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Showing posts from 2015

A Gift To Senior Volunteers

by Sheryl Whisman How do you find the time to give So much to those around? You get much accomplished And your gifts, they just abound! Without complaint or comment You lend a helping hand. To everyone you meet each day, You give all that you can. I'm not sure that you realize Just what a blessed thing You're doing for the world around Or how many gifts you bring. I'm happy to be part of this And I want the world to know, That senior volunteers are special folks Who help their neighbors grow. You are willing to fee the hungry, You are willing to dress the poor. Your are willing to deliver the feeble Right to the doctor's door. You gladly write to the veterans, And the soldiers who are in need, You are willing to clean the houses, You are willing to rake the leaves. There are not many projects That you will not take on. And it is with that helpful heart That you make this nation strong. So now I

Understanding Homelessness

Understanding homelessness means to know what some of the issues are pertaining to the social issues causing homelessness: poverty, affordable housing, disabilities, and others. Homelessness occurs when people or households can no longer afford to maintain housing. While circumstances can vary, the main reason people experience homelessness is because they cannot find housing they can afford. Typically, families become homeless as a result of some unforeseen financial crisis - a medical emergency, a car accident, a death in the family - that prevents them from being able to hold on to housing. Young people often become homeless due to family conflict, including divorce, neglect, or abuse. (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2015) A lot of young people who become homeless, they either return home or move in with friends or family. Veterans often become homeless due to war-related disabilities. For many different reasons, whether it is physical disabilities, post-traumatic stres

Causes of Family Homelessness

Kendra Warnsely, Permanent Housing Case Manager at Homeward Bound share some fact on family homelessness during this National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. There are a number of factors that contribute to family homelessness, including the challenge of raising children alone, fractured social supports, and the changing demographics of the family. More significant to the dilemma of family homelessness are:   Lack of affordable housing –According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the United States is facing increasing rents, stagnating wages, and an extreme shortage of affordable housing. For every 100 extremely low-income renters, there are just 31 affordable units. Extreme poverty – In 2009, 17% of all American families with two parents and 34% of all single-parent families lived below the poverty line. Many families do not earn adequate wages, with one-fifth of all US jobs not paying enough to keep a family of four out of poverty. Families need an income

Independent Lens | The Homestretch | Preview | PBS

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is recognized throughout the country each year during the week right before Thanksgiving. During this week many groups and organizations hold events to assist in bringing about awareness to this very real issue within many communities across the country. These events often include organized food drives, collecting warm clothing, volunteering in shelters and food distribution centers and other efforts to assist in alleviating the stress of being without adequate food and shelter. The Macon County Continuum of Care (CoC) is hosting several events, which include "Box City", showing of the documentary "Homestretch", Veterans Stand Down, an art exhibit and much more that you can find on the Dove, Inc. website. This week helps shed a heavy light on the ugliness of these issues. Unfortunately when the week has ended and we are rushing around trying to prepare ourselves for the hustle and bustle of spending our Thanksgiving wi

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. This is often a topic that is ignored and considered to be a “personal” matter that should not be discussed publicly. Many people believe that if it doesn’t affect them personally then there isn’t a problem. Domestic Violence should not be ignored, in fact, domestic violence affects everyone is some form, whether you are a victim directly or a member of a community. Domestic Violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies. In the United States one in every four women will experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. Over 10 million children witness violence in their homes each year. With alarming statistics like this, odds are, you likely know someone who is experiencing domestic violence. It could be a sibling, parent, friend, co-worker, congregation member, or student.

Words from our Board President

(below is the address from Rev. Jason Butterick, President of the Dove Board of Directors given to the Delegates at the Fall Meeting) Dove Fall Delegates Meeting Monday, October 26, 2015 7 pm Prairie Avenue Christian Church – Decatur, Illinois   Good evening. As pastor of Prairie Avenue Christian Church, I welcome you to our fellowship hall, and warmly invite you to feel free to explore our space following my presentation. You might need my assistance in figuring out exactly which staircase takes you to your vehicle.   Tonight, I also am privileged to welcome you as president of the board of directors of Dove, Inc. My work as president is made easier by the dutiful work of the other board officers as well as those who volunteer their time and talents faithfully through our regular meetings and Dove’s many events.   To say this year has been unusual is perhaps an understatement. In June issues involving the professionalism of our executive director Jim

