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Tampa's WFLA-TV features OHU family who adopted five siblings out of foster care

ohu-harre-wflatvThe Harre family was featured in a Mother’s Day story for WFLA-TV News Channel 8 in Tampa, Fla. The family, with help from One Hope United, recently adopted five siblings out of foster care — expanding their family to 12 children. 

“Just knowing she’s there for me makes every day worth living,” 15-year-old Vanessa said about her mom, Tammy Harre.

Click here to watch the segment.

Bulls' center Noah making a difference in children's lives

Bulls.com recently posted this article about the positive impact Chicago Bulls’ Center Joakim Noah and his mother, Cecilia Rodhe, have on many children’s lives. Noah and Rodhe recently invited children from One Hope United’s CARE Day Treatment program to spend the day with them at Noah’s home, where they enjoyed an afternoon playing basketball, eating sandwiches and just talking. Noah and Rodhe also head the Noah’s Arc Foundation, which aims to help strengthen children’s sense of self and reach their full potential through art and sports.

Joliet project included in $45 million grant program

Photo courtesy of the State of Illinois and Harvey Tillis.
by Bob Okon for the Joliet Herald-News

JOLIET — A Joliet project was included in a $45 million government funding package announced Wednesday for improving early childhood education in Illinois.

The state will spend the money in the form of Early Childhood Construction Grants to fund construction and renovation at 14 locations.

In Joliet, $3.1 million will be spent to renovate the closed Parks Elementary School at Parks Avenue and Ohio Street.

The Joliet project has been in the works for more than a year, and it is expected to take another two years before the early learning center would open. This week, the Joliet City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement that will make it possible for the project to move forward.

Chicago-based One Hope United will acquire the building from the Joliet Grade School District.

“This really is going to be a great addition to the community,” Mark McHugh, executive director for One Hope United, told the city council this week. “Joliet in particular has a very high need for early childhood education for low-income families.”

McHugh estimated that the early learning center would open in spring 2015. He said the organization still needs to raise about $1 million to fund the project.

One Hope United is a child services group that started in 1895 as the Chicago Baptist Orphanage. The organization previously had a Joliet office for foster care services.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the grants, saying in a written statement, “We know that investing in early childhood education is the best way to ensure lifelong success for our students.”

The grant money is part of the state’s “Illinois Jobs Now!” capital construction program.

One Hope United Receives $3.1 Million Early Childhood Construction Grant From Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

Photo courtesy of the State of Illinois and Harvey Tillis.
One Hope United is thrilled to announce the receipt of a $3.1 million grant from the office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to support our early childhood education efforts. The Early Childhood Construction Grants are paid for by the Illinois Jobs Now! initiative, and One Hope United will use the funds to build a new early child care center in Joliet. The Joliet Early Learning Center will serve more than 200 children ages birth through age 12, with a special emphasis on serving infants and toddlers. Our 11 Child Development Centers across the Chicagoland area serve more than 1,200 children daily, and 10 have received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. 

“The achievement gap begins before a child steps foot into kindergarten,” Governor Quinn said. “We know that investing in early childhood education is the best way to ensure lifelong success for our students. By setting our youngest learners on the right track now, we can prepare them for a lifetime of growth and strengthen our economy for the future.” 

Gov. Quinn announced the 14 recipients of the grants today at a press conference at Cicero’s “Through A Child’s Eyes” Program, attended by State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico and One Hope United Northern Region Executive Director, Mark McHugh, who spoke at the conference representing both One Hope United and the Illinois Early Learning Council, where he co-chairs the Capital Development and Infrastructure Committee. “We are excited to receive this grant and extend our ability to give young children across Illinois the early education they deserve,” McHugh said. “A child who is allowed to thrive and receive a nurturing, empowering start will become a prosperous and successful adult in the long run. We commend Gov. Quinn for his commitment to early childhood education across the state.”

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Gingerbread house decorating event spices up holiday season

Residents from the Lake Villa and Lindenhurst, Ill., area kicked off the holiday season by supporting One Hope United at last week’s Gingerbread Houses of Hope event. OHU provided houses and decorations galore for participants to create their masterpieces.

This event has raised more than $2,000 for the agency since it was started by OHU board members Scott and Becky Moeller and their family in 2009. 

“We are thankful for the support of the Moellers and those who participate in this annual event for taking time during the hectic holiday season to help families in need,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United Northern Region. “Events like this ripple through the community as a reminder that everyone can help make a difference.”

Community tees it up for kids at One Hope United outing

Desrie Flaschner of NorStates Bank and Brad Flaschner of Flash Contracting attended One Hope United’s 22nd annual golf outing. | SPECIAL TO SUN-TIMES MEDIA

Published in the Lake County News-Sun

News-Sun staff report September 27, 2012 4:10PM

One Hope United’s Northern Region hosted its 22nd annual charity golf outing earlier this month and raised nearly $60,000 for its child- abuse prevention programs and services.

“We are grateful for all the participants who help support our mission of protecting children and strengthening families,” said Marilee LaMattina, development associate at One Hope United.

The event drew 180 golfers who played at either Glen Flora Country Club or Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan.

After golfing and lunch, guests attended an evening program and dinner at Glen Flora that featured live and silent auctions.

A teenager in the agency’s CARE residential and therapeutic Day Treatment School, spoke at the event about how the programs have helped him grow and mature as a person and become a better student. The One Hope United staff “helped me become the successful young man I am today,” he said.

The CARE (Community Alternative Renewal Experience) program is a safe, nurturing environment for abused and neglected boys that focuses on developing life skills and relationships.

One Hope United is a private human-service organization that offers an array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs.

It serves more than 27,000 children and families in northern Illinois and Wisconsin.