Edgewater Early Learning Center – Parent Corner

Valerie Wilson is the mother of Kingston in Edgewater Early Learning Center’s Room 205 and Madelyn in Room 206. Her occupation is flower design, so she shared her knowledge of flowers and design with the children in the Edgewater child care center in Room 206. Ms. Wilson helped the children design a flower pot with glow sticks. Each child was able to plant their own seeds in mini-flower pots that she donated to the classroom.


One Hope United's Lake Villa Campus in Illinois Holds 15th Annual Garage Giveaway for Clients

In July, One Hope United held its 15th Annual Garage Giveaway. All OHU clients were invited to come and “shop” for free at the Lake Villa campus. Items at the event included toys, books, baby items, linens, bedding, household items, children’s clothing and shoes. More than 80 people attended the giveaway, choosing items that they needed.

“One of the moms shopping at the event asked if she could donate items to OHU that her children have outgrown,” said Marilee LaMattina, development associate for OHU. “She was so thankful that our agency made this available to her family and she wants to help other families in return.”

The event was successful, so much so that by the end of the day, nearly all the items were gone!

Pictured are Andrea, Monserrat and Luis Flores shopping at the One Hope United Garage Giveaway.

Marco Foster Hosts White Party at Underground Chicago to Benefit One Hope United

One of the hottest events in Chicago this week is hosted by Marco Foster to benefit One Hope United. Please join us for The White Party on Friday, July 29 from 9-11pm to light up The Underground Chicago. RSVP and more information available by clicking here. 

How did you get involved with One Hope United? 

I’m good friends with One Hope United Board Members, Ermit Finch and Jonni Milkos, and Chicago Development Associate Jenaeth Markaj. They told me about One Hope United and I realized since they deal directly with past experiences in my life, I knew I had to be involved!

Would you mind sharing with us a little about your experience as a foster child? 

It wasn’t the most exciting time of my life since I felt like I was being passed around like a basketball, changing schools and churches, and never really having enough time in one place to make any friends was tough. Then you always have the thoughts about why your biological parents weren’t there for you when you watch the Cosby Show or Family Ties. But things ended up working out in the end and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those events happening in my life, so in a matter of speaking I am thankful for it.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about becoming a foster parent? 

You have to keep an open mind and try to understand the child. There is so much more going through a child’s head when it comes to meeting new parents, the relationship with their biological parents, and also adjusting to a new environment. A child just needs someone who is going to be there for him/her at first. Talking is one of the biggest gifts you can give someone who feels like they can’t talk to anyone about their situation.

Tell us about your fabulous birthday party and why you decided to partner with OHU. 

Well, my birthday is secondary on the agenda. I wanted to do an event to support One Hope United and the timing worked out where I could do both parties in the same shot. I have to thank Rockit Ranch ProductionsThe Underground Chicago, NBC ChicagoTrunk Club and Modern Luxury for helping to make this event possible! I’m really excited and I can’t wait for the 29th!

Marco Foster is a South Side native that runs an IT helpdesk by day and an online community for the fashion/modeling world by night called “Chicago Models.” Through his involvement in the Chicago Fashion and Nightlife scene, he has found ways to give back to the community by creating Fashion and Charity based events.

Photo by Amie Photography


Investigate Your World Summer Camp at Elgin Child & Family Resource Center

Elgin Child & Family Resource CenterOne Hope United’s Elgin Child & Family Resource Center summer camp has begun! Thanks to the Elgin Township who granted us $5,000 to help our children have experiences they might not get the chance to have, children at our Elgin day care center have a begun to have those experiences. We had Tim Adamz the magician come to the center. He captivated both the teachers and the students with his humor and magic.

The school age group went to the Shedd Aquarium. The children’s day started with boarding the Metra train to Union Station. They were met by the bus that transported them to the Shedd, where they experienced many different mini-educational tours. One of the favorites was the jellyfish station. They ate lunch on the grounds and toured more of the Aquarium. They arrived back to the center with smiles on their faces and a sense of satisfaction as they shared their experiences.

Elgin Child & Family Resource Center at Shedd Aquarium

We will have storytellers and the bubble man visiting the center as well. The school age children will be going to Kohl Children’s Museum as well as Make-A-Messterpiece. They will be experiencing the arts and all the different aspects art brings.

