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.”

Donated Thanksgiving meals brighten holiday for families in need

One Hope United and generous supporters made this year’s Thanksgiving a more joyful holiday for many families in need by providing food and gift cards.

One Hope United staff in Joliet delivered a frozen turkey to a birth parent who regained custody of her child this year. She was not sure how she would celebrate the holiday and the staff said she was incredibly surprised and very thankful for the food. It really made her family holiday complete.

Another family was “excited and super thankful” when the staff from One Hope United’s Success by 6 program in Waukegan, Ill., delivered a turkey to them, staff said. The family is financially struggling and could not afford to buy a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year. The mom enjoys cooking and was looking forward to sharing a meal with her family.

Also, Master Lee Yong of Yong’s Taekwondo in Round Lake Beach, Ill., organized his 12th annual turkey drive, providing 110 turkeys for One Hope United clients. Staff from Waukegan, Kenwood, Des Plaines, Joliet, Kankakee, Gurnee and the Day Treatment and Rebound programs picked up the turkeys and distributed them to clients before Thanksgiving.

Seven donors also delivered 43 $25 gift cards for food and seven large boxes filled with nonperishable food.

One Hope United is thankful for its staff and donors who helped make this Thanksgiving an extra-special holiday.

Youth in CARE program spend memorable day with Bulls player Noah and his mother

Youth in One Hope United’s CARE Day Treatment Program recently enjoyed a memorable day with Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah and his mother, Cecilia Rodhe, co-founder of the Noah’s Arc Foundation, which supports at-risk youth through the arts and sports. “It was the best experience of my life meeting him and his mom,” said Caleb, 14. They played basketball, went on a nature walk, ate s’mores and spent time talking with Noah and Rodhe. “Thank you for having the kindness to let us come to your house, supplying food and being so nice about it,” said Brandon, 14. “The things I would like to thank them for is the fun, food and hugs,” added Joey, 11.

New OHU programs propel teens toward their goals

At-risk teens on Chicago’s South Side are getting a boost in preparing for life after high school with two new programs out of the One Hope United office in the city’s Kenwood neighborhood.

This fall, One Hope United launched a Mentoring Program and Leadership Academy, which both aim to build relationships with the students, improve their self-esteem and support school attendance and achievement.

“While we may not be able to erase poverty, inadequate schools, crime, and dysfunctional life experiences, we can provide services and supports that fill these gaps for youth and propel them to their goals and dreams,” said Tim Snowden, senior vice president at One Hope United in Chicago.

Youth in the programs are 14 to 18 years old, reside in or near Kenwood, and have been in the After School Matters or Intact Family program or were referred by another youth, Snowden said. Both programs meet monthly.

The Leadership Academy met for the first time last month at the Kenwood office. The academy helps prepare youth for the workforce by talking about their interests, listening to guest speakers from various professions and taking field trips to local businesses. At a meeting this month, the youth discussed politics, voting and what they expect from their elected officials. Some of the youth also were matched for the first time with their mentors and went on a fun outing to the Chicago-area Haunted Trails entertainment center.

The Mentoring Program focuses on being a friend to youth and encouraging school success and work by promoting post-high school plans, such as college or employment, and helping to identify careers that interest them, Snowden said.

Eight mentors and youths have been paired up so far. Mentors, who complete an orientation, application and training process, include One Hope United staff members Reneva Lane, a case manager in the ECHO program; Lakeithia Butler, a case manager in the Wings program; and Snowden. Lane also is coordinating youth activities. Development Associate Jenaeth Markaj is helping spread the word to more potential mentors.

Photo: One Hope United case managers Reneva Lane and Lakeithia Butler, mentors in One Hope United’s new Leadership Academy and Mentoring Program, are pictured with youth who attended the academy meeting in October.


McCormick Foundation Grants $30,000 to One Hope United to Prevent Child Abuse

LAKE VILLA, IL — One Hope United recently received a $30,000 grant through the Chicago Tribune Charities – Holiday Campaign, a McCormick Foundation Fund, to strengthen families headed by teenage parents and prevent child abuse.

The grant supports One Hope United’s Wings/Healthy Families Illinois program, which provides essential support services and counseling to “high-risk” teenage, single and other parents in Lake County who have not yet abused their children but feel overwhelmed and need support, encouragement and relief.

Over the past 20 years, One Hope United has received more than $290,000 through Chicago Tribune Charities for child abuse prevention programs and services throughout Lake County, Illinois.

“Chicago Tribune Charities is one of the agency’s most valued partners in fighting child abuse, and we are thankful for its support,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United Northern Region. “Partners such as the Chicago Tribune Charities and the McCormick Foundation allow our agency to deliver high-quality programs that positively impact families’ lives forever.”

According to 2011 data, the number of abused children has increased due to the stumbling economy, parental poverty and related stress. Wings/Healthy Families Illinois assigns case managers to work with families using multiple interventions, including educating parents about healthy growth and development. The grant will assist residents of Gurnee, North Chicago, Park City, Round Lake, Waukegan and Zion, Ill.

The Chicago Tribune Charities funding of this child abuse prevention program highlights its commitment to helping at-risk children, families and adults and providing a safe and secure home for all children.

About One Hope United: One Hope United is a private human service organization dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families, offering an array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The nonprofit also specializes in child welfare system management, reform, consultation and training.

With offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida, One Hope United impacts more than 42,000 children and their families nationwide each year. For more information, visit http://www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

About the McCormick Foundation: The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

The McCormick Foundation continues McCormick’s legacy by partnering with media outlets, such as the Chicago Tribune, sports teams and philanthropic organizations across the country, to encourage local giving, inspire civic involvement and address human needs. For more information, visit http://www.McCormickFoundation.org.

Day treatment helps teen with ADHD learn coping, social skills

Alex is 16 and in 11th grade. When he arrived at the One Hope United Day Treatment program two and a half years ago, he had a list of behavior problems, including ADHD. He could not sit still and did not want to listen to staff showing him how to manage his behaviors. Eventually he realized the staff was trying to help him, enjoyed earning positive points for his behavior and was able to manage his ADHD.

Alex also had issues with his social skills. He always talked about himself, blurting out information to everyone he saw. One Hope United staff taught him to ask other people about their day and think about their needs instead of just his. When he felt angry, Alex would talk to his therapist. She helped him work out some family issues. She also worked with him on coping skills and reminded him to think about the consequences of his actions.

After nearly three years in day treatment, Alex was able to transition into a public high school as a full-time student. He plays football and, for the first time, made friends. He is able to sit still in class and keep quiet. He even plans on going to college to study science. Alex said the One Hope United staff “helped me become the successful young man I am today.”

Volunteers spruce up OHU in Waukegan

Pictured, L to R: Nick Cargola, Mitch Raskovich and Joe Helmrich were among the 17 volunteers from CDW Corp. who helped beautify OHU’s Rebound residential site in Waukegan, Ill.

Volunteers from CDW Corp. recently helped beautify Rebound, One Hope United’s residential site in Waukegan, Ill.

The 17 volunteers planted and mulched shrubs, repaired a fence and stained a deck. CDW also donated two new desktop computers and a printer for Rebound residents’ use.

Rebound is a community-based transitional living facility serving youth ages 17-20 years old who lack traditional families. The program works with youth on employment skills, educational completion, money management and other life skills with a goal of achieving independence by age 21.

Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW is a leading provider of technology products and services for business, government and education.

Translate »