Thursday, December 3, 2020

Orts, Revisited

I don’t know how many times I heard it. It was the summer of 1970. I was newly arrived in Decatur. I came as a free-lance community organizer, working the Torrence Park neighborhood.

During my first few weeks on the job, people kept saying it. “Fred, there’s this guy you need to meet, down at the First Christian Church. Name’s Ray Batman.” Finally I picked up the phone and arranged to drive my shaky pink Plymouth Valiant downtown to 441 North Church Street.

He greeted me at the door. We shook hands and wound our way down the hall to a cluttered storeroom in the basement. It was Dove’s first office, and he was its only employee. He and I had started our new jobs within days of each other at the tail end of June. We had that in common, and as it turned out, much more.

What he said that day stuck with me.

Memory is a tricky thing, and it’s been a very long time. But in my recollection, he introduced me to Dove something like this: “We’re a small bunch of white church folks, Fred. And our mission is to other folks like us. You see, racism is a white problem, not a black one. And if we’re ever gonna do anything about it, we need to work in the white community.”

That was gutsy. It was bold. I knew immediately that this guy got it, that here in front of me was a person of uncommon sense. And so he has proven to be, again and again – a person who can see a problem from a unique perspective and come up with an approach better than anyone else could have conceived. A person graced with vision and humor and kindness.

Back then sitting in his humble office, I know this was a guy I needed to know better. But little did I know that five years later I would become Dove’s third employee when Ray hired me. As 1975 opened, I trucked myself and a flourishing project for VISTA Volunteers from the then-defunct Torrence Park Citizens Committee a few blocks north to Dove’s second home in a small bungalow at 1112 East Locust Street.

And little did I know that three years after that, Ray would leave for a position managing Walter Scott Camp south of Effingham, and I would climb two flights of stairs to what had been Ray’s office in the attic and start a new job as executive director. Or that nine years later I would lure Ray back to Dove as its new finance director and genius-in-residence. Or that ten years after that I would take my leave, and Ray would resume his place as executive director.

And on that summer day in 1970, I could not have foreseen that, adding another 23 years, Ray and I would remain fast friends and confidants, that every week or so one of us would pick up his phone and we’d chat for an hour or so about all sorts of things, resolve none of them, and be okay with it.

If you’re counting, yes, that’s 50 years.

During that time, Dove has moved several times, from 1112 East Locust to 788 and 800 East Clay, and from Clay Street to its current headquarters at 302 South Union.

And while the organization has moved, one hopes it has kept its feet firmly planted in one place: in the daring mission that Ray laid out for it, to listen to uncommonly good sense, to prod, to poke, to be bold, and to take on the uneasy tasks. One hopes that Dove will always be proud to reflect the spirit of its founder.

(Fred Spannaus served Dove as a program director from 1975 to 1977 and as executive director from 1978 to 1997, and he has been an advisor to Homeward Bound for the past two decades. During his tenure as director, he wrote a column for DoveTales called “Orts.” If you must know, orts are scraps of food and a good end-of-game Scrabble play).

This original copy from the December 2020 DoveTales Newsletter for our "Anniversary Reflections" page. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

I am Thankful

I know amid the COVID pandemic, many are finding it hard to be thankful this holiday season. Missing loved ones lost to this devastating virus, worrying about our most vulnerable populations, and praying our loved ones will stay safe has undoubtedly taken a toll. Now we are being asked to skip family traditions and forego our usual Thanksgiving Day feast with our loved ones. It is hard to be thankful when things are not going well, but I am still thankful.

Thankful for the love and compassion I get to witness every day. Thankful I live in a place where organizations and social service agencies work together to meet our communities' needs. Thankful that in the last 50 years, Dove has spread their wings to adapt and change to fight social injustices and unmet human needs.  Thankful that Dove continues to develop programming and expand its reach to others. Thankful, they look to use technology, innovation, and leadership to continue moving forward to serve others, even during a pandemic. I am thankful that I work with so many great people at Dove.

Many (if not all) staff members would tell you we would like to work ourselves out of a job. No more homelessness, hunger, or even domestic violence. No more families facing financial hardships or kids that need coats. However, that's not happening today, so I am thankful that I get to meet these challenges together with them because, after all, we are all in this together, and for that, I am truly thankful.

