Lakes Community High School’s National Honor Society’s Eagle Relay

The Lakes Community High School Chapter of the National Honor Society held
their annual Eagle Relay to Give Kids Hope on Sunday, October 2, 2011 at
the LCHS track.  Approximately 100 registered walkers showed up to give
support to this wonderful event.  Walkers wore grey t-shirts with an
eagle breaking through a finish line designed by NHS officer Conary Meyer.


Several local businesses including Arby’s, The Twisted Cow, Culver’s of
Antioch and Ad-Lib Geo Café in Lindenhurst donated money and merchandise,
including gift certificates for raffle prizes and other needs for the
event.  Participants were able to take part in various fun-races to break
up the walking, including a three-legged race, wheel-barrow race and 100
meter dash.  More than $3000.00 was raised.  NHS members had to raise $30 each through pledges.  Members also voted to donate all money raised to
One Hope United in Lake Villa, Illinois.

The Lakes Chapter began six years ago.  The goal of the organization is to
have one fundraiser and one service project throughout the year.  The
current officers for NHS are Chase Binkley, President; Niki Laczewski,
Vice-President; Christina Cherry, Director of Service; Anne Safron,
Director of Fund Raising;  Megan Massie, Communications Secretary; and
Conary Meyer, Treasurer.  The faculty advisors are Jeff Gutke and Heather

One Hope United Hudelson Holds 2011 Annual Meeting in Fairview Heights IL

One Hope United Hudelson held their annual meeting on Nov. 5 at the Four Points Sheraton in Fairview Heights,IL. The regular board meeting was held at 10:00 a.m., and the Annual Meeting started at 12:00p.m. with a buffet luncheon.  After the business meeting, William Hudelson Community Partnership awards were presented (by the staff member who nominated them) to individuals and organizations who support OHU throughout the Hudelson Region.  President/CEO Bill Gillis, Executive Director Pat Griffith and Board Member Bill Beck also gave remarks during the meeting.


Dan Hamment, Cathy Turner, Board Member Wayne Turner, Board Member Linda Schneider

Bill Beck

Bill Gillis

William Hudelson Community Partnership award winners: left to right – Kim Peek, University of Illinois; Patty Brough & Tina Suarez, Business and Professional Women of Centralia; Joyce Porter, Centralia Public Library; Mike Miller, Character’s Bookstore

Buffet line

OHU Staff Member Completes Training as Registered Play Therapist

Recently, Amy Overmyer, a therapist with One Hope United, completed training to become a Registered Play Therapist. Play therapy is used to communicate with and help people, especially children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. Amy plans to use these skills with children who are in foster care or who have experienced trauma.

“Becoming a Registered Play Therapist is quite an achievement and worthy of recognition,” said Rachel Gubbins, director of programs for OHU. “This skill will be a great asset to One Hope United’s counseling team.”

As part of the 150 hours of training required to become an RPT, Amy completed the Play Therapy Intensive Training, a six-day training in Greeley, Colorado with psychologists and authors Byron and Carol Norton who wrote “Reaching Children Through Play Therapy: An Experiential Approach.” She also completed Introductory Theraplay and Marshack Interaction Method training, a four-day training at The Theraplay Institute in Evanston, Illinois.

“I have been focusing on how to incorporate play therapy interventions into existing evidence-based practices models,” said Amy Overmyer. “I also enjoy teaching others about play therapy, and I hope to be able to provide play therapy training to OHU staff as well as other community therapists.”

Dedicated Time from a Foster Grandparent Helps Troubled Foster Youth Open Up at School

One Hope United Foster Grandparent Volunteer Lou Horn volunteers at Dodds School in several classrooms, but one of her favorite rooms is the kindergarten classroom.

Lou works with a very special young boy. The young boy lives in a foster home because of allegations of neglect and abuse at his biological home. His mother is addicted to drugs and his father is currently in jail.

Lou shared that the when the little boy came to school he would not speak at all.  Several professionals worked with the student, but had minimal progress.

The teacher then decided to pair Foster Grandparent Volunteer Lou Horn with the child to work one on his letter recognition.

“The boy would sit for hours without saying a word,” said Lou. “But even though he would not speak, I felt as if we were making a connection.”

After several months passed, the child finally spoke to Lou. Progress! Lou was ecstatic.

As the school year progressed, the little boy would speak more and more.  He eventually got to the point where he would speak to more than just Lou, but also to his teacher and some of his peers.

Foster Grandparents are able to take the extra time to allow a student to feel safe enough to open up. Foster Grandparents do not push, but rather go at a pace that is comfortable for the student and through mentoring and tutoring activities; they are able to help children progress on multiple levels related to academic, social and emotional development.

