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2014 IDSTF Report
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Executive Director Wanted
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2014 IDSTF Report
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Features

IJF November 2014 Newsletter

 

 

   

Illinois Joining Forces

 

Serving Service Members, 

Veterans and Their Families 

                                                                                   November 2014

 

 

Message from the Chairman

 

Greetings, Members! This month we are proud to welcome three great new organizations to IJF: 183rd Fighter WingAging and Disability Foundation, and Illinois National Guard - Suicide Prevention Program - just in time for the Holidays. We can look forward to combining forces with them and their missions going forward.  Other than our new members update, I provide you with the following: 

- Corporate Status of IJF - By-laws, articles of incorporation, not-for-profit status and the charitable solicitation forms have all been filed with the relevant entities (Secretary of State, Attorney General's Office, and the Internal Revenue Service).  We are developing IJF's policies and will continue to provide transitional support moving forward.

 

- Meet your Board of Directors - View the IJF Board Roster here.


 

As always, we are appreciative of your unwavering support for the IJF. In the weeks and months ahead, please stay tuned for further organizational developments, and help us grow the great family of members providing services to our Illinois veterans, service members and their families!

 

Rodrigo

Rodrigo Garcia

Board Chairman, Illinois Joining Forces 

 

IJF Member Survey     

   

 

As we prepare for our next quarterly IJF Board of Director's Meeting on December 11th, we'd love to hear what you have to say about how IJF can best serve your organization, what programming you'd like to see, and how we can work together in the years ahead.  Please take a few minutes before December 10th, to provide us with your very valuable input by answering a few survey questions.  

 

 

 

IJF Staff Member Introduction - Kofi Sam

Kofi Sam has joined the IJF staff as a Program Manager in the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, Chicago office. He is a member of the Veterans Leader Corps and successor to Kathy Johnson whose VLC term expired in October.  Kofi comes from a background working in human services; most recently completing work with Mercy Housing - Lakefront, finding affordable housing options for residents seeking to transition.  His duties on the IFJ team will include working on the newsletter, updating social media, conducting outreach to member organizations and providing administrative assistance to the IJF Board of Directors.  

Kofi is a native of Chicago, Illinois and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) and Masters of Public Policy from University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA).  Please help us welcome Kofi on board and we look forward to working with him until at least September of 2015!

 

 

 

Decatur Veterans' Stand Down 


 

The 3rd annual Decatur Veterans' Stand Down was held November 14th at the Salvation Army's Community Center in Decatur, Illinois. IJF was in attendance represented by Anthony Bellin (IJF program manager, Springfield) alongside approximately 30 service providers offering a wide range of services to address veteran issues such as homelessness, benefits, referrals for assistance, and HIV screening.  Further, a hot lunch, cold-weather clothing, and personal hygiene supplies were given to 95 veterans and their immediate families. Upwards of 30% of the veterans attending this event were bussed in from the Danville and Springfield areas to ensure the widest possible coverage. IJF made contact with several organizations that would be beneficial to the IJF network.  We hope to welcome them as members in the months ahead.

 

 

 

Honoring Women Veterans' Event

 

On Monday, November 10th, through our Illinois Joining Forces connections and with sponsorship from Marshall Kayman of Weinstein Funeral Home and Dignity Memorial, Macy's of Old Orchard, and the Double Tree hotel in Skokie, Illinois, women veterans were honored at a dinner and fashion show dedicated to our women in military service.  Among the speakers paying tribute were retired MAJ GEN James Mukoyama, State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, Elisabeth Pennix from IDVA and Cyndee Shaffer, author of "Mollie's War". This event brought together veterans from all recent eras of service from WWII to the present for an evening of joviality and camaraderie. Macy's personally outfitted eight veteran models from all branches of the military, showcasing the latest fashions of work and holiday wear. Over 100 people attended this event and more IJF connections were forged to create service opportunities for women veterans. 


 

As a result, our IJF Women Veterans Working Group in partnership with IDVA, will bring together women veteran volunteers for a Day of Service on December 7th at the Concord Place Retirement Community, 401 W. Lake Street, Northlake, Illinois.  Volunteers will serve veteran residents through art, to create hand sculptures of the veterans, representing their military oath and creating a tangible legacy of their lives.