                                            Charlie Gillaspie

                                            RSVP/SCP Director

Friday, November 6, 2020

Dove at 50 Years: Unique and Evolving

Looking back to reflect on personal or communal history is guaranteed to bring up a gamut of memories and emotions.  This look back records some of my memories and feelings.  I must say I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with the people and mission of Dove.


In the late 1970’s I was a full-time mom of three children and joined Decatur’s League of Women Voters chapter.  The group chose domestic violence as a study topic one year and I volunteered to help inquire into the incidence and nature of this newly-named phenomenon.  Study led us to connecting with a small local group of women (nurses, teachers, counselors, and survivors of domestic violence) beginning to identify the need for specialized responses to serve safety, legal and family issues caused by domestic violence.


I joined the group focused on action and services.  After some months of linking with education and training to provide services for women and children seeking safety, we managed to establish some basic emergency shelter arrangements and a hotline for women to call in an emergency.  We had become the Committee Against Domestic Violence (CADV) and the hotline number was, and remains, 423-2238 (423-CADV).

 Struggling to build a solid program for folks whose safety and survival was at risk was tough.  Happily, we realized that a local non-profit – Dove, Inc. – already had a mission and a track record of meeting “unmet needs” with a commitment to justice, equality and understanding among all people.  We hoped and asked that Dove consider taking us in and giving us a home.  What a good fit and nurturing spot for CADV to grow!

 Thanks to Dove’s Board and executive directors in the early years, this agency has remained unique and evolving in ways that facilitated amazing development of staff, services, professionalism and community support.

 Dove’s uniqueness is demonstrated in part by the Board structure:  representative members from area churches intentionally work to BE an ecumenical presence of faith-in-action.  That solid grounding then supports client services that DO NOT venture into any evangelizing or worship or limitations on who can participate in programming.  I was always proud when I watched Jewish women, Muslim women, and hundreds whose faith wasn’t shared all be welcomed and valued as blessings.

 Dove’s ability to evolve was necessary as the Domestic Violence Program and Homeward Bound were added.  Both areas have specific funding streams and standards which required accountability by providers.  Executive Director Fred Spannaus led the way in the 1980’s and 1990’s, guiding the search for grant funding and joining us in the community collaboration needed to support these programs.  Fred and the Board fully supported our membership in the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence where we accessed on-going training and mentoring in our work to build an effective and well-regarded program.  Their emphasis on ethics, accountability and client-centered services matched Dove’s own.  Workers have appreciated the occasions when the Board and  an Executive Director have supported and believed in the expertise and integrity honed through focused effort.

 An evolving organization hits inevitable bumps along the way but Dove in 2020 is in good hands, continuing to change and grow when required and still rooted in the mission and values that have guided faithfully over 50 years.

 Finally, I’d like to give a personal shout-out to some whose influences are special in my memory:  Fred Spannaus, Sue Simcox, Ray Batman, John Henry Cain, Kim Stahl, Darrel Parish, Connie Requarth, Amy Wilson, Mary Nolte, Barb Mills, Craig Mandernach and Larry Lovell-Troy  and all of my colleagues at Domestic Violence and Homeward Bound, some of whom still do the good work daily!

This Anniversary Reflection was written by Cluney John, former Dove Staff Member.

Thanks Cluney!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Alternative Images for Men - Domestic Violence Men’s Group A Personal Perspective

AS we enter October and mark Domestic Violence Month, I remember my introduction to Dove’s program.  In the summer of 1980, I was the at-home parent for our two young daughters.  I responded to a knock on the door to find Larry Troy, a sociology professor from Millikin University, asking if I had an interest in working on a project investigating services for abusive men as part of the Dove Domestic Violence Program.  He knew I had a background on teaching communication skills and thought it might be helpful.

A small group of us met through that summer and decided to develop a curriculum to be presented to abusers to help them change their abusive behavior.  There was not a lot of research material available.  Active groups throughout the country did not begin to meet together until the mid-1980s in St. Louis to share their programs and results.  In the early 1980s we decided to push forward with what we had.  We announced we had a program for men and were in business.

The AIM group met in a small basement room in First Presbyterian Church where the Domestic Violence program had been meeting until they had moved to the small apartment shelter.  The first week Larry and I waited – and no one came.  The second week one man showed up.  His wife and children had left and he didn’t know what to do. He continued to come for eight weeks, but no one else did.  We covered anger management, the law, communication skills, responsibility, etc.  Very slowly other men came to the group since the program was not mandated at that point.