Through my eyes

Through my eyes Dove Domestic Violence is a haven in the storm for many women and children. They find themselves in a situation they never thought they would be in…alone, scared, beaten, abused, ridiculed, talked-down to.  Sometimes their spirits are broken, they literally don’t feel anything. Sometimes, just the break of coming into shelter gives them the time, space and security to think again. To stop. To regroup.  Whatever their needs and the needs of their children are, our staff tries to meet them where they’re at and offer hope in one of their most desolate times. Through my eyes I have seen women with fear, pain and hopelessness in their eyes, trusting no one when they came into shelter. But after spending time here, learning coping skills, learning that they are far more precious than to be in an abusive relationship, they realize we really do care.  They realize that more than a job, we are here to comfort, console, build-up and share what we know about the cycle of dom

Coats for Kids start 24th Annual Drive!

2015 Coats for Kids drive is going on now and will be collecting good, used coats for families in need through November 30.  In the past 23 years, more than 67,000 coats have been donated, cleaned and taken to participating clothing rooms for families in need.  Join us this year in making this program a success. Participating Cleaners will make sure the coats are clean and fresh and ready for the clothing rooms to distribute. Classic Cleaners, 2474 N. Main Corner Cleaning Connections, 1154 E. Prairie Ave. Janes Cleaners, 664 W. Eldorado Peerless Cleaners, 519 N. Monroe Pride Cleaners and Launderers - 2553 N. Main, 1804 E. Eldorado, 912 W. Eldorado, & 2056 Mt. Zion Road Waite's Dry Cleaners and Launderers, 1004 S. Main &  115 Magnolia, Forsyth and coats can be donated at any of the sites below: CVS 2990 N. Monroe 570 N. Fairview 1595 E. Cantrell Rd. Decatur Public Library 130 N. Franklin Decatur Township 1620

What Can We Do?

In October, the winds of change blow as summer gives way to fall.   Trees change colors as the browns and oranges of fall replace the lush green of summer.   October also brings the color purple, as the nation remembers victims and survivors during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.   In his proclamation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, President Barack Obama said, among other things: “Though we have made great progress in bringing awareness to and providing protection against domestic violence, much more needs to be done.”   It is imperative that we all take a stand against domestic violence.   For far too long, domestic violence was treated as a “problem in the home”.   If friends and neighbors were aware it was happening, they might have gossiped about it among themselves, but they were happy to join the victim and the perpetrator in denying that there was a problem.   Slowly, society began to realize that domestic violence was a crime.   Attitudes began to change and

What will YOU do?

Once again, as we start the month of October, we recognize National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.   So as I mull over in my mind what to write about and what I want to say in this blog, I am faced with many over-riding thoughts and questions.   Have YOU been affected by domestic violence?   Have YOU ever witnessed domestic violence?   Do YOU know someone who has been abused?    Do YOU know someone who is the abuser?   Do YOU know of children who have been affected by this terrible crime??   What are YOU willing to do?   Will YOU ignore it and hope it just goes away?   Will YOU support your local Dove Domestic Violence Program?   Will YOU call law enforcement if there is an incident that you personally witness or hear?     Over the past 25 years, I have spoken to many victims of domestic violence – both men and women.   I have listened as they share with me their unending stories of abuse they have been subjected to.   I have fought back tears listening to many of these sto

#45 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

45 years have brought many changes to the agency.  One employee has been here 30 years and a few in the 25 range to one who just started yesterday.  But talking to volunteers and many who have been in Decatur for awhile, you can run into someone who was there at the beginning meetings, helped to start a program, their church was a site for the first office and more.  It is always fun to speak to those whose dedication started this amazing agency and has kept it going for 45 years. Next week, during our regular staff meeting, we are going to start dreaming about our 50th Anniversary, not so much what we will do to celebrate but what we hope Dove will look like in 5 more years.  Of course, needs will emerge that aren't here now, funding shapes programs too.  But with the dedication of current volunteers and supporters, the Board of Directors and staff, we bet Dove will be thriving at 50!