 


 

Save the Date - July 16-17, 2015

2nd Annual IJF Military Immersion Training


 

On July 16th-17th 2015, IJF is partnering once again with the Illinois Army National Guard to provide a 2-day Military Immersion Training event for IJF members, employees and service providers who have not served in the military.  Details, agenda, and registration information will follow in the coming months.

 

 

 

IJF Online Website Training

 

 

This online training is perfect if you want to ask questions about referrals, updating your events calendar, posting your meeting information or resources, or whatever other website questions or feedback you have for us. Please join us:

 

12/10/14 Webinar  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CST (Register here)


 

For any further questions or technical help with the website, contact Anthony Bellin 

at info@illinoisjoiningforces.org or 217-524-3068.

 

 

                                    

IJF Events You Don't Want to Miss

 

   December 7  -   IJF Women Veterans' Day of Service event

   December 9   -  Austin Community Action Team Meeting

   December 9   -  Military Parent Meeting

   December 11 -  IJF Board of Director's Quarterly Meeting

   December 12  - Northwest Suburban Military Families Initiative

 

 

 

 

 

For a .pdf version of this newsletter, please click here!

 

Print, share and forward to friend and others who might benefit from learning more about Illinois Joining Forces.

 

 

Members - Submit Your Story

 

We want to share your organization in action. Please submit your story in the following format:

  • Challenge (Why did the SMVF/Organization contact your organization)
  • IJF in Action  (How did IJF resolve the issue)
  • Result (What benefit did  the SMVF/Organization receive)

Please email your stories to: info@illinoisjoiningforces.org

 

Of course, if you need support or if you have any questions, please contact the IJF Team at info@illinoisjoiningforces.org

 

 

You are receiving the Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) newsletter because of your work on behalf of service members, veterans and their families in Illinois. Through this newsletter, we will share updates on the work and growth of IJF, highlight exciting projects underway, and provide information about how you and your organization can get more involved.

 

 www.IllinoisJoiningForces.org

 

Illinois Joining Forces (IJF)

100 West Randolph

Suite 5-570

Chicago, IL 60601-3219


Please add us to your address book

 

Copyright (C) 2013 Illinois Joining Forces (IJF). All rights reserved.

 

 

 
 

 

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest

 
 

 

 
 

IJF October 2014 Newsletter

 

   

Illinois Joining Forces

 

Serving Service Members, 

Veterans and Their Families 

                                                                                   October 2014

 

 

Message from the Chairman

 

Greetings, Members! This month we are proud to welcome four new organizations to IJF: Lincoln Land Community CollegeMorton CollegeThe Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, and The John Marshall School of Law Fair Housing Legal Support Center & Clinic. We can look forward to combining forces with them and their missions going forward. 

As we plan for next year's events and trainings, we are asking you to provide your critical input into our program planning. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey to help IJF move forward as a state-wide, public-private network servicing Service Members, Veterans and their Families. The survey will be open until November 15. We look forward to hearing your recommendations and suggestions!

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZMXQVWM

 

In the weeks and months ahead, stay tuned for further organizational developments like the 2013 and 2014 Annual Reports to the Membership, 2015 Programming Schedule, and our bylaws being adopted by the Board of Directors.

 

 

Rodrigo

Rodrigo Garcia

Board Chairman, Illinois Joining Forces 

 

IJF Training:  Helping to Hire Veterans- Event Highlights

 

 

The first joint IJF-National Able company-hiring training event was held in August.  Over 38 participants representing 16 companies attended; all hungry to find qualified veterans.

 

Expanding Member Outreach

Money Management International

 

Art Bilski shared that In the past 12 months, Money Management International (MMI) has had 137 visits to the Financial Literacy webinars and 58 of those visitors were unique ID's which means the visitors came back for more than 1 Webinar. By creating a unique link from the IJF website to MMI financial literacy webinars, MMI was able to demonstrate how IJF has helped to expand their outreach.