The program evolved as Larry left and then I left in the early 1990s. The AIM program began to utilize the Duluth Program from Duluth MN.  It was a successful 26-week program with videos, worksheets, roleplays and co-leaders, usually male and female to demonstrate equality decision making.  The program participants became mandated by the judicial system and the numbers increased.

I returned to the AIM group in 2003 when I retired.  We were regularly seeing 10 to 12 men at each weekly meeting with several different groups in Decatur and Clinton.  The groups sponsored by Dove continued until mid-2009 when they were suspended due to financial constraints.

During the time I was involved with AIM I personally interacted with over 800 abusive men in Macon and DeWitt County.  The work was very fulfilling and needed.  Quantifying results is difficult due to relationship breakups and lack of accurate feedback.  Over the years I have seen some of the men from the group at work and throughout the community and have heard their subsequent stories.  I continue to be an avid supporter of the Dove Domestic Violence Program.

Craig Mandernach

Friday, August 28, 2020

Anniversary Reflection

I started my adventure with Dove in the Homeward Bound Program as the Employment and Life Skills Specialist. After my first year, I had the opportunity to advance to Dove’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program as the newest Program Director. My title and job here at Dove continues to evolve. I am now known as the RSVP-SCP Program Director. Dove’s latest services, the Senior Companion Program, offers unique challenges and the ability to help more people in the community we serve with amazing volunteers’ dedicated help. It is an honor that I am a part of this fantastic organization.  Our RSVP and Dove volunteers are the best volunteers; their hearts are as golden as Dove’s 50th anniversary.

As I reflect on Dove’s anniversary, I cannot help but think of the first persons and churches involved in starting Dove so many years ago. Did they envision Dove’s growth? Or how vital Dove services would be to so many different people in our community? Did they think that Dove would have a reach into five counties? The impact Dove has made in the lives of so many is incredible. The fact that Dove is still growing and changing with times is a powerful testimony to the community and people served. Programming has changed from those first years as Dove faces different challenges. They work hard to expand and change the programming to address community issues relevant to today. Honoring yesterday is easy, growing into the future takes talent, vision, and many dedicated volunteers and staff.

September is my favorite month since it is traditionally the month the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program holds the annual RSVP Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. A time where the staff helps celebrate our dedicated volunteers for their hours of service with a luncheon complete with pie, prizes, and the Recognition of Service Excellence R.O.S.E. Awards. This year, our 44th, we had to get creative to celebrate the 300 plus volunteers and are doing so in uniquely different ways but excited to honor all their hard work.

 Dove was needed then, is vital now, and will continue to serve our mission as we carry forward into the next 50 years.

Charlie Gillaspie

Friday, August 7, 2020

30 year history with Warm Neighbors Fund

Ameren's Warm Neighbors Cool Friends
Dove has served as the service site for WNCF for 30 years.  Below, please see the updated information about WNCF program and their new initiative,  Fresh Start Program.

WNCF services are provided at the DFA Sites for Macon and DeWitt Counties

Macon County: Located inside Northeast Community Fund, 839 N. MLK Jr. Dr., DecaturHours:   Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.  & Monday - Thursday, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

DeWitt County:  Dove DeWitt County Office, 803 W. Leander, ClintonHours:  2nd and 4th Tuesdays mornings, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Warm Neighbors Cool Friends
  • Applicant can receive WNCF assistance only once per heating season, which is 10/1 to 5/31 each year and once per cooling season, 6/1 to 9/30.
  • WNCF matches customer payments (within the last 45 days) up to $350 during heating season and up to $200 during cooling season
  • Fresh Start grants should not be used for matching payments
  • Heating grants are based solely on income guide-lines while cooling grants are intended for seniors, disabled or those with medical conditions exacerbated by heat (with a doctor's letter)
  • WNCF pledge may create a credit balance

Ameren Illinois Fresh Start
  • Applicant can receive only one Fresh Start Electric Pledge and one Fresh Start Gas Pledge during program term (7/9/20 – 5/31/21 or until funds are depleted)
  • Eligible applicants can receive up to a $200 grant for ELECTRIC account and up to $150 for GAS account
  • No matching customer payment is required
  • Fresh Start Funds are available to customers in the 0-200% federal poverty range only if they are ineligible for LIHEAP funds (as is the case with customers with no Social Security number)
  • Customer must have a past due balance to qualify and pledges must not create a credit balance
Both Programs require:
  • Driver's License or other Photo I.D. and Copy of current Ameren Illinois utility bill
  • Applicant must reside at the address on the bill and have active service in his or her name
  • Income eligibility, see guidelines below