#44 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Dove's Children's Clothing Room is here to help families with young children with their clothing needs.  Families can get free, good used clothing for their children by "shopping" once every 30 days.  Stop by the clothing room to learn more about the free services, Monday - Thursday from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., Prairie Avenue Christian Church, on the corner of 22nd street and Prairie on the east side of Decatur.  If you can donate children's clothing to the room, please drop it off while open or use the blue donation shed located outside of the church.

#43 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

MAX, the Macon County Assistance eXchange program is a join effort of area churches to give monetary support to persons in the community who have emergency needs.  MAX Provides a systematic way to verify needs and provides a central location for persons seeking assistance.  MAX also works with AMEREN IP to distribute funding through the Warm Neighbors/Cool Friends Program which assists person with payment of their power bills. To learn more about MAX, please visit the web site at .  To seek services, stop by the Decatur First United Methodist Church in Downtown Decatur, Monday - Thursday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

#42 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

BABES, Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies, utilizes amazing volunteers with cute puppets, to bring life-skills building presentations to area class rooms, K-6. To learn more about the puppets, the stories and how to volunteer, please contact the Coordinator at 428.6616 and check out the web site at .

#41 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, RSVP, put the life-long talents of individuals, ages 55plus, to assist not for profit agencies in  Macon and DeWitt Counties.  Each year the RSVP Volunteers contribute more than 90,000 hours of service to the communities in the agencies where they serve.  To learn more about the program, give one of the RSVP staff members a call at 217.428.6616 or 217.935.2241 or check the website at .  If you are or when you do turn 55, please consider the good you can do by joining forces with the 500+ volunteers.

#40 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Homeward Bound provides transitional housing and case management for homeless individuals.  Please check the website at to learn more about all the ways those things happen.  If you'd like to becoming involved in solving issues around homelessness, a good first step is to attend the Macon County Continuum of Care Advisory Council which meets 6 times a year, on the 2nd Thursday of the month, 1:30 p.m. at 788 E. Clay, Decatur - January, March, May, July, September and November.

#39 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

The Domestic Violence Program is here to help.  To learn more about the program, please check the web site at .  The hotlines are answered 24/7/365 in each of the counties served.  And the Domestic Violence Shelter, located in Decatur,  is staffed 24/7/365.  If you need help, make that first step toward a better life. To make a difference, please consider volunteering and using your resources to help out.

#37 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

MAX, Macon County Assistance eXchange started in November of 1986.  In its first year the MAX program helped 214 fames with grants totaling more than $28,000.  MAX was housed and is still housed at First United Methodist Church in downtown Decatur.  Rev. Shane Hartman is the current Coordinator.  To learn more about MAX today, please check the web site at

#36 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

The May 1985 issue of DoveTales spoke about the initiate "BABES" beginning, with the program to begin that fall semester.  Back then, RSVP member are training to do the program---jump ahead to now, RSVP members are still the backbone of the program.  Judy Taylor, the RSVP Project Manager was designated the lead staff person for BABES.  Today, Sandy Laesch is the Coordinator, doing a wonderful job working with volunteers and schools to make the program a success.   BABES bring life skill lessons to k-3rd graders.  Please learn more about the program at

#35 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

A long standing tradition at Dove is something called "Listening Day."  It is an opportunity for Board of Director Members to meet and talk with staff.  It's usually about 3-4 board members speaking with a staff member for about 15 minutes.  It is a chance for the board members to learn more about the staff, their job duties, and if needed, for staff members to share any concerns.  Most new staff members coming into the agency have never done anything like that at any of their former positions.

#33 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

What year did the Clinton Domestic Violence office open begin? (1990) When did the Sullivan and Shelbyville Domestic Violence offices open? (2000) Services were offer to the area before the offices were open, but a local office can offer more services to those with needs. Each of these three programs will be recognizing their anniversary at the upcoming Candlelighting Ceremonies.

#32 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

The beginning of Dove working in the area of Domestic violence - from the October 1980 DoveTales newsletter "With the assignment of two VISTAs to the area of domestic violence, DOVE has assumed sponsorship of this project, at least temporarily.  Domestic Violence is a major problem in our community and throughout the nation.  The need for a Decatur program has been loudly expressed by police, service agencies and women's groups. We are working closely with the Committee Against Domestic Violence, a group of volunteer advocates which is guiding the development of this program. Immediate plans call for establishing an office and 24-hour emergency phone number..."

