Gingerbread Houses of Hope 2015

The 7th annual Gingerbread Houses of Hope took place on December 4, 2015, to raise money for One Hope United! With holiday music in the background, children, parents and grandparents of the Lindenhurst/Lake Villa area, used buckets of icing to attach the sugary decorations to their masterpieces that ranged from simple to highly ornate. Gingerbread Houses of Hope was the idea of the children of OHU Board member, Scott Moeller, and they have continued to host this family-friendly event year after year.

Over the last 7 years, this event has increased the community’s awareness of OHU’s mission and services and have raised a total of more than $12,000! This year was extra special, featuring guest stars Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen, adding a great deal of fun!

This year, more than 100 people came out to decorate, and after expenses raised over $1,300 for One Hope United!

Lovin Oven Cakery, Jelly Belly and Mariano’s were generous supporters of this holiday community event.

Kenwood Youth Leadership Academy Visits Rio’s d’Sudamerica!

On Saturday, November 21st, a group of students enrolled in One Hope United’s Kenwood Youth Leadership Academy attended a field trip to Rio’s d’Sudamerica, a Peruvian restaurant in the Chicago Bucktown neighborhood owned by Dino Perez. Perez and his daughter spoke to the students about their professional and academic experiences, respectively, and offered suggestions on how to build a career in hospitality.

The young ladies took a tour of the restaurant and learned several skills ranging from customer interaction and hostessing to décor and setup. The evening concluded with a delicious dinner. Many thanks to the Perez family and Rio’s d’Sudamerica for hosting such a fantastic evening!

Support OHU’s Teachers!

One Hope United’s Early Learning and Child Development Line of Service is dedicated to educating, nourishing, and empowering young children and families at our 12 Child Development Centers throughout the Chicago area and its suburbs. Our centers serve more than 2,100 children and meet all goals for social/emotional, cognitive, language and physical development. Currently, 10 out of 11 of our eligible centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)–putting them in the top 10% of early childhood education programs nationally.

At One Hope United, our teachers work tirelessly to ensure that they are providing the best quality education for our students. Unfortunately, due to the current Illinois budget crisis, funds for teacher development are especially scarce. With your help, we are hoping to raise $15,000 to go toward Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment System Training for 50 of our very special and deserving teachers. 

Your generous donation will not only allow our teachers to return to the classrooms better qualified, but they will be bringing back even stronger assessment skills to our classrooms, allowing them to properly evaluate our students as unique individuals.

To view our campaign and learn more, please visit http://igg.me/at/itallstartswithateacher. Thank you in advance for supporting One Hope United’s teachers.


Illinois Children and Families Held Hostage

On September 24, 2015, leaders, supporters, and clients from 25 Illinois nonprofits stood shoulder-to-shoulder to send Springfield a clear, unified message: Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens can no longer be held hostage! Thousands of lives are being affected by the Illinois budget stalemate. Funds are running out for programs that provide support for children, youth and families in need; military veterans; domestic abuse victims and many more. That leaves an already at-risk community with a greater margin of uncertainty. The time is now for the Governor and Legislature to do their jobs and pass a legal budget. ‪

Learn more about why OHU and 24 other human service and early childhood organizations joined forces at Progress Illinois.

Get Involved!

Media Day Group PhotoScott-OHU


Girls on the Run STL: Volunteer Spotlight

Melissa-Webster1Our very own Melissa Webster is currently being featured as this month’s Volunteer Spotlight on the Girls on the Run STL blog!

Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program (PA-PYD) designed to develop and enhance girls’ social, psychological and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experience. The mission of Girls on the Run St. Louis is to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living. Geared towards girls in the 3rd through 8th grade, Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Melissa is a director at an OHU residential program in Centralia, IL, as well as a coach for GOTR-STL. Check out this awesome feature, as she shares her story of beginning a fitness journey, reclaiming her life, and inspiring others.

Melissa Webster- Volunteer Spotlight



Get Informed & Get Involved!

