Wishbook Giving Initiative Returns this Holiday Season

Unique fundraising effort provides children and families with services and tools that change lives.

(CHICAGO, IL November 13, 2018) One Hope United has unveiled its 2018 Wishbook in advance of Giving Tuesday, November 27, 2018. The unique fundraising initiative is a creative way individuals, employees and corporations can help children and families reach their full potential by supporting a wide range of One Hope United programs including early childhood education, family support and youth services, foster care, adoption and more.

Wishbook officially launches on GivingTuesday, however donors can jump start their holiday giving and begin shopping now by visiting wishbook.onehopeunited.org to find a variety of ways to make holiday giving more meaningful.

Wishbook is set up like an online catalog, where donors can virtually “shop” by making monetary donations that offset the costs of services that One Hope United provides — as well as goods that directly enhance those services. These items provide more than a one-time toy or an afternoon of fun; donations to Wishbook are aimed at transforming people’s lives.

This is illustrated – quite literally – in the printed Wishbook, a children’s book that highlights the items available and how they impact a child and family. In this year’s story, “Sam and the Science Center,” Sam’s friends and teacher help him continue his education and develop his interest in science and discovery.

Wishbook has items for every budget, ranging from $30 to $250. Many donors choose to “buy the whole Wishbook” for $1,000, which covers every item listed. Highlights from this year’s Wishbook include:

  • Send a teen to OHU’s SPARCS youth anti-violence program ($250) – When teens have undergone significant stressors such as abuse or neglect, loss of a parent, or even community violence, they can be more likely to turn to violence to solve their issues. This gift helps One Hope United send one teen to participate in a 16-week program to learn effective ways to deal with difficult situations, which can help reduce violence in their community.
  • Preschool scholarships ($100) – In low-income communities, if parents lose their jobs, they also lose their government assistance to send their child to preschool. Scholarships enable their child to stay in school — and on track — while the parents look for new work.
  • Animal therapy for a child who has experienced trauma ($60) – Connecting through animal therapy can augment traditional therapies to help a child who has experienced trauma advance through the healing process.
  • Science center for a preschool classroom ($55) – Adding a science center to a preschool classroom can inspire future minds to enter STEM occupations.

“Wishbook enables everyone to make a gift that will have a big impact on the children and families we serve,” said Todd Schultz, CEO, One Hope United. “It’s a great way for our generous donors to give and know how their gift will be used. It’s also a way for local companies to engage their employees in holiday giving that directly benefits families in their communities,” said Schultz.

Many global corporations with Chicago offices have made Wishbook the centerpiece of their employee philanthropy programs. Mintel, LinkedIn and McKinsey & Company are just a few of the companies that have joined thousands of individual donors who enthusiastically support Wishbook.

“Wishbook is a wonderful way for us to engage our employees in giving back,” says Adiat Baker, Financial Specialist at Mintel and Chair of Mintel Gives. “Wishbook aligns with our employees’ collective philanthropic spirit. By partnering with One Hope United, Mintel is making a lasting impact in the lives of families in our communities,” Baker added.

Wishbook continues to be one of One Hope United’s most successful fundraising campaigns. In the 2017 giving year, the nonprofit raised more than $85,000 in donations and nearly tripled its contributions received during the previous year.

A printable pdf copy is on the Wishbook website and hard copies will be at all One Hope United locations, corporate partners and available to anyone who requests one.

To learn more about Wishbook, get copies, and make a donation visit wishbook.onehopeunited.org.

 

About One Hope United
One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The non-profit began over 120 years ago with the same vision it holds today: for every child and family, life without limits. One Hope United’s team of nearly 800 talented professionals serves thousands of children and families each year in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Florida. For more information, please visit www.onehopeunited.org.

 

10 One Hope United Early Education Centers Now NAEYC Accredited

Rigorous quality assessment puts OHU early learning centers in nation’s top 10 percent.

