Social Work is a profession of hope—fueled by resilience and advocacy. Social Workers matter because they help millions of struggling people every day dream differently.
It is with these concepts in mind that the theme for Social Work Month 2013 is “Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy: The Power of Social Work.”
March is National Social Work Month, and Hospice of the Rock River Valley would like to thank and celebrate our hospice social workers, Sarah Cebula and Debbie Dean.
It is also an opportunity to explain and celebrate the role of a Hospice Social Worker. Many people, even if they understand the hospice concept, aren’t aware that hospice care is provided through a team approach and that social workers are essential members of that team. Hospice social workers are part of the core services, working with other team members, addressing the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual effects of a person living with a terminal condition. When a hospice social worker visits an individual and his or her loved ones in hospice care, she or he begins by completing a comprehensive assessment. The assessment helps the social worker understand the needs, strengths and goals of the patient and family, as they cope with the effects of a progressive illness, dying and death. Social workers build a trust and relationship with the patient and family, during a time of crisis and vulnerability. With this understanding and trust established, the social worker can best help the family manage this difficult experience.
Patients and families can be devastated in so many ways by the dying and death of a loved one. Hospice social workers help meet a family’s basic needs by educating and advocating for the patient and family. The social worker’s interventions may include counseling and support to deal with loss, grief and bereavement before the death; helping patients and families deal with stress and conflicts; providing palliative care techniques for distressing symptoms such as depression, pain and anxiety; addressing ethical dilemmas; and providing visits and collaboration with hospice team members. Hospice social workers pay close attention to practical yet important matters, such as identifying other resources to meet basic needs such as rent, utilities or medical co-pays for medications; assisting patients and families navigate health systems and benefits; and end-of-life planning including advance directives.
Hospice of the Rock River Valley, a United Way agency, is the area’s non-profit freestanding hospice. For more information about services and benefits of hospice care, call 815-288-3673 or visit www.hospicerockriver.org.
The annual Carroll County 4-H & FFA Dairy Judging Contest was held at the Carroll Co. Highway Building with 97 youth from 5 counties participating.
Placing in the top ten for the contest was Front Row L to R: 1st place Michael Foley, Scales Mound FFA & 4-H; 2nd place Cassie Johnson West Carroll FFA; 3rd place Emily Hanlin, Byron FFA & 4-H; 4th place Ellie Lenkaitis, Forreston FFA; 5th place Megan Hayunga, Freeport FFA
Back Row L to R: 6th place Ryan McLane, River Ridge FFA & 4-H; 7th place Brianna Kampmeier, West Carroll FFA; 8th place Jared Dickman, Florence Crickets 4-H; 9th place Eric Ebersole, Chadwick Achievers 4-H (not pictured); 10th place Hunter Binns, Stockton FFA. Congratulations to everyone.
‘Anything Goes’ Performed at West Carroll High
(T) West Carroll High School students presented Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” March 22, 23, and 24th in the Thomson Gymnasium.
(R) Ben Rogers (Billy Crocker) and Liesl Meador (Hope Harcourt) did a stunning job Sunday for the final presentation of “Anything Goes”.
(PA photos/Lynnette Forth)
A large group of well-wishers that included family, colleagues, and chamber members were on hand to celebrate with Financial Services Professional Joe Mills, the opening of his branch office of First Wealth Financial Group at 219 E. Main Street, downtown Morrison. Joe specializes in providing insurance, asset accumulation, and distribution solutions to families, businesses, not-for-profits, and governmental agencies. Contact him at (815) 718-5933 or visit firstwealthfinancialgroup.com. Those attending the ribbon cutting ceremony on March 22, 2013 were front row l-r: Vickie Viggen, Madison Street Spa; Joe’s wife Danielle holding their daughter Ivy; Owner Joe Mills; Andrew Meyers, First Wealth Clinton, IA Branch; Suzie Mills, Joe’s sister-in-law; and Norma Nelson, THE National Bank. Back row l-r: Jean Eggemeyer, Carillon Communications; Howard Mills, Joe’s father; Patrick Lonergan, First Wealth Clinton, IA Branch; Jennifer White, THE National Bank; Christina Wetzell, Relax Therapeutic Massage; and Stephanie Vavra, thecity1.com. (Courtesy of Morrison Chamber of Commerce)
The Milledgeville Elementary Week 20 Thumbs Up Winners: From left to right, front row: Micah Toms-Smith, Kaige Ferrell, Kayden Knutti, Bryce McKenna, Jacob Promenschenkel; back row: Caley Munz, Owen Moeller, Linsey Lapp, Joey Promenschenkel, and Tyson Helfrich.
Riverview Center Awarded Grant
In May 2012, the Illinois Bar Foundation awarded the Riverview Center with a grant to provide legal assistance for survivors of domestic violence.
