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Target grant provides new books for Busy Bee children

ohu-cdc-targetBooks 1There’s nothing like the smell of brand new books! Thanks to a grant from Target to promote early childhood reading, children at Busy Bee Children’s Center in Waukegan, Ill., are enjoying nearly 150 new books.

ohu-cdc-targetBooks 11“The children and staff were very excited and grateful for the donation,” said Kay Smith, the Waukegan day care center‘s director.

Books covered a range of topics, including going green, transporatation, community helpers, letters, numbers, science, animals, being healthy and books to support social-emotional development.

Northern Region hosts Ice Fishing Derby

The Muskie Association of Fox Valley and a One Hope United board member hosted an Ice Fishing Derby on Sunday, Feb. 24, for the CARE Day Treatment residents at One Hope United in Lake Villa, Ill.

Twenty fishermen arrived at 6 a.m. with snow mobiles and ATVs to set up the ice-fishing community off the shore of Deep Lake. Nineteen residential boys from ages 10-18 years and seven staff members arrived at 7 a.m. for a safety talk and an ice-fishing lesson.

Board member Cindy Lusignan and volunteers coordinated and donated breakfast and lunch for all who attended, and Amy Ceshker and the CARE team provided support to make the event a success. Cabela’s donated water bottles. World champion ice fisherman Mike McNett attended and donated warm hats. 

The boys said that while at first they did not want to wake up so early Sunday morning and were not sure about spending all that time on the ice, they became converts to the sport and the fun of catching fish.

Fabulous Fox Theatre donates Stomp! tickets to OHU clients

Boys and girls from the Hudelson Region residential treatment program were in for a loud Saturday night in January when they were given tickets to attend a performance of STOMP! at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

STOMP! is a percussion group that uses ordinary objects to create a musical experience that is not only fun to listen to, but exciting to watch.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre donated 25 tickets to the Family Support Workers, clients out of the Collinsville, Ill., office, and a few lucky staff members for the evening performance on Friday, Jan. 11, and another 25 tickets to the residential treatment staff and clients for the evening show on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Christina was one of the Collinsville clients who attended the Friday night show with her four children — Desi, Tommy, Ryan and Danny.

“It was the best show I’ve ever been to,” Christina said.

Her children agreed STOMP! was a lot of fun. “Those guys can dance,” Ryan said, and Danny added that it was the best night out he’d had in a long time. 

Jean-Ann Loyd-Cordevant, an OHU family support specialist who attended the Friday night show, said the show was incredible.

“The performers were unlike anything that I have ever seen before,” she said. “If it had not been for the generous gift from One Hope United, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience that. Thank you so much.”

Girl Scouts make blankets for children served by OHU

Pictured are Girl Scouts in Waltonville, Ill., with blankets they made for children served by One Hope United.
Girl Scout Troop No. 8866 in Waltonville, Ill., recently made blankets for children served by One Hope United’s SASS (Screening and Assessment Services) program. The troop was inspired to make the blankets after hearing a presentation about SASS by OHU-Hudelson caseworker Carol Whitehead. SASS is an intensive mental health program providing services to children with a mental illness or emotional disorder.

OHU employee gathers donations to help family in need

A family served by One Hope United in Collinsville, Ill., had an extra-special holiday this year thanks to Family Support Specialist Jean Ann Loyd-Cordevant.

Loyd-Cordevant works with a family with five children who were struggling to improve their lives but found it difficult as they needed basic items such as furniture, clothes, blankets, food and toys, said Supervisor Brionne Rhodes. 

Loyd-Cordevant took it upon herself to seek donations for this family. Members of the community worked with Loyd-Cordevant and Rhodes to donate furniture, and Loyd-Cordevant coordinated volunteers and spent her Saturday dropping off and furnishing the client’s home with new items. 

“I would do anything to help our families,” Loyd-Cordevant said. “This was such a nice donation, I could not let it slip by, especially for a family that really needs it. One Hope United is an amazing agency and I believe in what we do.” 

“We are so grateful and overwhelmed by the help from Jean Ann,” said OHU client Deidra, the mother of the family. 

Pictured are OHU client Deidra with her children and OHU Family Support Specialist Jean Ann Loyd-Cordevant.

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.

Gift donations brighten holiday for many children

The holidays were brighter for many children served by One Hope United programs in Collinsville, Ill., thanks to employees from the local Victoria’s Secret and Pink retail stores who donated gifts as part of the stores’ holiday Giving Tree program. 

“The Giving Tree is something I look forward to every year,” said Samantha Merlak, a Victoria’s Secret manager. “Christmas is my most favorite time of the year and I truly believe there is no greater gift than giving.” 

Employees from Victoria’s Secret and Pink, located in the St. Clair Square shopping center in Fairview Heights, Ill., chose One Hope United as the recipient of their annual program, which provides gifts for children and families in need. 

Store employees each shopped for one or two children based on “wish lists” provided by One Hope United. More than 50 children received gifts, making the retail outlets two of the largest Collinsville donors this season, said Jayme Godoyo, OHU fund development officer. 

“I love that something so small I did is going to make such a big difference in a child’s life,” added a Pink employee. 

Pictured are Victoria’s Secret and Pink store employees with holiday gifts they donated for children served by One Hope United programs in Collinsville, Ill.

Bulls TV recaps boys in CARE program's day with Joakim Noah


Chicago Bulls TV posted this video depicting the relationship between the boys from One Hope United’s CARE Day Treatment Program and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah. The boys recently spent the day with Noah and his mother Cecilia Rodhe at his house where they played basketball, ate lunch, sat around a campfire and just hung out talking. Noah and Rodhe are co-founders of Noah’s Arc Foundation, which aims to help children achieve their full potential through art and sports.

“Meeting a basketball player means a lot to us,” said Isaiah, one of the boys in the program. “Other people don’t get to see what we go through, but he gets to meet us. He understands.”

“I’m in a privileged position,” Noah said. “I have a voice and kids listen. So, I think I have a responsibility to do positive things for the community.”

Donated Thanksgiving meals brighten holiday for families in need

One Hope United and generous supporters made this year’s Thanksgiving a more joyful holiday for many families in need by providing food and gift cards.

One Hope United staff in Joliet delivered a frozen turkey to a birth parent who regained custody of her child this year. She was not sure how she would celebrate the holiday and the staff said she was incredibly surprised and very thankful for the food. It really made her family holiday complete.

Another family was “excited and super thankful” when the staff from One Hope United’s Success by 6 program in Waukegan, Ill., delivered a turkey to them, staff said. The family is financially struggling and could not afford to buy a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. The mom enjoys cooking and was looking forward to sharing a meal with her family.

Also, Master Lee Yong of Yong’s Taekwondo in Round Lake Beach, Ill., organized his 12th annual turkey drive, providing 110 turkeys for One Hope United clients. Staff from Waukegan, Kenwood, Des Plaines, Joliet, Kankakee, Gurnee and the Day Treatment and Rebound programs picked up the turkeys and distributed them to clients before Thanksgiving.

Seven donors also delivered 43 $25 gift cards for food and seven large boxes filled with nonperishable food.

One Hope United is thankful for its staff and donors who helped make this Thanksgiving an extra-special holiday.

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