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There is a great deal to be done

 Well, August has certainly been a busy month here at Dove. I hope all of you are staying healthy and safe and that you’re staying cool in the heat. We may be amid a heatwave, but I’m thinking cool thoughts and dreaming about Christmas.

 The first piece of news regarding our baskets program is that we have both a new name and a new logo! The logo debuted in last month’s newsletter, created by Dove’s Director of Volunteers and Community Relations, Barb Blakey. It really highlights our partnerships with Northeast Community Fund, Salvation Army, and the community who is so generous with their donations of time, money, gifts, and food.

 The new title, Christmas Care and Share, gets right at the heart of what we aim to do with the program – care about others and share our resources, share our love of people – with as many others as we can.

After meeting with the planning committee for the program, and meeting with Salvation Army and Northeast Community Fund, we decided to give gifts once more to kids up to age 17. We are also going to give away some of the bigger ticket items (such as bikes, scooters, riding toys, and hoverboards) in a lottery to make sure everyone has equal opportunity at those items. We always want to be as fair as possible, and this feels like the best way to go about it with those gifts.

As for location, we don’t know for certain yet where we will be assembling and distributing baskets this year. Last year as most of you know, we utilized the former Kroger in Fairview Plaza, which worked out great for multiple reasons, but it also came with a hefty price tag that none of our agencies can afford to pay again. Our tentative plan is – we are hoping to utilize the gymnasium at Salvation Army. However, now, there is construction going on at their shelter and their clients are sleeping in said gymnasium. The construction folks are hopeful that construction will be done by October, but with the struggle to get supplies, workers, and the ongoing pandemic, they just don’t know for sure at this point.

 So much of this month has been dedicated to trying to find a Plan B. There are a few things up in the air as possibilities, but nothing concrete yet.

 Initially we were set to meet with agency and school representatives on September 13 to give them their referrals to take back to their agencies and schools to decide which of their families needed assistance the most. We like to give them ample time to do that, and to contact their families and distribute the information and get it back to us before crunch time (when we make the move from working in the office to working wherever we’re setting up for assembly and distribution). We have now pushed that meeting date to October 6, and made it a Zoom meeting, both for convenience’s sake and to give us more time to see if construction will be finished up at the Salvation Army. Please say a prayer that it is, as it really is our best option at this point.

 As every year, we have quite a list of outside agencies and schools that we give referrals to. So far those who’ve decided to participate in 2021 are below:

 Agencies:

  • Anna Waters
  • Baby Talk
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Cancer Care
  • Child 1st Center
  • Decatur Rehab
  • Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center
  • Macon County Health Department
  • Heritage
  • MRI (Macon Resources)
  • Old King’s Orchard Community Center
  • Webster Cantrell Youth Advocacy
  • Youth With a Positive Direction

Schools:

  • American Dreamer Academy
  • Decatur Christian School
  • Harris School
  • Holy Family
  • Hope Academy
  • John’s Hill
  • Meridian
  • Milligan Academy
  • Our Lady of Lourdes
  • Parson’s
  • Richland Community College
  • Robertson Charter
  • South Shores Elementary School
  • St. James/St. Pat’s

We’re confident that we’ll have others coming aboard to give referrals to their families in the next few weeks, as we’ve been reaching out to a lot of new entities we haven’t worked with before, for this purpose, trying to catch as many people who might otherwise fall between the cracks and not receive needed help.

 We’re always in need of homemade stockings and warm items for kids (hats, gloves, scarves), and also would love to receive rolls of tape for wrapping gifts. One area we struggle in is stocking stuffers for pre-teen and teen boys. Something that’s right around the corner is Halloween and those giant bags of mixed candies make GREAT stocking stuffers for kids of all ages – so if you wanted to grab an extra bag when you grab one for the kiddos in your neighborhood, we’d appreciate that very much.

 Though there’s a lot up in the air, the process is still very exciting. If you’re wanting to get involved or help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Angie at Dove, Inc. at 217.428.6616 or by email at awilliams@doveinc.org. There’s a great deal to be done.



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