#31 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Who was known to Dove as "Mother Dove"? Our beloved Sue Simcox.  She started as a volunteer for Dove and became the Volunteer Coordinator in January of 1976.  We lost Sue a couple of years ago, but her legacy continues today with the many programs she helped to shape as  a staff member and then later as a dedicated volunteer.

#28 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

In the February 1973 issue of DoveTales it states: DOVE ALWAYS NEEDS: ... children's clothing ... good furniture ... volunteers ... $ to meet expenses Guess what, in 2015, we still are seeking good used clothing for the clothing room, dedicated volunteers to assist with the program and $ to meet expenses.   (furniture?  we mostly get via other agencies now)

#26 fo the 45 things we want you to know about Dove!

We love Patty Plato.  Patty is currently the employee who has been with Dove the longest.  From the October 1986 DoveTales,  "VISTAs Geri Bond and Pat Plato have accepted permanent positions on Dove's staff.  ... and Pat becomes Resource Specialist for the Domestic Violence Program.  We congratulate them on their promotions!"  Patty now serves as Shelter Coordinator for the program. 

#24 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove!

In a December 1972 DoveTales newsletter, it talks about the plans for the Christmas Basket Drive, stating it "will again" team up to help make Christmas brighter for many area families.  Sound like one of the first and maybe the longest lasting programs of Dove. Currently the plans for the 2015 drive is in the works.  The first meeting of the staff on Dove's side of the event will be on September 15 -- and we're sure Northeast Community Fund has been planning too.  Actually, both agencies have probably been doing some planning since the 2014 drive finished. We believe that the drive supported  about 75 families in the beginning and now about 350 families.  Watch the web site for needs that you can help with. -- we'll be looking for things like hats, gloves, mittens, new toys (ages birth to 17), warm sock, wrapping paper and tape.  NECF will be collecting food items, especially think about the turkey or ham.  check back later at We'll s

#23 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove!

The clothing Room has served 13364 children in the last 5 years. The Clothing Room was organized by volunteers of a couple United Methodist Churches and was located at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on the east side of Decatur.  It has  moved a couple times (was in the fire at East Clay in 2004) and is currently located back on the east side of Decatur at Prairie Avenue Christian Church, corner of 22nd and Prairie Avenue.  Now the room is open Monday - Thursday, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. and run by many wonderful RSVP Volunteers.  Families can get good used clothing for the children for free, once every 30 days.

#22 thing of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Dove:  10 years an Instrument of Thy Peace In April of 1980, DOVE marked the 10th Anniversary of service.  Many churches honored us with prayer as part of the worship services on Sunday April 20.  The following day the City Council issued a Proclamation of congratulations to Dove.  Move 130 friends came to the Open House at Dove on the Wednesday of that week and 250 people attended a dinner celebration on Friday April 25. Dove, Inc. Celebrated it's 45th Anniversary with an Open House on August 30.

#20 in the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

In April of 1987, the Dove's General Board entered into an agreement to purchase the former St. James Convent at 788 E. Clay, Decatur.  The East Clay building served as the Domestic Violence shelter and office space for many years.  The shelter moved to the Anna B. Millikin Home in 2008 and the Homeward Bound Program and SRO's moved into the former shelter.

#18 of 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Patty Plato, the current employee who has been with Dove the longest, shared that one of the first programs with Dove was going out into the parks and neighborhoods and doing activities for youth.  Somewhere about 1988 it was restructured into Community Services / Decatur Area Project.  Like everything that has been around that long, that program has evolved.  The states area projects have been funded mostly by contracts from the State of Illinois and are in limbo right now until a budget is in place.  Unfortunately, our local  program is currently suspended with the greatest hopes it will be back soon.

#17 in the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Wanted to share with some people who may not know, "Our" Homeward Bound Program is for Transitional Housing/Homeless Community not the Pet Shelter, even though we have the same name. - Kim Hudson, Receptionist (Yes it is confusing.  Back in 1995 when the program was named, there wasn't the national program in our area.)