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As highlighted in WGN Chicago’s recent cover story, the State of Illinois budget crisis is having a profound effect on numerous human services providers, including One Hope United.  If you haven’t heard much about this issue yet, we invite you to view the WGN story, which does an excellent job explaining the negative impact of this situation on hard-working Illinois families who rely on child care subsidies to provide their children with top-quality early learning programs like the ones we have at OHU.

We would greatly appreciate your support of our children and families during this critical time. We’ve created a letter for you to download and send directly to your legislators.  If you’re unsure of who your legislators are, please click here.  Please share with other supporters in your community!

While certain OHU program areas are being funded by DCFS due to pre-existing legal agreements, certain other areas, namely DHS, are currently unfunded. DHS is the primary funder for our Early Learning line of service under a program called the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The governor has implemented ‘emergency rules’ that dramatically change the eligibility criteria for families that would otherwise qualify for subsidy under CCAP. More than 90% of Illinois families are no longer eligible for assistance, leaving them without quality early childcare and OHU with several empty classrooms in our centers.

Make your voice heard by calling or emailing your state legislators and become involved in the fight to ensure that our Illinois programs and services receive the funds that they so greatly need to operate. Most important, you can help many children get back in the classroom and receive the high-quality education that they deserve.  From all of us at One Hope United: thank you for your support!

Quick Links:

Letter of Support

Find Your Legislators 

WGN Story: Major changes coming to Illinois childcare eligibility


Healthy Families Illinois, Wings and Doula Throw a Success Party!

DSC_0005This week, OHU’s Healthy Families Illinois, Wings and Doula programs celebrated the successes of their participants with a fun outdoor picnic in Waukegan, IL! Rather than celebrating Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or graduations separately, the programs combined all of these into one big “Success Party” to celebrate all of the families together.

Everyone had a wonderful time, enjoying great food and socializing with fellow participants in the programs. Congratulations to all of our participants on their amazing success!


2015 Foster Parent Law Implementation Plan: Dignity and Respect Award

Every year, One Hope United submits to DCFS, a Foster Parent Law Implementation Plan.  This plan is updated collaboratively by a group of foster parents; foster care/licensing staff and CQIR staff. This year, our 2015 Foster Parent Law Implementation Plan was selected to receive an award in the area of Dignity and Respect!

One Hope United received this award at a ceremony during the Foster Parent Council meeting on June 19th. David Fox, Director of Programs, Jackie Schedin, Director of CQIR and an OHU Foster Parent represented the agency during the awards ceremony. This is very exciting, as achieving this award has been a huge goal of the Foster Parent Law Committee!


Chip In "Fore" Kids Golf Tournament

The Florida team had beautiful weather and a good turnout for their Chip In “Fore” Kids Golf Tournament at Highlands Ridge Golf Club in late May. The event was a great community builder and raised much-needed funds for the children and families of Highlands County and surrounding areas. Thanks to all of the staff who dedicated their time and resources to this event!

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Lake County Ambassador Board Pig Roast

OHU recently honored an amazing group of active volunteers, from the last decade, by naming them to OHU’s Lake County Ambassador Board!

The group will focus on raising awareness for at-risk children and families in Lake County. Together, these seven individuals have more than 65 years of experience helping support OHU. The following individuals are named to OHU’s Lake County Ambassador Board:

● Donna Bergl, Abigail’s Avenue
● Jeanne Hansen
● Robin Korom, Consumers Credit Union
● Linda Mehnert, Mary Kay Cosmetics
● Chris Schnitzer, KapStone Paper & Packaging
● Paula Toby-Duck, Consumers Credit Union

The Lake County Ambassador Board will be hosting its first summer event, the Picnic for Prevention Pig Roast, on July 18th from 2-6 p.m. It will be held at Jack and Lidia’s Resort which is located at 38610 N. Edgewood Street Lake Villa, IL. Tickets are $25 per person (under 12 are free) and include a pig roast “with all the fixin’s”, musical entertainment, raffles and a silent auction. Come out and enjoy an afternoon filled with fun!


All proceeds benefit One Hope United programs in Lake County.