Must show proof of 30 Day (GROSS) Income Must be Between
Family Size     200%              350%
    1                  $2,127          $3,722
    2                  $2,873          $5,028
    3                  $3,620          $6,336
    4                  $4,367         $7,642
    5                  $5,113         $8,948
    6                  $5,860         $10,256
    7                  $6,607         $11,562
    8                  $7,353         $12,868

Dove Financial Assistance Program was renamed from MAX in 2020 to reflect service to 5 counties, where as MAX stood for Macon County Assistance eXchange.  Below is copy from the November 1990 DoveTales newsletter sharing the news that MAX was selected to be a part of this Ameren.  Sound like both programs have grown in the 30 years!

"MAX selected to distribute winter funds

Our MAX program has been chosen to distribute "Warm Neighbors Fund" utility assistance payments to families in need.

The Warm Neighbors Fund is operated by the Energy Assistance Foundation, an offshoot of Illinois Power Company.  Money is contributed into this fund from IP consumers, and matched  the company.

Funds are used to help pay energy costs for fixed-income households.  IP selected one agency in each of its services acres to screen applications and distribute assistance payments.

MAX (the Macon Assistance eXchange) was organized by Dove several years ago to coordinate the efforts of churches and social agencies in meeting emergency financial needs...."

To learn more about DFA, please see our website at or to contact DFA directly, please email

Friday, July 31, 2020

Anniversary Reflection

It is hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks it will have been twenty years since I walked into the Dove Domestic Violence Program office in Shelbyville for the first time.  Interviews and the actual hiring had been done from the Dove offices in Decatur, so a few days before I was to start my job, I had to go on a driving tour of Shelbyville to find the office.  If you are familiar with our town you are no doubt laughing by now….it is by no means a large city.  The office is located very well for privacy for our clients, however, on the outskirts of town.  I walked in that morning alone;  one of my coworkers from another county would arrive soon to begin to show me the ropes.  I was excited, nervous, had little clue what I was going to be doing and I wasn’t 100% sure I knew how to do whatever that turned out to be.  The permanent office had been in existence for about four months, but my position had been vacant for about half of that time, so I knew I was starting almost from scratch.  My then-supervisor had worked part-time in the county for a couple of years so some of the community was aware of what our services were. Being a female, with no set agenda right at that moment, I began to rearrange the furniture a bit to make it more my style. I was soon armed with a list of things I could bring from home to make it a more comfortable setting for my clients.  If you must pour your heart out to a stranger, you might as well feel at home while you do it.

One of the very first things I learned is that Dove is an incredible organization to work for and with.  Although I work in this county alone, I never feel that I am alone.  I know that support and answers are always only a phone call or an email away.  If I am perplexed about something, there is always someone in the organization who has an answer for me.  My coworkers have become a second family over the years.  There have been births and deaths and other major life experiences, and always the support has been there from everybody.  There have been major upheavals as an organization over the years, but we have always pulled together to make things work despite the curves that were thrown at us.  Our mission statement says that Dove strives for justice, equality and understanding among all people; that sentiment begins at home.  Dove employees are treated in that manner always.

Once I began to figure out just what the job might be, our growth began quickly.  The fact that I am a native of Shelby County was helpful, as was the support of the law enforcement and court communities and other local agencies.  I also received a lot of training from other employees and from the many training opportunities offered over the years.  Dove employees are very well trained in their areas of expertise.  

Looking back, twenty years seems like a long time, but it seems like yesterday when I walked in this room for the first time.  There have been so many people, so many stories, so much heartbreak and so much happiness that has happened in all those years.  Clients who were successful, clients who came back when things got scary again and clients who were happy enough with our services to refer other friends and family.  There have been staff members who became friends and moved on and staff members who have remained who are still almost like family.  I have changed for the better from doing this work and my life has been enriched by it.  Some things, though, have not changed.  I am still excited to walk through that door every morning, and I still never know exactly what I will be doing on any given day.  That is part of the charm of the job for me.  I do know, however,  that I can handle whatever walks through the door, either on my own or with the help of one of those phone calls or emails to someone else.  I am grateful for Dove, for all my coworkers, and for the chance to make a positive difference in someone’s life every day……………. even if it is just mine.
Susie Kensil, Shelby County Domestic Violence Coordinator

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Shout out to our RSVP & SCP Volunteers!