One Hope United now has 10 early education centers that have receved accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

Waukegan Early Learning Center joins nine other One Hope United child care and early education centers that have already earned this prestigious mark of quality, including Aurora Early Learning Center, Elgin Child & Family Resource Center, and Sprouted Child Care & Early Education (Wilmette) . All of One Hope United’s eligible centers are now accredited or undergoing accreditation by NAYEC.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized and coveted sign of high-quality early childhood education. Less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards across four categories—children, teaching staff, partnerships with families and communities, and administration—to recognize and drive holistic quality in early learning programs.

With guidelines for everything from teacher preparation to safety standards, NAEYC Accreditation ensures that programs are safe, well prepared, and intentional about ensuring children’s success. As a reputable indicator of quality, NAEYC Accreditation correlates with children’s greater readiness and success in school and beyond, increased educational attainment rates, and overall healthier lifestyles.

Find a NAEYC Accredited One Hope United center in your area:

Western Suburbs

City of Chicago

Northern Suburbs

*Opened in July 2016, Joliet Early Learning Center is still in the accreditation process.

      One Hope United Honors Lake Villa Police Department with Galaxy Award

      From left: One Hope United CEO Todd Schultz, Lake Villa Mayor James McDonald and Chief of Police Craig Somerville, and One Hope United Assistant Director Corey Dickson and Board Chair Theresa Dear.

      On Friday, during a quarterly board meeting, One Hope United presented its Galaxy Award for outstanding teamwork to the Lake Villa (Illinois) Police Department. Mayor James McDonald and Chief of Police Craig Somerville accepted the award on the department’s behalf.

      This is the first time One Hope United has bestowed its Galaxy Award on an external team. When presenting the award, Corey Dickson, who oversees One Hope United’s Lake Villa residential program, explained that it was appropriate to recognize the police department with this award because he views them as an extension of the campus team. “For all that your guys and your ladies do for us – that your department does for us – we’re very appreciative,” Dickson said.

      One Hope United CEO Todd Schultz said that a sense of collaboration was present from his very first meeting with Chief Somerville. “We view this as a partnership, and we couldn’t be doing this without you,” he said.

      The residential program in Lake Villa serves young men ages 9 to 18 in care of the state whose past traumas make it harder for them to succeed in a home-like setting. Therapists on the Lake Villa campus provide supervision and individualized treatment to help the youth address their symptoms and build their capacity for growth and essential life skills.

      “They’re a part of this community, and that means we’re here to serve them, too,” Chief Somerville said about the campus youth. He also recognized the work of the One Hope United staff, who are the first line of care for the youth. “These are the people that are the heroes here,” he said. “It’s a tough job.”

      One Hope United Board Chair Theresa Dear closed the event by thanking the Mayor and Chief on behalf of the board and inviting them to join the board for lunch. As part of the award, One Hope United provided lunch to the entire Lake Villa Police Department the following week.

      Building Bikes Together for a Good Cause

      There are bicycles built for two – then there are bicycles built by two.

      Last week, One Hope United received a bike donation thanks to two other organizations, Arete Wealth Management and Together We Rise, proving that a little teamwork and elbow grease can make a big difference.

      Arete WealthManagement, a financial investment firm headquartered in Chicago, recently hosted a conference for their top-performing advisers at Hotel EMC2 downtown. To give back to the community where their company is based, Arete partnered with One Hope United and Together We Rise to build bicycles for children served by OHU programs. The bikes were provided by Together We Rise, whose mission is to improve the lives of children in foster care.

      Arete Wealth Management sponsored the donation on the morning of September 18th. As part of their service exercise, the advisers, including CEO Josh Rogers, quickly formed teams to start building the bicycles. Fourteen bikes were assembled and lined up, ready to go for a ride. One Hope United loaded up a cargo van and delivered them to one of our facilities that serves children in care.

      Thanks to Arete and Together We Rise, children served by OHU were able to bike around a forested neighborhood just in time for the last few days of summer.