 

IJF Network in Action

Becoming a Military Friendly School


 

IJF member, Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation, with collaboration from Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services, Lake County Health Dept. Trauma Treatment Program, the Naval Station Great Lakes School Liaison program, and Military One Source hosted an event. The event was purposed to bring the education community into the fold of trauma-informed providers being developed in Lake County through the work of IJF members Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation and Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services.  Transformation of the community to be ready, willing, and able to support its SMVF residents is the common mission for both of these organizations. 

 

110 attendees included:

25 schools/teachers/tutors

7 community/youth programs

7 medical program reps

3 police/legal org reps

29 clinicians

5 military reps

18 service members or veterans

11 family members

5 others/unknown


 Fall -In Event  

On September 18, IJF-member organization, National Louis University, in partnership with members of SVA-IL, College of DuPage (COD), Cantigny Park, VAC, Lewis University and DMRC, sponsored an event for Veterans and Military Family members (VMF) to meet and greet veteran-support networks and other college-bound VMFs.   Over 57 SMVF attended, welcomed by over 35 vendors.

 

 

We at IJF are proud to learn of the difference that Illinois Joining Forces has made for its member organizations and the veterans, service members and their families that we serve.  Have a success story to share?  Email us at info@illinoisjoiningforces.org.

  

IJF Online Website Training

 

11/12/14 Webinar

12/10/14 Webinar

 

For any further questions or technical help with the website, contact Anthony Bellin at

info@illinoisjoiningforces.org or 217-524-3068.

 

Interested joining the IJF Team?

 

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) is pleased to announce that four openings for AmeriCorps positions associated with the Points of Light Veteran Leader Corps.  We are actively seeking qualified applicants (civilian or veteran) to apply for these high-level, full-time service opportunity in our downtown Chicago and Springfield offices.

 

 

The Veteran Leader Corps is a unique AmeriCorps program dedicated to supporting organizations that are developing meaningful service opportunities and cultivating job readiness for veterans and military families.  IDVA's Veteran Leader Corps members will actively engage this mission, providing critical assistance to veterans confronted with challenges related to joblessness, housing, reintegration, and other issues.

 

Note that these are not state jobs; it's a service opportunity dedicated  to supporting and generating positive outcomes for the veteran community.  The position starts on Nov. 3, 2014 and concludes on Sept. 4, 2015, with the possibility to renew for 11 additional months.

 

POSITION TITLES AND LOCATIONS:

COMPENSATION/BENEFITS:

  • A living allowance of $12,100 for 11-month service period
  • Health and dental insurance;
  • Possibility of AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of service, $5,550 prorated for length of term;
  • Child care subsidy,if eligible;
  • Participation in Points of Light Corps Member Training Institute; and
  • The opportunity to work with senior Department managers, to lead people and high-impact projects, and to build professional skills in a number of specialized areas.

HOW TO APPLY:  Individuals looking to apply must submit their application through the My AmeriCorps Portal webpage

 

FOR TECHNICAL HELP APPLYING ONLINE:  Contact the National Service Hotline directly at 1-800-942-2677.  

 

For more information on IDVA programs and services related to the position, visit IDVA's website, or contact Elisabeth Pennix at 312-814-7258.  

 

 

 

Events You Don't Want to Miss

 

 

November  7     Moral Injury 

 

November  10   

Honoring Women Veterans Reception & Dinner

 

November  18   Veterans Retirement Readiness

 

 

 

For a .pdf version of this newsletter, please click here!

 

Print, share and forward to friend and others who might benefit from learning more about Illinois Joining Forces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members - Submit Your Story

 

We want to share your organization in action. Please submit your story in the following format:

  • Challenge (Why did the SMVF/Organization contact your organization)
  • IJF in Action  (How did IJF resolve the issue)
  • Result (What benefit did  the SMVF/Organization receive)

Please email your stories to: info@illinoisjoiningforces.org.  Of course, if you need support or if you have any questions, please contact the IJF Team (Liz, Anthony, and Kathy) at info@illinoisjoiningforces.org

 

 

You are receiving the Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) newsletter because of your work on behalf of service members, veterans and their families in Illinois. Through this newsletter, we will share updates on the work and growth of IJF, highlight exciting projects underway, and provide information about how you and your organization can get more involved.