 Did you know that Dove started July 7, 1970 in partnership with several churches in the area with a focus on helping others? Today Dove has grown to include numerous programs all working together to uphold Doves mission and serve our communities. 

Dove is a coalition of religious organizations, volunteers, and advocates that seek to coordinate efforts to address unmet human needs and social injustices. Dove works for justice, equality and understanding among all people.

As the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Director I am in awe of all that Dove programs accomplish every day. Without the help and support form partner churches, area organizations, donors, and volunteers Dove would not be as successful as you make us!

From programs that have been hosted by Dove for years to the just starting Senior Companion Program Dove works to stay up to date with the needs of others. They do that by changing to adapt to the times. Today is no different from yesterday. Our mission is still the same. It has carried us through the first 50 years, and we look for it to carry us through the next 50.

As loyal supporters and volunteers we challenge you to help us celebrate in your own way.
  • Tell 50 family, friends, or neighbors about Dove and the services they provide
  • Collect 50 items to donate to our Homeward Bound or Domestic Violence Programs
  • Help to fundraise on Dove’s behalf to help us keep the important programs serving five area counties
  • Collect enough coupons and funds to send the next 50 boxes of coupons overseas
  • Make it your mission to collect 50 items for any one of our events
  • Collect 50 coats with you church for Coats for Kids, supply 50 rolls of wrapping paper for the Christmas baskets
  • Commit to volunteering for 50 days or hours in 2020. 

Join us in celebrating Dove’s 50th anniversary in a golden way.

Charlie Gillaspie
RSVP & SCP Program Director

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Dove is Fifty

Most of us were around in 1970. It’s normal to ask what were you doing on July 7, 1970. Avoiding an embarrassing answer for you, here’s what was happening. We remember we were in a very unpopular war. Protests sprung up everywhere. Young men left the US for Canada. The country was unsettled. The Aswan Dam in Egypt was being constructed. The USSR and France were conducting nuclear tests. Northern Ireland was in conflict. The US would soon launch Venera 7, for a 1st soft landing on Venus.

However, a bright spot shined right here in Decatur. DOVE was formed. Eight churches agreed to support a new ministry to be called Disciples on Volunteer Enlistment (DOVE). First Christian (Bethany), First Christian (Blue Mound), Central Christian, First Christian and Prairie Avenue Christian Church (Decatur), Harristown Christian, Illiopolis Christian and Niantic Christian. Ray Batman was the first DOVE Coordinator with a whopping first budget of $6,380. His office was in the furnace room of Decatur First Christian. There were 18 volunteers and 128 program participants in tutoring, sewing and cooking classes.

The treasurer’s report from November 1972 read balance $17.09. Pledges are needed. Were they wondering if it was worth the effort? Was it time to throw in the towel? No. The board had a two-hour meeting and came out with a decision to buy a house. A house on East Locust was purchased for a new headquarters. By 1973 the budget increased to $14,000 and they bought a typewriter. 1974 Nancy Jo Batman becomes secretary. A year-round system for collecting foodstuffs was initiated and DOVE becomes the sponsor of the VISTA program.

Three regional churches (Presbyterian, United Methodist and United Church of Christ), join in supporting DOVE in 1975. The next year DOVE initiates RSVP. Fred Spannaus becomes the second Executive Director in 1978.

The DOVE house in redecorated for the ten-year anniversary in 1980. RSVP has grown to over 400 volunteers and the overall budget is $125,000.

In 1980 Fred Spannaus included in his annual report a synopsis of the first ten years. ”What I found is this: Ten years of steady, Consistent progress. No single year viewed in isolation, looked very spectacular. But … a pattern was there. Each year took our work of the previous year a step or two forward; each year provided one or two good ideas which bore fruit in the next. For as surely as we’ve enjoyed no exceptional year, we’ve suffered no bad year. It was impressive, this ten-year flight of steadily ascending stairs. The history of DOVE is consistent, dynamic and progressive. Far from being a problem, this is perhaps one of our ministry’s strongest assets. Our past demonstrates the long-term sense of commitment shared among the hundreds of folks who have been vital parts of DOVE.”