Over the last year, the project allowed 13 survivors in Carroll and Jo Daviess Counties to find safety through the courts with an attorney’s representation in their Order of Protection Hearings. The Riverview Center worked with 7 local attorneys to increase these survivors’ probability of gaining legal protection and to increase their options through the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1984.
Also as a direct result of this project, the Legal Advocates of the Riverview Center have increased their legal knowledge and resources to better serve those clients who fear and experience violence in their own homes.
For information on orders of protection or other Riverview Center advocacy and counseling services, contact 815-777-8043 or 815-244-7833 or visit www.riverviewcenter.org. You may also learn more about the Illinois Bar Foundation at www.illinoisbarfoundation.org.
Emmanuel Reformed YF to host Pancake Dinner
The Emmanuel Reformed Church Youth Fellowship will be hosting a Pancake Dinner on Wednesday, April 3 from 5:00-7:30 pm. This is an all you can eat dinner which includes Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage, Orange Juice and Coffee. There will be a free will donation, with the proceeds going to the Emmanuel Youth Ministries 2013 Summer Mission Trip to work with the residents of Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The Emmanuel YF will partner with Next Step Ministries to construct a recovery home for men and women struggling with addiction. This five-year vision in the making will reach out to the community by providing a consistent, Christ-centered recovery program led by Robert Ingram, a minister who successfully pioneered the program in the United States. We may also work throughout the community by repairing and rebuilding homes for Jamaican citizens. We are particularly excited about this trip because we want to show the love of Christ to the people we meet in Jamaica.
All are welcome to attend this dinner. Come enjoy a delicious pancake supper, fellowship and the opportunity to make a difference for those in need. For more information, please call 815-772-3890.
Morrison Conducts Informational Open House Meeting
Based on comments and suggestions offered by the public at the November 15, 2012, Open House meeting, Mayor Roger Drey announces the City of Morrison will hold an Informational Open House Meeting to present to the public the proposed wastewater treatment plant design and construction.
The meeting will address the topics of the project itself, the location of the waste water treatment plant, the layout of the structures, and the tentative planning, design, and construction schedule.
“We are seeking input from the community before finalizing the planning, design, and construction of the new waste water treatment plant.,” Drey said “Conceptual drawings, maps, and aerial photography will be available for inspection and viewing during the open house.”
The open house will be held in the Community Room at the Odell Public Library, 307 S. Madison Street, Morrison, IL on Thursday, March 28, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. All persons interested in this project are invited to attend this meeting. There will be a brief presentation by City officials and consulting engineers at 5:15 PM to address comments and suggestions offered by the public at the November 15, 2012, Open House. The meeting room is accessible to persons with a disability.
Representatives of the City of Morrison and its consulting engineers will be available from 5:30 until 8:00 PM to discuss the project. Representatives will answer individual questions and note comments and suggestions offered by those in attendance.
The public is encouraged to submit written comments and suggestions, both during the open house and for the 30 days following the open house to the City Administrator:
Jim Wise, City Administrator
Comments and suggestions may be submitted to the City Administrator by email or regular mail, or they may be hand-delivered to City Hall. Please do not submit written comments and suggestions to other City staff or to the consulting engineers. All public comments and suggestions should be addressed to city hall.
For more information, contact City Administrator Jim Wise.
Super Recycling Event Reminder – April 6
Northwest Illinois residents and businesses are invited to participate in the upcoming Super Recycling Event collection set for Saturday, April 6, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The recycling collection will be conducted at the Carroll County Highway Department, just off Rt. 52/64, at 10735 Mill Road, Mt. Carroll, Illinois.
Free recycling categories include electronics such as computers, monitors, televisions, printers, keyboards, copiers, cell phones, and more. Small household electronic items are also accepted at no charge and include microwaves, vacuum cleaners, coffee and bread makers, toaster ovens, small saws, drills, holiday lights, hair dryers and more.
Batteries are also accepted for free and include all types of alkaline, lithium, rechargeable, and large lead-acid vehicle and machinery batteries.
Bulky metal items are also accepted for free and include bicycles, swing sets, metal shelving, metal cabinets, lawn and garden tractors, lawn mowers, snow blowers, metal patio furniture, outdoor grills, metal bed frames, steel posts, metal fencing, and more.
Additional recycling items will be accepted for small fee. Large household appliances will be accepted for $10 per item and include refrigerators, dish washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc. Compact and large fluorescent bulbs will also be accepted for a charge with bulbs four feet and under costing $1.00 each and bulbs over four feet costing $2.00 each. Paper and document shredding including DVD disposal is also offered and will cost $2 per participating household or business.
Unfortunately, no paint or chemicals can be accepted at the collection.
