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Showing posts from October, 2015

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.