As we look back on DOVE’s past this remains the guiding focus of DOVE today. Consistent progress. 

Guest Submission
Dave Webb
Serving on Dove's Board of Directors as the RSVP Program Representative and on the Anniversary Committee

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

needed then, vital now

Dove hosted a Press Conference, outside, 10:15 a.m. the morning of July 7.  Dove is commemorating its 50th Anniversary this year.  7/7/70, the first Coordinator, Ray Batman reported to work to begin this ministry of Dove.

As luck would have it, the warning sirens which usually are tested at 10:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in Decatur, were late, going off about 10:17.  This needed test pretty much rang the whole time Teri Ducy, Domestic Violence Program Director,  was sharing her 2 minute speech at the Press Conference, and made it pretty hard to hear.  So below is her comments:

Good morning.  As I think about the overall theme of this special day – in recognition of Dove’s 50th Anniversary,  “Needed then….Vital now” – I find this to be very fitting.  

Back in the early 70’s – which was at just the beginning of the domestic violence movement – there were no shelters – only safe houses in some communities – private homes who allowed a woman to stay maybe for a night or two……Domestic violence was  a “just a family matter” – abusers were told to “just go drive around the block” – leave each other alone – this is a civil matter” – shelters worked in their own silos – law enforcement had their silo – State’s Attorneys offices had their own  - and so on……..

Were services needed back then??  Absolutely!!!

Fast forward to today – New Laws – Coordinated Community Response Teams – collaborations formed – nearly 60 DV shelters across the state of IL alone – offering a variety of comprehensive trauma informed services, close partnerships with law enforcement – VITAL SERVICES – services that were indeed needed back then in the 70s before anyone truly worked with and understood the dynamics of domestic violence and how this crime affects all victims and their children, and the many barriers they were faced with.

Add on top of that COVID-19 – a time when more than ever – our services are more vitally needed now than ever before – victims being isolated in their homes with their abuser, with less resources being readily available, less chance for privacy or ability to call the police – basically a prisoner in their own homes.

Happy 50th Anniversary to Dove – a time to celebrate the many programs our agency has offered and continues to offer to those in our community – those who are vitally in need – as we work toward justice, equality and understanding among all people!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Update from the Domestic Violence Program

A victim of domestic violence faces many challenges, however, during these times with COVID-19, they are faced with even more barriers.  Those who are living at home with their abuser during these times during the “stay at home, stay safe” order is not a safe option.   For them, they are literally staying at home and trying to survive.

As we expected, calls are beginning to surge, as we knew there would be a spike in requests for services.  For the first couple of weeks into the stay at home order, calls were normal, and in fact, down.  However, the last couple of weeks, they are beginning to significantly increase. 

For victims of domestic violence, their abusers take this opportunity to inflict their power and control even more so, due to the pandemic, especially for those victims who may have recently left their abusive relationship just prior to the stay at home order, and now the abuser is contacting them and making empty promises that they have changed, begging them to return home, and taking advantage of trying to push the right buttons to persuade their partner they need them and promising them how things will be different.  For many, their financial situation is another barrier that keeps them from being away from their abuser. 

For children – with schools closing and them not having access to their teachers, coaches, social workers to confide in (all of whom are mandated reporters), they are not seeing children in person to be able to notice the signs of abuse to in fact report it.

Since March 17th through June 9th, Dove’s Domestic Violence Program has assisted in 84 Emergency Orders of Protection and have placed 16 adults and 6 children in off-site shelter.  Staff have continued to answer all 5 of our 24-hour hotlines in all of our counties – Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby and DeWitt.   In addition to off-site shelter and legal advocacy pertaining to order of protection assistance, we have provided safety planning, crisis and telephone counseling, information and referrals.

For anyone in need of services who is a victim of domestic violence, call 217.423.2238 for Macon County; 217.935.6072 for DeWitt County; 217.728.9334 for Moultrie County; 217.762.2122 for Piatt County; and 217.774.4888 for Shelby County. 

Teri Ducy, Director

Dove Domestic Violence Program

Dove, Inc.

Our agency is called Dove, Inc.

The name change from DOVE Inc. to Dove, Inc. came about in 1983.

