Posted by: joshjasper | June 19, 2009


We got hit with a really bad storm this morning.  Whenever hit with such a storm, the first step is always about cleaning up the mess and moving forward.  You find yourself roaming around your yard picking up broken branches, garbage cans gone astray, all while finding random things that were blown into your property. 

We (Riverview Center) got hit with a life altering storm recently.  The cost of the storm was just over $130,000.  Wreckage can and will be found throughout the state of Illinois.  Rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters are completing their yearly budgets with only enough money to make it to the 6 month mark.  After that, people will lose jobs, services will be eliminated, survivors will be revictimized. 

Although the siding was ripped off, the front steps were blown away, and half the shingles are gone, Riverview Center still stands.  Jobs are intact and services have not been interrupted, nor will they be.  It’s as if we found ourselves almost dead center in the eye of the storm.  Not quite in the middle where we would have been safe, but fairly close. 

There are a number of things I could attribute as to why we survived, but only one really matters.  We survived because of who we are as a staff, volunteer base, and as a community. 

With a recovery plan in place, the next step was to make the ask.  The ask having to do with asking staff members, volunteers, and the community to increase their support to help us sustain during this time of need.  Not surprisingly,  I didn’t have to make that ask.  It was our staff, our volunteers, and our community that came forward to ask what they could do, how they could help in any way possible.

Although still very much in shock, the storm has passed.  We have picked up the yard, cleaned up the garbage, and are now going through what has blown into our yard; optimistically searching for opportunities to be found in the wreckage.

Rest assured, the next time a storm hits (and it will) we will be ready.



  1. Good analogy, Josh. The feeling of being a little shocked, a little in awe of the power of something bigger than us, a little angry at the “why us” part of it all, and most important, the determination to come out on top motivates us to keep doing what we do best . . . helping victims become survivors!

  2. Good luck with all the wreckage. I hate that the most important services always seem to be the first to get cut. Keep doing the awesome work you’re doing, cuz.

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