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Help Us Spring Ahead Towards Our Goal!

One Hope United is tremendously grateful for the continuous support of our supporters and donors. Your generosity during this past year has allowed us to impact the lives of countless children and families throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida.

Yet, as we approach the end of our fiscal year on June 30, 2016, we realize that we still have a ways to go! We ask that you join us in our efforts to “spring ahead” towards our final fundraising goal. Your financial gift will allow us to continue strengthening families in need, providing counseling for children who have experienced trauma and abuse and offering quality early learning education, along with a wide range of additional resources for those that we serve.

We believe that a child’s future should not be determined solely by their circumstances. Every child deserves to have big dreams and most importantly, the opportunity to attain them. Our vision is for every child and family, life without limits.

Please make your donation by June 30, 2016 at onehopeunited.wpengine.com/springahead.

The WINGS Program Visits Brookfield Zoo!

One Hope United’s WINGS program was chosen by the Brookfield Women’s Zoological Society to receive a free day at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, June 4th. This outing included two free buses, admission to the zoo, lunch, and admission to the Zoo’s special attractions.

OHU’s WINGS program provides essential support services and counseling to high-risk teenage, single and other parents in Lake County, as they adjust to the responsibilities of parenthood. Targeting new and expecting parents, WINGS promotes positive parent-child interaction and works to enhance family functioning, build trusting relationships and teach problem-solving skills.

The field trip was a huge success! There were around 40 clients who participated and they all had an awesome time. The clients thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities, especially the dolphin show and the carousel.

Thank you Brookfield Zoo!

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Hope in Action 2016 Recap!

One Hope United would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended Hope in Action 2016.

The night was a smashing success; together with our guests and sponsors we raised nearly $215,000, more than doubling the amount raised last year! We are so appreciative of the amazing support that has been shown for our organization, and all of it only brings us one step closer to fulfilling our vision, “For every child and family, life without limits.”

Though there were many, one of the most unforgettable moments of the night was honoring Dianna Klockenga and her family with the Ermit Finch Impact Award. Below, you can view Dianna’s story captured in this heartwarming video.

Don’t forget to check out all of the fun photos from the night on our Facebook page and tag yourself and your friends!

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OHU Staff Spotlight | Kathleen Tamsevicius

Check out OHU’s latest Staff Spotlight, featuring Kathleen Tamsevicius! Kathleen is a kindergarden teacher at our Des Plaines Child Development Center. Watch on as she explains an average day in her role and why she decided to become a teacher!

OHU Staff Spotlight | Scott Cheshker

We are very excited to introduce OHU’s first Staff Spotlight, featuring Scott Ceshker! Scott is the program manager at our C.A.R.E Theraputic Day School. Check out this clip to learn more about his role at OHU and stick around to the very end to find out his most memorable moment!

View The Video Here


Welcome to the new onehopeunited.wpengine.com

Creativity. Curiosity. Joy. Love. Growth. Exploration.

These are some of the words that I return to again and again when I think about the amazing work our staff at One Hope United carries out every day.

Our clients are diverse, as are their needs, interests, and desires. From a young parent working to give their child the best start in life, to the teenager who may be transitioning from the juvenile justice system to living on their own, to the children in our early learning programs (like the little guy above, who spends his days growing and exploring at our Elgin Child & Family Resource Center), to the family that’s receiving counseling in order to strengthen their bond: all are part of our ecosystem of investing in children and families.

OHU has been doing what we do for over 120 years. We draw upon our rich history to inform the present and inspire future endeavors. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce our brand new website, which we hope will let visitors like you get to know more about us as an organization, and identify programs and services that you or someone you know might want to explore further.

In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out new features and stories so you can meet the clients, staff, volunteers, and supporters who comprise the core of who we are at OHU.  The new onehopeunited.wpengine.com features more photos and video – along with social sharing tools – to make it a truly interactive experience. It’s also mobile friendly, so you can read on the go using your phone or tablet.

I like to think of our website as the digital front door to the organization.  It’s my hope that we can convey online all that goes on behind the scenes as we work to transform lives and communities.

I know that if you were to visit any of our offices or child development centers, you’d experience the warmth, caring, and compassion that our talented staff of experienced professionals bring to their work every day.  This new website hopefully gives you a glimpse of all that and compels you to get involved.

So welcome; we’re glad to have you here. Stop by and visit any time you like.