Mt. Vernon, IL Foster Grandparents make cards for troops

Mt. Vernon Foster Grandparents make cards for troopsTo honor the 10 year anniversary of September 11, the Mt. Vernon, IL Foster Grandparents made cards to show their support to the U.S. Military. Several of the volunteers spent an afternoon decorating patriotic cards with messages of gratitude to send to the troops overseas.

The One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program has several volunteers who have served in the military, are military wives or have a relative in the military, so this activity took on a special meaning for them.

The volunteers made a total of 100 cards that will be distributed.

Pajama Day at Aurora Early Learning Center Supports Nationwide Quality Early Education

If you stopped by the Aurora Early Learning Center on Oct. 6 you might have noticed something funny. All the staff and children at the Aurora child care center were still in their pajamas!

The center participated in Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” Day. On this day millions of people across the country read the book “Llama, Llama Red Pajama” in an effort to show support for quality early education.

All children from infants to school age gathered as staff read to groups throughout the day. Several parents joined the fun as well. The story explores feelings and allows practice with rhyme. You could hear children chanting the repetition in the story “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama” throughout the center!

One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program to Honor Older Volunteers Meeting Community Needs

Senior Corps Week to Spotlight Impact Older Americans Make through Service

In honor of the Senior Corps Week, September 19-23, the One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program would like to pay tribute to the volunteers who serve our community.

Last year, 450,000 Senior Corps volunteers provided 98 million hours of service estimated to be worth more than $2 billion nationally.

In Jefferson, Wayne, Franklin and Williamson Counties, 40 volunteers served a total of 40,133 hours serving children in local schools, day cares and maternity centers. These volunteers spend each day tutoring, mentoring and offering unconditional caring in order for the children they serve to succeed.

These volunteers are a vital part of the school systems which as been stated by many teachers and principals. If these volunteers were paid by the school district, child care or maternity homes it would cost approximately $857,241 for these communities, but through the program, the sites receiving services from the One Hope United Foster Grandparent Program is free of charge.

Please take a moment during Senior Corp week to thank a Foster Grandparent Volunteer in your community for the time they spend with the youth of today.

Senior Corps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

Bridgeport Child Development Center I celebrates with Luau Celebration

One Hope United’s Bridgeport Child Development Center I hosted our annual “End of the Year Luau Celebration” on Aug. 11, 2011. Many families joined us for an exciting afternoon of food, music, games and friendship! Our special guest for the afternoon was Mr. Nelson Gill, who provided us with music and song. Thank you to all our families who attended and made our Luau Celebration an afternoon to remember!

One Hope United would like to wish our students heading off to kindergarten a successful school year and would like to thank their families for including us in their child’s first school experience. Our Chicago child care center‘s programs include Toddler/Twos, Preschool, School Age and Summer Camp (ages 6-12 years).

The Mobile Dentists Visited Busy Bee Children's Center

ToothbrushOne Hope United‘s Waukegan day care center, Busy Bee Children’s Center, recently had a visit from the Mobile Dentists; they came to shine our smiles! This program is a highly acclaimed on-site dental care program created in compliance with the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Surgeon General guidelines. Children were also given free toothbrushes and a dental report card. Preventative services that can be provided through these dentists are: dental exams/screenings, cleanings, sealants and fluoride & fluoride varnish. The program satisfies State mandated dental exams. Hooray for shiny new smiles!

Huge Outpouring of Back 2 School Support for One Hope United Clients!

SVP of Development Joyce Heneberry reports that as of Sept. 1, One Hope United will have collected approximately 1,200 backpacks for children in the care of the Northern Region. She estimates the gift-in-kind value to be more than $26,000!

A huge thanks to all Back 2 School donors!


  • Christ Together 50 backpacks
  • The Chapel, Libertyville – 75 backpacks
  • Long Grove Community Church, Long Grove – 75 backpacks
  • Wildwood Presbyterian, Grayslake – 30 backpacks

Corporate groups:

  • Baxter, Round Lake – 25 backpacks and supplies
  • Hewitt – 26 backpacks and supplies
  • Lucas Group (Ahmad) – 500 backpacks
  • Emdeon – 20 backpacks and supplies
  • Abbott – 19 backpacks

Individual Donors:

  • Tom Brigham donated 305 backpacks and school supplies with a value of more than $7,100
  • Jaclyn Larash from Laurus Strategies (12 backpacks) delivered to Kenwood
  • Ahmad Popylar organized the Lucas Group  500 backpacks
  • Dominic Rinaldi – Back to school clothing/shoe drive for Kenwood
  • Howard Schnitzer for his active role in soliciting, delivering and raising cash to purchase supplies
  • Shana Malin

It isn’t too late to donate to our Back 2 School campaign! Click here to make an online donation.

Pictured: Cub Scout Pack 86 of Lake Villa, Illinois, and their families volunteered over two days to sort supplies and pack almost 1,000 backpacks to benefit children in the care of One Hope United. More than 30 people volunteered!

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