#16 of the things we want you to know about Dove

Dove's  Domestic Violence Program had three very good, helpful programs which  were very good for the community and helped the people that they served:   WAVE –women against violent encounters Support Group AIM –Alternative Interventions for Men   Substance Abuse Education   Due to budget cuts,  we lost these program.  But we still service our clients in a good, loving manner as we all was, have been and will in the future. - Cynthia Farrington (we hope the budget issues with the State of Illinois will be resolved soon for this fiscal year)

#15 of the things we want you to know about Dove

Since Dove began in 1970, there has been 3 Director's of Volunteers for Dove.  Sue Simcox (also known as Mother Dove) was the first Director, Sue Wilson was the 2nd and I am the third person serving in the position.  Sue Wilson and I sat together, by shear chance, to say goodbye to our beloved friend at Sue Simcox's funeral a couple years ago.  I am so blessed to have worked with both of those amazing women, to learn as much as I could, and to remain friends with Sue Wilson today. Barbara Blakey Director of Volunteers and Community Relations 

#11 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

We have been sharing things we want you to know about Dove as part of our 45th Anniversary Celebration.  BABES stands for Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies but used to stand for Beginning Alcohol and Addictions Basic Education Studies. Sandy Laesch BABES Program Coordinator To become a volunteer, send us a message at for information on the next training date!

#10 of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

Community Services wasn’t always called Community Services at one time it was Youth Services. Francie Johnson,Program Director Community Services / Decatur Area Project (Unfortunately this is one of the programs that are in limbo until the State of Illinois Budget is finalized.  If you want to make sure that this valuable program continues, please contact your representatives.)

#5 thing of the 45 things we want you to know about Dove

The clothing Room has served 24421 children in the last 10 years. Sandra Harmison The clothing room has been at the former St. Paul's United Methodist Church and a Dove building on East Clay that was in a fire about 2004 and torn down. The Clothing Room is currently at Prairie Avenue Christian Church, corner of 22nd Street and Prairie Avenue in Decatur.  It is open Monday - Thursday, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

#2 of 45 things we want you to know about Dove

"Wanted to share with some people who may not know, we are not the company that manufactures the Soap and Deodorant." - Kim Hudson, Receptionist Kim and I both get many inquiries about the product company, requesting deodorant to hand out on the New York subway is the one that is the most memorable to me.  (apparently it was a very hot summer)  We get complaints and kudos alike.  But I cannot remember ever getting confused the candy company.  Barbara Blakey Director of Volunteers and Community Relations.

Happy Anniversary Dove!

Next Friday, Dove staff and volunteers will begin sharing our "45 things we want you to know about Dove!" in honor of Dove's 45th Anniversary.  45 years has brought many, many changes to Dove, locations, number of staff, programs, budget etc.  But one "thing" I want you to know to start with is volunteers , people putting their time and talents toward making a difference in the community, was why Dove was started and is a major part of Dove today. Barbara Blakey Director of Volunteers and Community Relations This picture is from one of the early programs, sharing sewing skills.

We're Wild About our Volunteers

Staff and Volunteers took a quick break and gathered for a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.  Dove staff had the opportunity to thank our many volunteers, in a small way, with dinner and a cake. The volunteers came from many counties (DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie and Shelby) but hopefully went back home as intentional friends as everyone shared their volunteer experiences.  The food was good but the conversation was great! Thanks to all the volunteers who put their time and talents into the program, whether assisting with the Children's program, legal advocacy, support groups, awareness/educational programs, the many support efforts needed and more! (pictures are staff and volunteers who could attend that night)

Don’t mess with senior citizens.

(one of our RSVP Volunteers shares today!) In Florida a 71-year-old man used a handgun to shoot at two armed men attempting to rob an Internet cafe. In the UK a gang of thugs armed with sledge hammers execute a smash and grab job at a British jewelry store … only to have an 85-year-old woman take them down with her handbag! A suspect dressed in all black with a rifle attempted to rob a store in Louisiana. Store clerks told police that a senior citizen, who had observed the robber, blocked the two front doors to the store with his body, preventing the robber from entering the store and yelled to them to lock the door and call authorities.  An alert group of four senior citizens, foiled a robbery attempt at a multistoried building in Wadala Mumbai.   On Saturday evening, four robbers managed to enter the second floor apartment at Kutchi Building in Wadala (W) at a time when its owner wasn’t home. The four heroes trapped the robbers inside while calling the police. Don’t me