      Shop and Give Back on Amazon Smile

      One Hope United is excited to be a part of AmazonSmile, a simple and automatic way for you to support One Hope United every time you shop—at no cost to you! The products and services on Amazon remain the same—the only difference is accessing Amazon through One Hope United’s dedicated link. Now you can continue to make a difference in the lives of children and families at One Hope United just by shopping online!

      You Shop. Amazon Gives.

      Anyone with an Amazon account can shop through smile.amazon.com and donate 0.5 percent of your Amazon purchases to One Hope United. You’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to One Hope United.

      Easy as 1-2-3!

      Getting started on AmazonSmile is easy! Get set up today to start supporting One Hope United through your Amazon purchases.

      1. Go to One Hope United’s AmazonSmile landing page.
      2. Make sure One Hope United is selected on the right side of the landing page. It should read “Your shopping will support One Hope United.”
      3. Click “Start Shopping” and you’re off!

      Having trouble finding One Hope United from the Amazon Smile page? To change your charitable organization:

      1. Sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
      2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and on under Select a Charity, you can search for “One Hope United” by typing in the Pick your own charitable organization field. 
      3. Select “One Hope United.”

      For more information about the AmazonSmile program, go to http://smile.amazon.com/about.

      We thank you for your support!

       

      Support One Hope United on Amazon

      5 Things to Know about Head Start

      All parents want to provide the best opportunities for their children to learn, grow and thrive. This is especially true when it comes to education. No child should miss out on a quality education because of their family’s ability to pay.

      That’s why One Hope United is pleased to offer Head Start or Early Head Start programing at four of our child care and early education centers. These programs combine quality child care and education with other programing and resources to help set every child up for success:

      Not sure if your family is eligible? It’s easy to find out and One Hope United is here for you every step of the way.

      Here are five things you should know about the Head Start Program at One Hope United:

      1. Head Start Seeks to Give Every Child an Equal Chance

      Head Start, a federally funded program, is designed to give every child equal access to the resources and support they need. Established in 1965 for low-income families, Head Start promotes school readiness for children ages birth to five. These programs enhance children’s social and cognitive development by offering children and their families educational, nutritional, health, social and other services.

      The services Head Start provides are designed to set up children for success by the time they are ready to start kindergarten. One Hope United combines Head Start with child care assistance to provide a full day of early childhood care and education for families who are working or in school at a significantly reduced cost.

      2. It’s Easy to Find Out if You Qualify for Head Start

      There are four ways you and your child can qualify for Head Start:

      1. You meet the income qualifications, OR
      2. You receive public assistance, OR
      3. Your child is in foster care, OR
      4. You or your child lack permanent housing.

      Families with children from birth to age five who meet specific criteria in any one of these four categories can receive Head Start or Early Head Start programming. Families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income), or families with low incomes, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the Federal government, are eligible.

      One Hope United has family support specialists to assist families with the eligibility process. Families can either call or walk-in to one of the Bridgeport, Edgewater or Waukegan centers with proof of income and the child’s birth certificate. They will then fill out an application (One Hope United can provide assistance) and complete an interview. The family will soon receive a notice about their child’s/children’s eligibility. The eligibility/enrollment process can be started at anytime during the year.

      3. Parents Receive Support, Too!

      All Head Start families have a family support specialist that they work with for as long as they participate in the program. Assistance in finding medical providers, mental health professionals, and nutrition counseling are just some of the services that are provided. Plus, families receive two home visits that serve as building blocks to establishing a positive relationship.

      Many of One Hope United’s staff are bilingual. If there is a language barrier, One Hope United will provide translation support services. We want to clearly communicate with families so they understand the services they’re eligible for and feel comfortable with all we can provide.

      4. Parents Are Part of Their Child’s Education

      One Hope United families who are part of the Head Start program are actively involved with their child’s education by helping to set goals and determining how best to support their child.

