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Services, support for at-risk families help create healthy communities

CHICAGO (April 1, 2013)–In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, One Hope United is launching a digital Blue Ribbon Campaign (www.BlueRibbonMonth.org) aimed at raising awareness and funds to support programs that keep children safe. Every April, people across the country wear blue ribbons in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

Child abuse and neglect can have long-term effects on the development of a child. A safe, nurturing home and stable relationships contribute to healthy cognitive and emotional development, allowing children to thrive and become successful adults.

Child maltreatment also costs the nation billions of dollars per year, impacting healthcare, mental health, judicial and public health and social service systems, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 “One Hope United programs and services prevent child abuse by providing resources, support and strategies that strengthen at-risk families,” said Bill Gillis, president and CEO of One Hope United.  “Protecting children sets them on a path toward a successful adulthood and creates healthy, prosperous communities. “

Child abuse and neglect is a serious concern in the United States.

The Children’s Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports:

— More than 2 million allegations of child abuse or neglect were investigated by child protective services agencies in the United States in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2011.

— The highest rate of abuse and neglect occurs among children ages birth to 1 year old.

— It is nationally estimated that more than 1,500 children died from abuse or neglect in FFY 2011.

Join One Hope United in its efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect and prepare children for a prosperous future. To learn more, visit www.BlueRibonMonth.org.

Follow One Hope United on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/1hopeunited and Twitter @1hopeunited. Use #1hope4kids when tweeting.

About One Hope United: One Hope United is a private human-service organization that offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The agency serves thousands of children and families in Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin and Missouri with a vision of ensuring the successful transition of our children to healthy and productive adults. For more information, visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

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.

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.

Joliet project included in $45 million grant program

Photo courtesy of the State of Illinois and Harvey Tillis.
by Bob Okon for the Joliet Herald-News

JOLIET — A Joliet project was included in a $45 million government funding package announced Wednesday for improving early childhood education in Illinois.

The state will spend the money in the form of Early Childhood Construction Grants to fund construction and renovation at 14 locations.

In Joliet, $3.1 million will be spent to renovate the closed Parks Elementary School at Parks Avenue and Ohio Street.

The Joliet project has been in the works for more than a year, and it is expected to take another two years before the early learning center would open. This week, the Joliet City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement that will make it possible for the project to move forward.

Chicago-based One Hope United will acquire the building from the Joliet Grade School District.

“This really is going to be a great addition to the community,” Mark McHugh, executive director for One Hope United, told the city council this week. “Joliet in particular has a very high need for early childhood education for low-income families.”

McHugh estimated that the early learning center would open in spring 2015. He said the organization still needs to raise about $1 million to fund the project.

One Hope United is a child services group that started in 1895 as the Chicago Baptist Orphanage. The organization previously had a Joliet office for foster care services.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the grants, saying in a written statement, “We know that investing in early childhood education is the best way to ensure lifelong success for our students.”

The grant money is part of the state’s “Illinois Jobs Now!” capital construction program.

One Hope United Receives $3.1 Million Early Childhood Construction Grant From Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

Photo courtesy of the State of Illinois and Harvey Tillis.
One Hope United is thrilled to announce the receipt of a $3.1 million grant from the office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to support our early childhood education efforts. The Early Childhood Construction Grants are paid for by the Illinois Jobs Now! initiative, and One Hope United will use the funds to build a new early child care center in Joliet. The Joliet Early Learning Center will serve more than 200 children ages birth through age 12, with a special emphasis on serving infants and toddlers. Our 11 Child Development Centers across the Chicagoland area serve more than 1,200 children daily, and 10 have received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. 

“The achievement gap begins before a child steps foot into kindergarten,” Governor Quinn said. “We know that investing in early childhood education is the best way to ensure lifelong success for our students. By setting our youngest learners on the right track now, we can prepare them for a lifetime of growth and strengthen our economy for the future.” 

Gov. Quinn announced the 14 recipients of the grants today at a press conference at Cicero’s “Through A Child’s Eyes” Program, attended by State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico and One Hope United Northern Region Executive Director, Mark McHugh, who spoke at the conference representing both One Hope United and the Illinois Early Learning Council, where he co-chairs the Capital Development and Infrastructure Committee. “We are excited to receive this grant and extend our ability to give young children across Illinois the early education they deserve,” McHugh said. “A child who is allowed to thrive and receive a nurturing, empowering start will become a prosperous and successful adult in the long run. We commend Gov. Quinn for his commitment to early childhood education across the state.”

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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.”

Gingerbread house decorating event spices up holiday season

Residents from the Lake Villa and Lindenhurst, Ill., area kicked off the holiday season by supporting One Hope United at last week’s Gingerbread Houses of Hope event. OHU provided houses and decorations galore for participants to create their masterpieces.

This event has raised more than $2,000 for the agency since it was started by OHU board members Scott and Becky Moeller and their family in 2009. 

“We are thankful for the support of the Moellers and those who participate in this annual event for taking time during the hectic holiday season to help families in need,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United Northern Region. “Events like this ripple through the community as a reminder that everyone can help make a difference.”

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