A letter to my bully

According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Justice, 160,000 students do not attend school every day for fear of being bullied. Over 77 percent of students have reported being a victim of one form of bullying or another, which includes verbal, physical, cyber, or sexual bullying. And 58 percent of students report having been victims of cyber bullying.             Now it’s time for the scariest of these statistics. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people according to the CDC. 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide with 7 percent attempting it. Bully victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. And at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying.             Now it’s time for hope. I was a victim of bullying. I want to share with you my letter to my bully, with the hope that anyone else that has ever been bullied or find themselves today a target of bullying, will find strength

Thanks Volunteers!

As coordinator for the BABES (Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies) Program I have the pleasure of working with volunteers that are such an integral part of this program.  As we look back to last week's National Volunteer Appreciation week I wanted to Thank not only BABES dedicated volunteers but all volunteers. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community.  They dedicate themselves to helping others and want nothing in return. Although if you ask any volunteer they would probably say that they get more from the people and children they may help, than they feel they give.  Take a moment and think about it, in almost all aspects of our society you may encounter a volunteer.  So if you do, thank them and let them know that they are appreciated.  Sandy Laesch, BABES Program Coordinator BABES Volunteers  Linda Natereli, Myra Hinze and Susan Hoem at the April 13 "BABES Volunteers Breakfast Break" Our sincere thanks to all the volunteers of the

Volunteering is a Hoot

                                                                            Why do I volunteer? I’m 73, still have a vocation as an author. And I’m a 24/7 caregiver for my wife of 47 years. I could easily say I’ve already got a full plate and I’m too busy. Or that I’ve done my fair share. I spent a few years at Project Read, on the board of SAIL, and holding every office at my church.                Part of my faith says that we are to serve. Doesn’t say at a certain age we can just stop when we feel like it. God intends for us to be productive. Volunteering also shows His love by actions, not by words. We know that good works don’t get you to heaven, and that’s not the reason we serve. I believe by giving back a bit of what I have learned and by what He has blessed me with, puts a smile on God’s face. What more could you ask for than having Him smile at you? There are so many people who need a helping hand. And so few of those hands available. However, where I live in Decat

We love our volunteers!

Without volunteers Dove would not be what it is today. I remember reading when Dove started it had one paid position and VISTA volunteers that were paid a stipend by the government and a few dedicated volunteers who were willing to help people in the community that wanted to help themselves and their children to enrich their lives. The Domestic Violence Program is a 24 hour crisis program that utilizes volunteers in a variety of ways. Volunteer’s help with clerical, childcare during groups, answering the hotline with shelter coverage, maintaining the libraries, help with the process of getting orders of protections and transporting clients is just a few  of the ways they help. We love our volunteers for the commitment they have shown to help those in need. Patty Plato Domestic Violence Program Shelter Coordinator

Invent the Future!

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." –Immanuel Kent Community services and neighborhood volunteers work on inventing the future every day.  They take the pro-active approach to making the community a better, safer place to live. They set up and host events in their neighborhoods and help encourage our local youth to utilize these activities as a healthy alternative to wandering the city streets. In the past six months, 237 volunteers around Decatur have participated in activities such as National Night Out, fall festivals, Christmas parties, after school help for youth, spring and Easter celebrations, community forums and an assortment of others. Every day I hear stories about all the hard work volunteers are doing and about all the positive things that are happening because of this hard work.  Many people in the area are quick to knock Decatur as being a terrible place, but when I look around I see so many people involved in projects to engage,

Happy Spring!

The official start of spring was March 20 th ! Spring has many definitions, but the one I prefer is the following: to come into being, rise, or arise within a short time. It only seems too appropriate that springtime was the setting for Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection, doesn’t it? In three very short days He conquered death, wiped us clean of all our sins, and rose again!!! So spring means so much more than warm weather and tulips! Spring is a chance to start over, to rise, and to begin again. With that said, I want to challenge everyone this spring as they are out in their yards, walking around town, or just enjoying the beautiful spring days to simply say hi to others you meet. Take the time to get to know your neighbor and others in your community. Victims and survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault are more likely to share their experiences to family members, friends, or neighbors before they ever call a hotline or the police. We never know what another pe