The event is sponsored by the Jo-Carroll Solid Waste Agency. For questions, please contact Mark Maidak, agency coordinator, at 815-541-8183, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Ralph Flether to Visit West Carroll
On Thursday, April 4th, staff developer and children’s book author, Ralph Fletcher, will be visiting West Carroll. Amber Findlay, Christa Curley, Janell Hartman, and Keta Foltz wrote a grant through the Illinois Reading Council to fund this event. The grant, worth $3,287, will fund the author visit as well as teaching materials used to prepare for this experience.
Teachers from both the primary and middle school participated in an on-line book club using the book, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices by Ralph Fletcher.
Meanwhile, at the middle school, Pat Foltz launched a “Boy Writer” lunch club for 7th grade students. The grant money provided those students with another book written for boy writers titled Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know by Ralph Fletcher. When Mr. Fletcher visits, he will spend the morning at the primary school and afternoon at the middle school. He will have a special lunch session with Mr. Foltz’s “Boy Writer” lunch club.
The teachers in the West Carroll schools work tirelessly to provide positive reading and writing experiences for the students year round. Their program, which utilizes “Rocky the Writing Raccoon” donated by Facemakers, Inc., includes summer writing bags, author visits, Wear a Word Day, and a special writing day for 1st graders at the end of the year. These programs are funded through PTO box tops, a book fair at West Carroll Primary School (April 15 – 18), and an Illinois Reading Council Literacy Support Grant.
Recently the primary school teachers traveled to Springfield, IL to present this program at the Illinois Reading Conference. Over eighty teachers from across Illinois attended their session to learn how they can motivate students in their schools.
Three for the Price of One
A Comedy Triple Crown in Family Entertainment
The Northwest Illinois Theatre Coalition presents three times the laughs in this year’s opening evening of entertainment.
Starting in Orangeville, the Mighty Richland Players is presenting “The Committee Meeting,” “Let’s Go Already,” and Honey Crisp and her Bushel of Friends.
“Let’s Go Already,” centers on the bantering between Harry and Edith, who have been married for 40 years. They are attempting to get ready to celebrate this big event. The harried…er…happily married couple is played by Peter Woodruff and Diane Tepper and is directed by Sandra Janicke.
“The Committee,” directed by Sue Wichman, is about a church women’s committee that spends lots of time together, yet gets little done. Sound familiar? The committee members are Dawn Degenhandt (Amy), Mary Jo Frederick (Ruth), Deb Ketzel (Doris), Sandy Janicke (Mary) and Barb Clemmons (committee chairman Sue).
Honey Crisp and her Bushel of Friends entertain with singing and great stories that will make you laugh. Sandy Sweitzer (Honey Crisp) is on lead guitar, Kenny Sweitzer (Mr. Winesap), is on banjolin and Denny Hancock (the witty Jonathon Cider) is on stump fiddle. Sue Wichman (Granny Smith) makes a special appearance to round out the night of hillbilly fun!
This is the first show of the 2013 season by the Northwest Illinois Theatre Coalition, which includes Mighty Richland Players Theatre of Orangeville, Back Street Players of Hanover, and Plum River Playhouse of Stockton. Three for the Price of One will open in Orangeville, at 203 W. High Street on April 12, 13, and 14. The show travels to Hanover, at 111 Monroe, April 18 and 19. And then ends its run with the Plum River Playhouse at Christ Lutheran Church in Stockton, on April 20 and 21.
For ticket information at Mighty Richland Theater, call The Monroe Arts Center at 608-325-5700. Tickets for Back Street Players can be purchased by calling 815-244-1014. Plum River Playhouse tickets are on sale at Stockton Banking Center in Stockton by calling 815-947-2000. This program is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Freeport Art Museum.
Good Samaritan Society-Mt. Carroll Food Drive
Good Samaritan Society-Mount Carroll staff and residents invite community members to participate in a food drive to benefit Carroll County food pantries.
Canned goods, non-perishable items, and paper goods will be accepted now through April 20. Please drop off items at Good Samaritan Society-Mount Carroll, 1006 N. Lowden Rd., Mount Carroll. Your support will help persons in need in our community.
For more information, contact Anna Gray, resource development director, at email@example.com or 815-244-7715.
4-H Shooting Sports Program Underway
University of Illinois Extension and Stephenson County 4-H is proud to announce the start of a youth shooting sports program. The Stephenson County shooting sports club is new to Illinois and has been structurally revised from previous shooting programs. The 4-H Shooting Sports Club is an active participation program designed to introduce young people to the sports of archery, air rifle, shotgun, and .22. The program is built around natural resources, wildlife, outdoor recreation, and safety. The program goals include experiential learning and positive interaction with other members under the tutelage of state certified instructors. The core concepts will stress safety, ethics, personal responsibility, and the development of lifetime recreational skills.