      Parents and One Hope United teachers and staff have at least two parent conferences a year where assessments are reviewed, strengths are determined and priorities are set for continued development.

      5. We Offer Quality Education For All

      One Hope United’s Head Start locations in Bridgeport and Edgewater are accredited by NAEYC (The National Association of Education of Young Children), a distinction held by only 6% of centers in the country. A NAEYC accredited center is one that is recognized as providing exceptional care and a variety of educational, developmental, and personal services. All preschool classrooms are led by a licensed teacher who is certified to teach up to the third grade.

      The suburban Waukegan location is currently undergoing accreditation by NAEYC. This location offers Early Head Start services to low-income infants, toddlers and their families.

      At One Hope United it is our vision to help every child, every family live a life without limits. If you feel limited by the specific circumstances that makes your family eligible for Head Start, please contact one of our centers today or use the form below.

      Contact Us

      One Hope United to Name Edgewater Early Learning Space for Toni Sandor Smith

      Edgewater and Andersonville families and community members are invited to a dedication event and open house at One Hope United Edgewater Early Learning Center Friday, August 17, starting at 12:30 PM. Parents, children, community leaders, and neighbors are invited to tour the center, located at 5244 N. Lakewood Ave. (enter on W. Berwyn Ave. just west of Lakewood), and enjoy refreshments and a musical performance by award-winning saxophonist Michael Salter following a dedication ceremony.

      The ribbon-cutting ceremony will name a learning space for Toni Sandor Smith, a member of One Hope United’s board of directors for nearly 20 years. Smith, a retired partner of the executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart, lives in Edgewater and is a frequent visitor to the center and a favorite storybook reader of its students.

      Smith, a New York City native, moved to Chicago in 1963 and joined Spencer Stuart in 1970 as a receptionist. Four years later she became the firm’s first female consultant and eventually its first female partner. She founded and led the firm’s nonprofit practice and helped place executives in many of Chicago’s and the country’s leading nonprofits.

      Smith has been equally ambitious at One Hope United. She cofounded the organization’s first annual gala, which has grown into Hope In Action, an annual event that attracts more than 300 guests and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support work for children and families in Chicago and beyond.

      As a member of the board’s governance committee – and serving several terms as chair – Smith has helped evolve the board from a group of mission-dedicated volunteers to a team of accomplished executives who, in addition to a passion for the mission, bring fundraising capacity and professional expertise that allow them to be more strategic and proactive in steering the 120-year-old, $50 million organization.

      “As a member of our board of directors for nearly 20 years, Toni Sandor Smith has been an outstanding servant of One Hope United, seeing the organization through immense change and growth. I speak for the entire board when I say we are thrilled to recognize her service by naming a space for her in her own community, at the Edgewater Early Learning Center,” said board chair Theresa A. Dear.

      In addition to serving on One Hope United’s board, a role she will step down from next year, Smith has volunteered with the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Network, the Executive Service Corps of Chicago, Lakeview Pantry, the Oriental Institute, and Steppenwolf Theatre.

      Chicago native Michael Salter is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. Salter was nominated for a Grammy award for a salsa big band recording with Angel Melendez and the 911 Mambo Orchestra. Since July 2008, Salter has been a member of Orbert Davis’s Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. The group’s latest CD, Havana Blue, was listed as one of the best CDs of 2016 by Downbeat Magazine. A passionate and dedicated educator, Salter is also a Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Teaching Artist, which allows musicians from the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic to work directly with youth from Chicago Public Schools.

      Music by Michael Salter

      The Edgewater Early Learning Center, located in the North Shore Baptist Church, has been serving families in Chicago’s Edgewater and Andersonville neighborhoods with the highest quality early education and care for more than 30 years. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the center provides individualized care for children, including children with special needs, in an environment designed to foster growth and development, and includes Head Start classrooms, which provide services and preschool to families living at or below the federal poverty level.