-Em Hall
SVP, Marketing and Technology

Mary’s Story of Hope

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Mary was born in late 2005 with multiple congenital abnormalities. She entered foster care in early 2006 due to medical neglect. Mary had been born to a very young mother who had just moved to the United States from a foreign country and did not speak English. Mary’s birth father had remained in the original country. The birth mother was offered services to assist her with Mary’s needs. These services included transportation to and from medical appointments, as well as interpretation during the appointments. Mary’s birth mother failed to take advantage of the services and seemed to lack an emotional attachment to Mary.

One Hope United continued to assist the birth mother with a goal of reunification; however, she eventually surrendered her parental rights of Mary. Additionally, the birth father’s rights were terminated as he had not shown enough involvement in the case and had basically abandoned the child. After these proceedings, Mary became legally free for adoption, yet Mary remained in medical foster care while adoption recruitment efforts were made.

Due to her medical conditions, Mary required many medications and an array of specialist visits and various therapies. Mary had been diagnosed with several serious conditions, including microcephaly, hydrocephaly, seizure disorder, developmental delay, and Arthrogryposis Multiplex. Some of these conditions affected her mobility as well as her development and general level of comfort.

Due to her many complex medical needs, Mary’s chance of finding an adoptive family available that would be able to meet the requirements of caring for her was slim. She required 24 hour care, with suctioning of her secretions required every four hours.

One Hope United continued to look for families and collaborated with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, an adoption recruitment service funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Mary remained in medical foster care for about three years, but then her forever family was found! Mary was fortunate to find an extraordinary mother, Ms. Chaney R, and become her very first child! Mary was placed into the adoptive home with Chaney on December 21, 2009, and then adopted on April 7, 2010. Mary still lives with Chaney and has now made tremendous gains and is a happy eight-year old.

We’re also thrilled to share that on March 20, 2014, Mary became a big sister! Chaney had another little girl placed with her and her adoption is expected to finalize soon, likely in June 2014. This child has many of the same medical conditions of Mary. In fact, she is an “AMC’er” like Mary (a nickname given to children with Arthrogryposis Multiplex). She was not expected to live for more than three years, however has been a fighter who has beat the odds. She just turned four in April and she, Mary, and Chaney celebrated together! Stay tuned for more updates following her adoption as well!

On April 10, 2014, a follow up interview regarding the adoption of Mary, as well as her progress, was conducted with Chaney. Please see Chaney’s responses below in order to learn more about this inspirational story from her perspective…

OHU: What made you think about adopting?
Chaney: I have always known I would adopt my children. My youngest sister was adopted and I cherished her dearly. She and I were very close even though we were seven years apart in age. I loved taking care of her, singing to her, playing with her and talking with her. Her name was Jasmine and when she died from a sudden kidney infection, part of her spirit stayed in me.

OHU: What made you want to adopt a medically fragile child?
Chaney: My sister, Jasmine, was a medically fragile child and being around the equipment (tracheostomy tubes, g-tubes, suction machines, oxygen, etc) was my normal childhood. I grew up with therapists and nurses coming into the house. It was not abnormal for me to learn how to give a G-tube feeding when I was old enough. My mother organized the neighborhood teenagers to learn how to do CPR not only on mouths, but on trachs. We included Jasmine in on our daily lives and my desire to have my own children who could ‘take after Aunt Jasmine’ grew stronger as I got older.

OHU: How did you find out about Mary?
Chaney: Once my home study was finished and I completed all requirements and classes in 2009, I put my profile on the Adopt Us Kids website. Only a few months later, Mary’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids worker saw my profile detailing my past with my sister, Jasmine. She immediately contacted me and told me a few details about Mary. Mary has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a trach, G-tube and scoliosis. I was hesitant because I specifically did not want a child with a trach. Finding childcare for a child with a trach is challenging. But once I saw Mary’s picture, I immediately knew she was my daughter. I changed my thinking and started getting prepared. Three months later, on December 21, 2009, Mary (age 4) came home! The adoption was finalized on April 7, 2010. Mary is currently eight years old.

OHU: What gains has Mary made since in your care?
Chaney: Since Mary came home, she has learned how to use a DynaVox V for communication! This is a computer device that has voice output. Mary is able to tell me what she wants or needs and make choices via this device. Mary has also started walking in the pool. She is in second grade and is home schooled, which she really loves! Mary is a Brownie Girl Scout, rides horses, attends art class, loves going to camp every summer, and is in a bowling league. She is also an active member at her church.

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