Posted by: joshjasper | January 8, 2010

Sincerly Thankful

I think it’s most fitting to start the year with an entry sharing how thankful I am for the community support we received in this past year.  I know I’ve written about and presented on the importance of our community supporting Riverview Center’s vision of a community free of sexual violence thousands of times, and will continue to do so because of how true that is.  To prove my point, consider the following examples in 2009:

1.  John Cooke attended a small event in a person’s home this past year that consisted of a presentation from myself and a show titled “In Celebration of Women.”  The entire evening lasted no longer than 2 hours, but the impact it had on John will undoubtedly last a lifetime.  John pulled me aside at the end of the evening and stated the following: “We have to do more.  We have to pull the rug back on this issue of men’s violence against women and let everyone know about this major problem.  Everyone should be made aware.  I had no idea!”  Soon thereafter John made a substantial donation to Riverview to allow us to present  the very same empowering show for the entire Galena community.  After the Galena show he committed to supporting Riverview again to allow the Dubuque community to receive this valuable information.

2.  A survivor of sexual abuse that was receiving our services over the past year stated the following during her last session with her counselor:  “I can finally sleep.  My life was filled with nightmares before Riverview came into my life.”  This heartfelt thank you boosted the spirits of every employee in our organization, and made it crystal clear why we work as hard as we do day in and day out.

3.  Riverview’s violence prevention group (END-IT) delivered the Coaching Boys Into Men/Coaching Girls Into Women program to the tri-state area.  Soon after the implementation of this incredible program, NICC agreed to partner with our efforts and allowed this program to be included in their coaching certification process.  Each and every month nearly a dozen coaches were trained at NICC on this program.  Don Vrotsos and Dan Avenarius (members of this volunteer group) agreed to present this program each month.  There was no way Riverview could have taken on this time intensive responsibility without their help and the help of every other volunteer in this group.

4.  Every year Riverview Center hosts a fashion show at Eagle Ridge in Galena.  This event requires months of planning and work to ensure that more than 150 guests have a wonderful experience.  All of this planning and work is done by a group of volunteers.  Nearly 10 volunteers meet every year to support Riverview through this fundraising effort and raise close to $10,000 to make sure that our services are never affected by the never-ending roller coaster that is state funding.  They recognize that  it is absolutely paramount that Riverview continues to offer FREE services to those in need.  Charging someone to receive counseling for their victimization would be like being victimized all over again.

5.  This past November we sent our 3,500 appeal letters to the community.  This annual letter is sent to members of our community asking to once again support our services.  As you can imagine, the production of that many letters is incredibly time-consuming.  It was around that time that we created a Facebook page for Riverview to help raise awareness of who we are.  Unbelievably, after just a few posts on our Facebook page, a group of volunteers formed and committed nearly a week’s worth of time to carry out this important task.  A special thanks to the folks at RSVP over at Finley Hospital and everyone else that found time in their day to help us out.

There is no doubt that I could add hundreds of other examples of support that we received over the past year.  It will be because of this growing dedication that one day there will be no need for me to write about our work.

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