We can’t say thank you enough to the Elgin Township for their contribution to the Elgin Child & Family Resource Center!

Bridgeport Child Development Center's Field Trips

If you have seen the yellow school bus at Bridgeport Child Development Center lately, you know that our children have been out on some exciting field trips! Several classes at our Chicago day care center have studied dinosaurs this year, so we were thrilled to travel to the Chicago Field Museum and see some dinosaur models. We also visited the Lincoln Park Zoo to find some of our favorite animals and learn about them and their habitats.

Bridgeport 1 at the Field Museum
Friends in Room 5 are sitting on the leg bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Field Museum.

Bridgeport 1 boards the bus for Lincoln Park Zoo
Room 3 boards the yellow school bus for a fun day at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Bridgeport 1 at the zoo
Children in Room 2 were able to touch a snake at the zoo!

We have more field trips planned for the summer. If you would like to volunteer for a trip, please see the office for a physical form. We would love to have you join us!

Mt. Vernon Foster Grandparents volunteer at "Run to the Wall"

On May 24, several hundred motorcyclists from around the country stopped in Mt. Vernon for lunch and refueling. These riders were participating in the “Run to Wall” which occurs every May. These riders travel from California to Washington D.C. each year to give their respects to the fallen veterans at the Memorial Wall.

Margie DeMent, Lois Hahn, Gene Shirley, Lou Horn, Lee Stowers, Jean Domingez, Peggy Lott, Delores Downey, Earleen Apgar, and Lula Morris

When the riders stop over in Mt. Vernon, Jean Domingez, Foster Grandparent Volunteer, coordinates their lunch, fueling, and break and has done so for over 23 years. For the past several years, the Foster Grandparent Volunteers have come out to help Jean by handing out supplies, preparing meals, and doing anything that is needed to assist. The riders appreciate all that is given to them and the hugs and kind words from the volunteers. A special thank you to volunteers, Delores Downey, Lou Horn, Barb Miller, Margie DeMent, Lee Stowers, Lois Hahn, Earleen Apgar, Peggy Lott, Gene Shirley and Lula Mae Morris for your help. Also huge kudos to Jean Domingez for a job well done!

One Hope United's Bridgeport I Child Development Center in Chicago Celebrates Families with Appreciation Breakfast

Families are an integral part of One Hope United’s child development program, so the staff of Bridgeport I Child Development Center in Chicago, Ill., thanked the parents of the children who attend the Chicago day care center with a special family appreciation breakfast on Friday, June 3, 2011.

The gymnasium was transformed into a dining space for the families to relax and enjoy their special time together by decorating with tablecloths, balloons and fresh flowers. The families gathered to devour a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, waffles, biscuits, sausage, bacon, muffins, fruit and juice.  The entire meal was prepared by the dedicated kitchen staff of the center, which includes Ms. Florence, Ms. Sadie and Ms. Pat.




Lovin' the Landscape!

Did you see the beautiful new plants at our Busy Bee Children’s Center? We would like to thank Mr. Hernandez, father of Ethen H. for the donation of the plants and all of his hard work putting them in and helping with our garden plots. He has done a great job of helping us with landscaping tips etc. You are greatly appreciated; Busy Bee parents are the best!

Agency Recognizes Staff Who Exemplify Our Promises

At the All-Board Meeting dinner on Thursday, June 2, the agency recognized five staff who exemplify the agency promises of Hope, Collaboration, Innovation, Leadership and Results.

One Hope United’s 2011 Promise Award recipients are (as pictured in the photo from left to right):

Hope Award: Rachel Gubbins, Hudelson Region

Leadership Award: Laurie Stern, Florida Region

Collaboration Award: Stephen Brehm, Federation

Innovation Award: Kareen Nunnally, Northern Region

Results Award: Maria Weber, Florida Region

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for doing all you can to protect children and strengthen families!

A Day of Celebrations at Pickus Infant/Toddler Center

The graduating moms of Pickus Infant/Toddler Center planned a surprise pizza party as a way of saying “thanks” for all the hard work Ms. Pam and Ms. Terri do to create a safe and nurturing environment for their children in the Waukegan day care center. Ms. Pam was nearly brought to tears.

While everyone was enjoying pizza, Ms. Pam received a phone call that made her scream with excitement, “the Pickus Center received their NAEYC accreditation!”

It truly was a day of surprise and celebration! Congratulations to all!

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