 

 www.IllinoisJoiningForces.org

 

Illinois Joining Forces (IJF)

100 West Randolph

Suite 5-570

Chicago, IL 60601-3219


Please add us to your address book

 

Copyright (C) 2013 Illinois Joining Forces (IJF). All rights reserved.

 

 

 
 

 

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Pinterest

 
 

June 2014 Newsletter

 

 

June 2014

In this Issue

IJF Training:

Military Immersion –

Registration Update

IJF Network in Action

IJF Working Groups in Action:

Veterans as a Strategic

Resource

Women Veterans Think Tank

IJF Website Tip: Topical Tags

IJF Volunteers in Action

About IJF

IJF is a statewide network of veteran- and military-serving organizations working together to better serve Illinois' service members, veterans and their families.

IJF Training: Military Immersion -- Registration Update

Registration is now open! Will you attend -- or who will you send?

IJF’s Military Immersion Training is a great opportunity to learn first-hand about military culture. Our Illinois National Guard partners are planning a full experience including a barracks stay, morning physical fitness training, and exposure to training on everything from vehicle rollovers to IED’s. You’ll also receive training from the IJF team regarding military lexicon, rank structure, veteran benefits, and more.

If you are interested or have staff members that would benefit from this 2-day Military Immersion Training, please take the initial screening survey to get started! (or copy and paste https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N7MPPYS into a new browser window)

Once an individual submits a completed screening survey, those individuals are emailed a Registration Form which they will mail to us with their $45 registration fee. This fee covers the costs of all meals and your boarding will be provided free at the Illinois National Guard training facility.

Registration is limited to 100 participants and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Register and stay tuned for more details!

To access the Training Agenda, please click here!

IJF Network in Action

No Wrong Door This Spring, Janice Laging of the Illinois National Guard’s Family Assistance Center in Crestwood learned of the urgent financial need of a Korean War veteran’s widow. After struggling through six different attempts to find assistance for the widow, she reached out via the IJF community and found the right resource and made an immediate difference.

Bringing Boots to Ground Last month, the team at IJF member American Red Cross learned of a veteran family’s need for assistance in moving into their new home. Through local relationships built in IJF Local Collaborative, the Austin Community Action Team, the IJF member community rallied. Together, the American Red Cross, Austin Community Action Team, Dryhootch, and Easter Seals Veteran and Military Family Support Services brought boots to ground to assist this family.

Expanding Member OutreachThe National Veterans Art Museum has proudly called Chicago home since 1981. In addition to shows and exhibits of veteran-produced art, NVAM has also periodically offered art therapy to veterans struggling to cope with their military experiences. In recent years, NVAM Executive Director Levi More has sought to grow this art therapy aspect of NVAM’s service to veterans.

May 2014 IJF Newsletter

 

In this Issue

IJF in Action: 

    Behavioral Health Working Group

IJF Training: 

  Military Immersion -- Registration Update

IJF Website Tip:

 Receiving Referrals

Congrats & Thanks:

 IJF Awardees

About IJF

IJF is a statewide network of veteran- and military-serving organizations working together to better serve Illinois' service members, veterans and their families.

 

 

 

IJF Team

Elisabeth H. Pennix

Senior Program Manager

IJF, Women’s Veterans, Gold Star Families

Anthony D. Bellin

IJF Program Manager (Springfield)

Veterans Leaders Corp

 

Kathy Johnson

IJF Program Manager (Chicago)

Veterans Leaders Corp

 

 

 

 

Members – Submit Your Story

We want to share your organization in action. Please submit your story in the following format:

  • Challenge (Why did the SVMF/Organization contact your organization)
  • IJF in Action (How did IJF resolve the issue)
  • Result (What benefit did  the SVMF/Organization receive)

Please email your stories to: info@illinoisjoiningforces.org

 

IJF in Action:  Behavioral Health Working Group

 

The Challenge: When we launched IJF, it was with the promise that the relationships built via this robust public-private network could make a real difference for our member organizations and the veterans they serve.

