeze. Festivities included a bounce house for the kids, basketball (in which several police officers played with the children), a DJ and music, door prizes, and a demonstration from the K9 Unit. Everyone I saw seemed to be in good spirits and enjoyed their time at the event, myself included. To those who couldn't make it: we hope you have a great Father's Day weekend.

Summer in Decatur Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods are alive and well in Decatur. Summertime is the best time for neighborhoods and their activities because we are a network of being outside enjoying the summer sun in our parks! The winter weather keeps us inside way too long. Who wants to picnic in the snow? The neighborhoods schedule, clean ups to make their area look good, they have pot luck picnics and regular picnics at a drop of a hat. Some of them have recruitment celebrations to bring in new members, summer gardens to share with their small community, and there are even neighborhoods that work with the Park District and their Free Lunch Program in the parks. If you notice most of these activities involve food. What better way to get to know your neighbors than a picnic or a dinner. Down through the years people have been doing things like this over food. Then to wrap everything up is the large celebration of National Night Out and give a going away party for crime. Soon after then it will be time to return to sc

Change is in the Air

As we reported on the blog a couple weeks back, today was Joan Meeder's last day and at 4:30pm today she will be officially retired. We also said good-bye to Stacey Brohard, MAX Coordinator, today as he moves to his new position as Executive Director of Good Samaritan Inn.  He will surely be missed.  Below is a picture of Stacey at the potluck that staff hosted for him today.  Because we can't say good-bye and good-luck without some food involved!!!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

In case you didn’t know it, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Like most social service agencies, Dove, Inc. provides services for a wide variety of people who may be suffering from various mental health disorders. A few of these include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Over the last decade or so, there have been valuable strides in the field of mental health, although there is no one size fits all approach to treating mental illness. The important thing to remember if you are suffering from any kind of mental health disorder is that you CAN be helped, and it is not your fault. The majority of mental illness is caused from abnormal brain chemistry, and that is something that in most cases, can be treated. If you are struggling with mental health issues, please don’t give up hope. Help is available.

RSVP Director Retires After 14 Years

Joan Meeder, RSVP Director since 1999, is retiring as of May 31.   Her replacement, current RSVP Program Assistant Janet Pasier, will take over on June 1.   Joan has given her time and talents to the RSVP program for fourteen years and the volunteers love her.   Would you believe she calls every RSVP Volunteer on their birthday!?   Joan will be difficult to replace, but she has been and will be training Jan until her last day to ensure a smooth transition.   The RSVP Volunteers are in good hands with Jan! If you’d like to wish Joan farewell, please send correspondence to 788 E. Clay St.   Decatur, IL 62521 or email Happy Retirement, Joan!   You will be missed!  

National Police Week 2013

On behalf of all advocates, victims and citizens in Illinois I want to thank our law enforcement officers for the outstanding work they do in helping keep our streets and communities safe. National Police Week is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the important role the men and women of our forces play.  They carry out their demanding and often dangerous roles with incredible dedication, professionalism and pride. We should also take this opportunity to thank the families of these law enforcement professionals.  Quite often, these families live through the daily worry that comes with having a loved one serve on the front- lines of law enforcement.  All across our county, in our communities, on our highways and waterways, at ports of entry and airports law enforcement officers work hard to help ensure the safety of our families and the protection of our communities. Law enforcement is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding profession.  Policing activities have becom

Unleash the Power of Age

Ever since 1963, May has been a month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions to our communities. The theme for Older Americans Month 2013 A Unleash the Power of Age, @ has never been more fitting. Older Americans are productive, active, and influential members of society, sharing essential talents, wisdom, and life experiences with their families, friends, and neighbors. While Dove and RSVP provide volunteering opportunities in our community to older Americans year-round, Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to show special appreciation for our beloved citizens. We wish to express a sincere A Thank You @ to all RSVP volunteers for playing an important role by continuing to engage in helping to improve lives and strengthen our community. As a community, we flourish as a result of your service to others. Silvia, Jan and Joan RSVP Staff Members


Volunteers, people making a difference, tackling tough jobs, dirty jobs, complicated jobs, rewarding jobs. People giving guidance to one other person or people giving guidance to the agency as a whole. Dove wouldn't be Dove without volunteers. They come from congregations, schools, their work place and from retiring. Some are committed for the long term, some are happy to help with a short term need and move on to another area. Most Dove program would cease to exist without volunteers. Some would remain, but would look very very different without the compassionate service of volunteers. So as this National Volunteer Recognition Week comes to a close, again we say thank you to the volunteers of Dove. Looking forward, we can't wait to see what's next, and our volunteers will be a major part of the plans!

Celebrate Earth Day!

Celebrate Earth Day! On Saturday, April 20 th , Dove’s Community Recycling Center is having a special event for Earth Day!   In honor of this, we will be offering .50 per pound for aluminum cans.   Alpha Chi Omega sorority from Millikin will be there helping us.   The event is from 8am to 1pm at 130 W. Cerro Gordo. Did you know?   ü   We have new hours!   Thu:   Noon-5pm   Fri & Sat:   8am-Noon   ü   We work with Macon County Environmental Management picking up recycled paper at the schools across the county.   We probably pick up at your child’s school!   ü   The Dove Recycle Center is all about the COMMUNITY .   Because of that, you have three options when recycling your cans: 1)       Keep the earnings for yourself 2)       Donate the earnings to Dove, Inc. 3)       Donate the earnings to your local church or favorite community organization Come out and visit us and show your support for Earth Day!