Looking through some early DoveTales, our newsletter, the name change came about with a Long Range Plan of the then governing body, Dove's General Board.

from the May 1983 issue
…"* Change in our official name from DOVE Inc. to Dove, Inc."

from the September 1983 issue
At the Fall General Board meeting, a Constitutional Amendment will be proposed to the membership.  This amendment will officially change the name of our ministry from 'DOVE Inc.' to 'Dove, Inc.'  The purpose is to make it easier for people to find us in directories.  The Fall meeting will be at 7 p.m. October 24 at Oreana Christian Church, Oreana, Ill."

and then from the December 1983 issue
"The formal name of our organization is now Dove, Inc.  Formerly we were known as DOVE Inc.  This change was ratified at the General Board Meeting October 24, and will make it easier for people to find our listings in directories.  Please make this change in your records."

It's a formal name and the legal name.

It used to be a acronym, Disciples of Volunteer Enlistment.  People still ask me today what it stands for, trying to fit "domestic violence" into the D and the V.  I tell a story, told to me by Fred Spannaus, the then Executive Director when I started at Dove, that when Dove went ecumenical, they dropped the reference to Disciples of Christ Churches - the founding churches - to make welcome to all denominations.  I like that story better than finding the name in directories, so I'll keep using it.

Our agency is called Dove, Inc.  We have many program names and event names.  We keep our roots with a strong tie to area congregations and volunteers support our programs as well as other agencies through RSVP.  We will add programs and change programs and find programs are not needed any longer and let them go.  We will keep the name of Dove, Inc.
Barbara Blakey
Director of Volunteers and Community Relations

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Updates to the Services offered by the Domestic Violence Program

What a challenging time we are in!  We are well aware of the risk that victims of domestic violence are especially facing during this time.  Although we have been primarily working remotely, we have continued to answer our 24-hour hotlines in all of the 5 counties we serve, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby and DeWitt.  We have continued to assist with Orders of Protection and provided telephone counseling.  Beginning Monday, June 1, 2020 staff will be available in person in each of our offices on a limited basis.  Social distancing will be required and everyone must wear a mask upon entry into our buildings.

Please check below for updates, county by county.

The Macon County Office in Decatur will have staff available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. and will be available for walk-in appointments for individual counseling and assistance with Orders of Protection.  The hotline number is 217.423.2238.

The Moultrie County  Office will open for walk-in services to assist with Orders of Protection and individual counseling with office hours of Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  Our 24-hr hotline is always available and can be accessed by calling 217.728.9334.  We will screen for symptoms before anyone can enter the office and masks must be worn if it is necessary to be closer than six feet.

The DeWitt County Office is now more readily available for walk-ins for Emergency Orders of Protection, individual counseling and assistance for clients who have suffered from domestic violence.  Our hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We will screen for symptoms before anyone can enter the office and masks must be worn if it is necessary to be closer than six feet.

The Shelby County  Office will be reopening on a part-time basis and we are happy to be able to begin to slowly resume normal operations as guidelines allow.  Our hours here in Shelbyville are noon to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Other hours can be available by appointment if these times are not workable for everyone.  As of now, our court system will also begin hearing all types of cases on an in-person basis with limits on the number of cases scheduled in person each day.  Masks must be worn to enter the courthouse.  Please call 217.774.3121 to schedule appointments; it may be necessary at times to leave a message.  For crisis situations, please continue to call 217.774.4888. We will screen for symptoms before anyone can enter the office and masks must be worn if it is necessary to be closer than six feet.  I look forward to seeing all of you in person.

The Piatt County  Office will be open Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,  to serve walk-in and client appointments.  All coming for services must wear a mask. The hotline will, as always, continue to serve the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 217.762.2122.
Support Groups will not restart until the middle to end of June.  Check back for more information on those meeting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

May is Older Americans Month

Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month in May. A time to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that our older adults make to our communities. Your time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. Communities, organizations, and individuals of all ages are making their marks. We want to thank you all for making your mark as part of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. We love the big and bold marks volunteers are leaving on our communities every day. During this COVID pandemic many of you have been making your mark on our community by sharing your talent and making masks. There has been a wonderful response from our volunteers to help make masks for our partner stations. This allows our community partners to continue serving others in a much safer manner. It is times like these that our volunteers help to carry us all through with experience, support, and talent. Thank you for Making your Mark in our communities.
Charlie Gillaspie, RSVP / SCP Director

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...