 

That has very much been the case for Bob Curry, Founder and CEO of Dryhootch of America.  Bob’s team serves veterans in its Dryhootch coffee shops, where they provide real, ongoing relationships and peer mentoring.  Long a successful organization in Wisconsin, Dryhootch had been seeking to expand its unique veteran support model to Illinois.

 

IJF in Action: Bob connected early on with the IJF network, joining the Behavioral Health Working Group and building a network of Illinois-based partners. 

 

The Result: Thanks to those relationships, DryHootch will shortly be opening its first Illinois-based coffee shop for veterans at the Austin Community Center in Chicago – with more locations to hopefully follow shortly in Aurora, Lake County, and elsewhere in the Chicagoland area.

 

We at IJF were proud to learn of the difference that Illinois Joining Forces has made for DryHootch and the veterans it will soon serve here in Illinois.  Have a similar story to share?  Email us at info@illinoisjoiningforces.org.

 

IJF Training:  Military Immersion -- Registration Update

 

We’ve been very encouraged at the high level of interest in our previously announced “Military Immersion Day” training!  As a refresher, this training will take place July 23rd-24th at the Illinois National Guard’s Marseilles training facility.  Non-veteran employees of IJF member organizations are encouraged to attend, with registration limited to 100 participants.

 

Many of you have asked about registration.  The first step is completing the initial screening survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N7MPPYS.  As a friendly reminder, veterans will not be eligible to attend this training since they have already been able to experience what the military has to offer.

 

Once an individual submits a completed screening survey.  Those individuals will be contacted directly by an IJF Admin Team member and provided with a hyperlink to the event registration page where they will formally register and pay a registration fee.  

 

The next step will be to complete any associated documents or waivers.  Registration will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please stay tuned!

IJF Website Tip:  Receiving Referrals

 

Referrals on the IJF website are starting to pick up!  We’d like to make sure you are equipped to respond to referrals that you receive to assist service members, veterans, and their families.  For a quick “how-to” guide on managing referrals on the IJF website, click here.

 

Also, please note that you can set up your IJF profile so that multiple staff members receive notification of a referral.  If your organization has many staff members that work directly with veterans, referring the veteran to the individual that will service can help ensure the fastest response time.  To request additional referral recipients, please send us an email at info@illinoisjoiningforces.org.

 

Events You Don’t Want to Miss

 

May 14

Military and Veterans Law Lunch and Learn Program: Veterans 101 Webinar

 

May 20

Women Veteran Think Tank Meeting

 

May 24

Military Kids Horse Camp

 

June 5

Veterans As Strategic Assets Symposium

 

Congrats & Thanks:  IJF Awardees

 

Congratulations to the IJF member organizations recognized in our first round of “IJF Member Activity Recognition” awards.  Utilizing the IJF Activity Recognition matrix, these member organizations found multiple ways to benefit from and contribute to the IJF community during the first quarter of 2014. 

We were pleased to present each member organization with a Certificate of Recognition last month. Please join us in congratulating the following Awardees: 

 

  • A Safe Haven Foundation
  • American Bar Association
  • Army OneSource
  • ChildServ
  • ConnectVETS.org
  • Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • Family Assistance Center – Bartonville
  • Health & Disability Advocates
  • Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs – JRTC
  • Illinois Dept. of Veterans' Affairs - Lake County

 

  • Illinois Joint Family Support Assistance Program
  • Illinois Military Youth Program
  • Kids Rank Club
  • Lewis University
  • Lincoln College of Technology
  • Money Management International
  • National Louis University
  • Novadebt
  • USO of Illinois

 

Interested in how to add your organization’s name to the list?

Click here to learn about the many ways to be involved with the IJF Community.

 

Update 2014 legislation for IJFF

Please Click Here for the update to the proposed legislation for IJF.

2014 Legislation Letter to Members

Please Click Here for the letter sent to IJF members concerning the proposed legislation for IJF.