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Fishing Derby at Lake Villa brings new experiences to youth

One Hope United’s Lake Villa campus hosted its second annual ice fishing derby on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. The event brings together world famous fishermen and boys in the CARE/Day School program for a day of fun and fishing on the campus lake!

This year, the derby was sponsored by the Fox River Valley Muskie Association and Cabella’s donated huts, heaters, hand warmers and bait for the volunteers and 18 boys in treatment.

Tony Boshold, a world champion ice fisherman attend and instructed the boys in the fundamentals of ice fishing. U.S. Champion Ice Fisherman Mike McNett also volunteered. One Hope United Board Member Cindy Lusignan and volunteer Nancy Miller donated lunch for all the participants. One Hope United Board Member Howard Schnitzer and his wife Chris donated coffee and donuts for the fisherman before they made their way out on the ice. Bonnie Lederman and Joyce Heneberry also volunteered their time at this event, in addition to many others.

Thanks to all who helped make this a memorable day for the boys receiving treatment. Many shared their thoughts about the experience:

Josh, a boy in the residential program, caught three fish. He said, “The best part was catching the most fish. I learned how to ice fish. There was no bad thing about the fishing derby.  It was fun.”

Shamar said, “The best part was catching the fish in a small hole. I learned how to ride a four-wheeler.” 

Kevin said the best part was “when we went on the snowmobile. I learned how to be patient.” 

Reggie said, “Hanging out with everyone on the water was fun. I learned how to catch fish on the ice. I loved it.”

Mason was glad that his confusion about which fisherman there was named Cabela was cleared up because he was so glad the company had donated so much.  He said, “I enjoyed riding a snowmobile for the first time.

Second Annual Comfort Kit Fundraiser

ZastrowTwo years ago, Chrys Zastrow became a foster mother for three young girls and hosted her first annual comfort kit fundraiser in Island Lake. In March, Chrys and her husband will finalize the adoption of their girls and host the second annual “Give a Little Extra Love Night” comfort kit fundraiser! 

Comfort kits are given to children and families who enter foster care. Often when a child arrives at a new home, it is an emergency situation. The child might arrive without anything but the clothes on his or her back. A comfort kit is a duffel bag filled with basic comforts: blanket, a “lovie” blanket, stuffed animal, toothbrush and toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, book or craft and a water bottle.

When Chrys first became a foster parent to the three girls she will be adopting soon, they each arrived with a comfort kit on their first night. She realized how valuable the kits were and how much her girls treasured them. Chrys and the girls wanted to provide the same comfort to other foster children so decided to start a fundraiser!

This year’s event will be on Friday, February 28, at 6 p.m. at the Young Scholars Child Care Center in Island Lake, Ill. All are invited to donate to help purchase items, or come to the event and help make “lovie” blankets and assemble the kits! For more information please contact Chrys Zastrow atSweetzzzcomfortkits@yahoo.com

Donation information:

  • There will also be a donation jar on the front desk of Young Scholars Child Care Center for monetary donations.
  • If you would like to donate a blanket kit = $10
  • A complete comfort kit = $20

Please have donations dropped off by Thursday, February 20.

Donations can be mailed to:


Young Scholars Child Care Center
501 Kora Lane
Island Lake, IL 60042

Loading the Sleighs for Delivery

Volunteers packed three trucks (sleighs) full of gifts for children in the northern Illinois and Chicago area on December 10. View photos and read articles about the day at the link below. 

Daily Herald – https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20131210/news/712109847/

Chicago Tribune – http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/mundelein/community/chi-ugc-article-medline-employees-lend-support-to-hundreds-of-2013-12-12,0,569218.story

Chicago Sun Times — http://newssun.suntimes.com/news/24315784-418/one-hope-united-brightens-season-for-2600-kids.html

Gingerbread House for Hope

More than 150 people from the Lindenhurst/Lake Villa area participated in the Gingerbread Houses of Hope event on December 6, to raise money for One Hope United.

With holiday music in the background, children, parents and grandparents used buckets of icing to attach the sugary decorations to their masterpieces that ranged from simple to highly ornate. This family-friendly event was the idea of the children of One Hope United Board member Scott Moeller.  His daughter, Brooke said “It’s a super fun fundraiser for kids of all ages. We’ve been doing it for five years and this was my favorite because we raised enough money to help a lot of children.”  During the event, children decorated 70 gingerbread houses and nearly $3,000 was raised for One Hope United.

Lovin Oven Cakery also supported this holiday community event.
Gbread-HOH-2013-(3)

Youth in the CARE and Day treatment programs enjoy a tasty Thanksgiving

Youth in the CARE and Day treatment programs at One Hope United’s Lake Villa campus enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving lunch sponsored by Marsh in Milwaukee before the holiday. Some of the employee volunteers created 20 food baskets which included boxed goods and canned good for the families in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, service area and others prepared a Harvest themed feast including steaks, chicken, potatoes, vegetables and macaroni and cheese for the staff and youth. There were 40 total participants at the event and all took a moment to say what they were grateful for during this time of year.

Home Depot volunteers renovate Memory Home on Lake Villa campus

Earlier this month, 30 volunteers from Home Depot stores in Niles, Waukegan, Round Lake, Mundelein, Gurnee, West Niles and Vernon Hills donated over 85 hours of service to One Hope United. The volunteers renovated the Memory Home, one of two residential homes for boys in the CARE program on the Lake Villa campus. On November 6, the volunteers primed the bedrooms, living and dining room and two offices and installed drywall in the kitchen. The next day they painted the rooms and hung cabinets in the kitchen. The giving continued with donated food and project materials from Noodles & Co in Gurnee, Dunkin Donuts in Antioch, Galati’s in Lake Villa, Starbucks and Julie’s Coffee in Lake Villa. The Home Depot volunteers will continue to work at Memory Home for the next few weeks to finish up the project.

Thanks to Ravi Bagri, Melody Lukaszewski and Mark Griffin, all form the Gurnee Home Depot for organizing this project!

Discover volunteers put muscle into renovating One Hope United campus

From The Daily Herald:

Two hundred volunteers from Discover and Chicago Cares gave a serious makover Friday to One Hope United’s 36-acre campus in Lake Villa.

The campus houses 30 boys ages 10-18, most of whom have experienced severe abuse. One Hope United provides counseling, therapy and individualized educational services with a goal to transition the boys to live with a family in the community. The campus also has a therapeutic day school for 45 boys in grades 7-12.

Read more here.

Joliet Junior College helps foster children prepare for successful school year

From Trib Local: Students and faculty from the Joliet Junior College Honors Program are hosting a Backpack and School Supplies fundraiser benefiting local foster children and One Hope United. “We believe that every child in our community deserves access to a quality education, and with your support, we can help these children,” said Al Golden, honors program coordinator. Donations are being accepted until Aug. 15. Donation boxes are on the college’s campus, 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet. For more information, call Liz Costa, 815-280-2816. Read more here.

WGN-TV features OHU revving up for Big Wheel charity race

WGN-TV: One Hope United supporter Marco Foster, founder of Chicago Models, will lead OHU’s Big Wheel racing team as part of the Tour de Grid fundraiser benefiting eight local charities! The event takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at The Grid, 351 W. Hubbard St., Chicago. Buy tickets here. Watch WGN’s news segment featuring OHU and other participants preparing for the race here.