A Few Words from Executive Director,
To say that my first six months as Executive Director of FVHH was filled with immense learning would be such an understatement. So many in our FVHH community – our staff, our volunteers, our clients, our Board, our community – have been incredibly generous with their time, insights and patience.
This year will be a continuing transition period as we thoughtfully examine how to best support the grieving and those facing life-threatening illnesses. I remain committed to my promise highlighted during the Meet and Greets – we need to head into this world seeking ways to embrace ‘simple, open, and together.’
This agency has been honored and blessed in so many ways – through generous grants, bequests, donations and the special gift of time and talent – thank you.
Looking forward, we have 3 key priorities:
- Increase awareness of the importance of seeking grief support
- Build a relevant curriculum to meet the varied needs of our clients
- Provide guidance, support, and be a safety net for our volunteers
—Sincerely, Bev DeJovine
The year of 2019 meant a lot of big changes at Fox Valley Hands of Hope! Along with the appointment of Beverly, FVHH staff and volunteers also welcomed our new Manager of Adult Bereavement Services, Erik Meeks, Director of Development, Noe Janus and Outreach Engagement Associate, Claire Culton. All new staff members have incorporated themselves well into the Fox Valley Hands of Hope team and we are excited to have them aboard!
With big changes, came big impacts at Fox Valley Hands of Hope. In 2019 the organization was able to serve over 2,000 clients through our 27 different programs and services. Project Hope, our school-based youth bereavement program, amassed a total of 46 school partnerships throughout the Fox River Valley. Our medical equipment leading closet continued to grow as we were able to provide the service to over 500 people in the surrounding communities. FVHH also had the privilege of working with nearly 300 volunteers in 2019. These volunteers make a huge positive influence on the lives of our clients. Whether it be loaning out medical equipment to the community, baking cookies to deliver on holidays, or facilitating one of our many grief support groups, our volunteers continuously provide dedicated service to those in need. In 2020 we will continue to strive to be the leading provider and resource center for those experiencing grief.
Steady headway was made in 2019 for the introduction of a software database constructed by EMK Consulting. This database will revolutionize how we confidentially track and process our clients. It will take substantial time away from data input and allow FVHH clinicians to have more of an opportunity to what they do best — provide compassionate guidance and support to those suffering from bereavement. Thank you to the Inc Board of Aurora for being such an instrumental competent in our ability to implement this software. They awarded FVHH funding for this software, as they recognized what a productive affect it would make on our organization. This software will be installed and put to good use in 2020 and beyond!
2020 will also bring many new experiences, programs, and connections at Fox Valley Hands of Hope. Our youth and family program, Herbie’s Friends will return this spring, and run for four weeks. Here families can enjoy a meal together, followed by group activities led by trained facilitators. Connect — A Grief and Yoga Workshop is a new program coming to FVHH in March. Through this program girls ages 10-13 will have an opportunity to meet new friends and learn fun ways to manage the big feelings that come with the loss of someone you love. Starting February 13th, we will launch out first-ever Volunteer Advisory Council to gain deeper insight into how best support these impactful people in our mission. Following closely after, we will be starting a Council of Young Professionals to engage and tap into the next generation of leaders. Stay tuned for updates on our Community Talks. These public seminars will be held throughout the community to give us the opportunity to spread awareness of our mission and service. We are also in the early processes of developing our backyard into a memorial garden. This space will be one of peace and healing.
Along with programming, we have many new fundraising events that will be held throughout the year. The upcoming functions include:
- Bid for Hope – April 13-19, 2020: A totally remote on-line bidding event spanning the course of seven days. Participants will be able to bid on exciting items and auction packages from the convenience of their home, office or wherever!
- Garden Walk – June, 2020: Much like a holiday house walk or a kitchen walk, FVHH will host a Garden Walk during which participates will have access to a handful of the area’s most spectacular residential gardens.
- Golf Outing – August, 2020: Held at a local golf club, individual golfers and foursomes will register for a round of golf and some games on the course. Includes drinks and either a lunch or a dinner.
- Brewery Event- January 2021: Enjoy brews and bites at a local brewery to benefit FVHH. There may be some entertainment and a small raffle.
Please stay tuned for updates on specifics for these events! We will continue to keep the FVHH family in the loop via our newsletter and social media pages! If you are interested in participating in any events or programs in the coming months, please give our office a call at 630.232.2233. Thank you to all who have shown continuous compassion and dedication to our mission and services. Many of you have been with us through every step of our development throughout the years, and we in turn are with you.
#wearewithyoufvhh #fvhh #givemorehope