Shooting Sports are open to youth 8 - 18 years of age for archery and air rifle, and 10 – 18 years of age for shotgun and .22. Safety is first and foremost - participants are expected to follow the directions of the various instructors at all times. All equipment for all disciplines will be supplied by the club. No personal equipment will be allowed at the events.
Kim Christman, 4-H Youth Educator, stated, “the 4-H staff, in conjunction with the shooting sports instructors and coordinator, want this to be an exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding experience taught within a safe environment. We hope that this will be the first of many wonderful years showcasing the life skills gained through a structured shooting sports program.”
Registration is currently open until April 9th for youth interested in the archery club. The archery club will start on Tuesday, April 16 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Indian Trail Archers facility located at 107 E. Spring St., Freeport. The club will then meet every Tuesday thereafter from April through May. The fee for participating in the archery club is $40.00 for 4-H members and $50.00 for non 4-H members to help cover mandatory insurance, equipment maintenance, etc. In addition, there will be a $1.00 fee for each target used. The same target may be used for all classes, if desired. Information and registration for other shooting sports disciplines will follow as the events are planned. If interested, please contact Lori Tessendorf, 4-H Program Coordinator, at (815) 235-4125 or register online by visiting: https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=8106.
LSSI’s Lifebook Program Helps Foster Children
Lots of people have foggy memories from their childhood; the details may be vague, out of sequence or, in some cases, simply inaccurate. But most people have a parent or another person who can help them put the puzzle pieces of the past together. That isn’t true for many foster kids.
With about 2,000 children in foster care at any one time, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) manages one of Illinois’ largest foster care programs. One of the unique ways in which LSSI works with these young people is through a therapeutic tool called a Lifebook. Like a scrapbook, LSSI’s Lifebook, entitled “My Awesome Life,” contains places for pictures and mementos of a child’s life. But it does much more: It helps a child make sense of a complicated life and overcome trauma.
“Every child deserves a sense of his or her own history,” says Mary Sue Waite, an LSSI Lifebook specialist based in north central Illinois “Many foster children lose that after being separated from their original families, and the emotional damage can deepen, if children have to move to more than one foster home. Lifebooks are a source of healing — they help children reconnect with people and fill in the gaps in their personal histories.”
Children in foster care may lose track of the places they have lived or may not understand why they are not living with their birth parents. A Lifebook provides them with a place to collect and keep track of their placement histories and to honor important relationships. The Lifebook provides concrete, visual tools that assist children in understanding their pasts and reasons for the separation from their parent(s).
Lisa, a 12-year-old girl in foster care with LSSI, was working on Lifebook pages and had many unanswered questions about her father. Lisa believed that he did not love her anymore, because she has not talked to him or seen him since she was a toddler. Writing in her Lifebook, Lisa expressed that she would like to get in contact with her dad.
Although Lisa’s father had not responded to previous attempts to contact him, the LSSI Lifebook specialist sent him a letter asking for information and pictures for his daughter’s Lifebook. Two weeks later, he responded and said he was willing to provide information for Lisa’s Lifebook and would like to talk to her. After lots of preparation with the Lifebook specialist, Lisa and her father had a phone conversation. Lisa found out that she and her dad share a lot of common interests, such as reading and loving animals.
At the end of the conversation, Lisa’s father told her he loved her very much and missed her a lot. Lisa then told her dad that she loved and missed him, too. Because of Lifebook work, Lisa and her father reconnected, and Lisa was able to hear a message of love from her absent father. There’s still a lot of work to do to heal this relationship, but through Lifebook work, a huge hole has been filled for Lisa.
“It is so important for all of us to have a sense of our story as individuals to know who we are and to feel whole. I am so pleased that we can give this gift to the foster children we serve at our agency,” says Waite. Since the program’s inception in 2008, more than 3,000 children in foster care served by LSSI have received a copy of “My Awesome Life,” and more than 400 LSSI staff members and 700 foster parents/caregivers have received Lifebook training. Says Monica Johnson, Lifebook program supervisor, “Our priority is to train our staff and foster parents, because in order for children to have meaningful and completed Lifebooks, the significant adults in their lives — who have knowledge of their history – must be aware of the importance and benefits of Lifebooks and how to help children create them.”
To do so, LSSI has developed an innovative Lifebook training curriculum that includes a trainer’s guide, DVD and PowerPoint presentation to help other agencies replicate its success with Lifebooks. For more information on LSSI’s Lifebook program, including a short video, or to purchase “My Awesome Life,” please visit http://www.LSSI.org/Support/MyAwesomeLife.aspx. You may also contact Mary Sue Waite at 815/284-7796, ext. 2108, for more information.