      Free and Open to the Public

      RSVP Requested at onehopeunited.org/tonismith

      Questions? Call us at 773-907-0278

      Serving and Supporting Transgender Youth at One Hope United

      When the opportunity to serve transgender youth through One Hope United’s Centralia residential programs arose, director Melissa Webster thought to herself, “We can do that!”

      According to the National Center for Child Welfare Excellence, 57 percent of trans youth report experiencing family rejection, and trans youth are disproportionately represented in child welfare settings. If they feel unsafe in their placement, they may choose instead to live on the streets—20 percent of homeless youth identify as trans.

      Melissa knew that her facilities, which include private rooms and locking doors, as well as her team’s approach of doing what’s best for the youth in their care, would make One Hope United a good fit for trans youth. “There’s no judgment here,” she said. “Wherever you are today, we’re going to meet you there.”

      That’s what the team tried to convey to Taylor*, 15, when he visited the campus to consider living there (he was assigned a female sex at birth and now identifies as male). Home supervisor Greg Phoenix began by asking Taylor what he needed from the program. “He really just wanted our support and to be accepted for who he was, and our willingness to do that was probably the largest deciding factor for him choosing us,” Greg said.

      Taylor’s arrival on campus took some adjustment for some of the other boys, but Greg says that period was short and that Taylor now gets along with all the boys in the home. “They see him as one of their own. They watch TV together, play games together—he’s fully accepted.”

      The staff at One Hope United have supported Taylor by helping him when he wanted to travel to the pride parade in Springfield, Illinois, and to an LGBTQ support group in St. Louis, Missouri. Taylor also holds a leadership role on DCFS’s youth advisory board and is working with two other LGBTQ youth on campus to start a support group at One Hope United. Now, Taylor is poised to transition to foster care.

      Working with Taylor, one of the first openly trans youth at One Hope United, has been “enriching,” says therapist Howard Coon.

      “He knew from a very young age that he wasn’t born in the right body. He can say, ‘I know this is who I want to be,’ and it’s nice to see youth who can put that kind of passion into their treatment, their personal lives, and their goals,” Howard said. “We hope to help Taylor achieve some of those things before he moves on to his next placement.”

      This story is from our 2017 Annual Report.

      *Name has been changed.

      OHU Leader Joins Bowman Leadership Fellows Program

      We are excited to announce that Carisa Hurley, an Early Learning Director of Programs here at One Hope United, has been accepted into the Erikson Institute’s Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows Program!

      The Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows Program chooses fifteen professionals who provide direct service, advocacy, and funding support while working in the early childhood sector. The fellowship is incorporated into a 10-month leadership program designed to enhance each participant’s knowledge-base, provide skill application, and connect them to a larger network for influencing early childhood policy and system changes.

      The intentions of this fellowship are to “…provide professionals in the field with the knowledge and tools to extend the impact of their work by influencing policy change that can transform early childhood on a larger scale.” says Geoffrey A. Nagle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Erikson Institute.

      The fellowship program provides evidence-based information and the analytical framework to apply a racial equity lens to early childhood policy. Monthly seminars covering subjects such as the public policy life cycle, federal and state policy, and other related topics provide fellows with a solid foundation to distinguish important early childhood issues and be given the opportunity to translate learning into action.

      All of the fellows chosen are child advocates working within various organizations, therefore the overarching goal is to enhance their role and expand their influence to frame policy issues and recommendations guided by their organization’s mission and the diversity of the population they serve.

      We wish Carisa all the best as she begins her fellowship on June 16th!

      Click here to learn more about our Child Care and Early Learning programs.

      See our new Child Development video!

      OHU’s Child Development Centers are dedicated to educating, nourishing, and empowering young children and families. Our 12 Centers throughout Chicagoland serve more than 2,100 children and meet all goals for social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical development. All of our eligible centers are accredited or undergoing accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—a distinction held by only 6% of centers in the country. A version of this spot aired on Chicago’s PBS Kids station.

      Learn more about our Centers here!