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.

Community tees it up for kids at One Hope United outing

Desrie Flaschner of NorStates Bank and Brad Flaschner of Flash Contracting attended One Hope United’s 22nd annual golf outing. | SPECIAL TO SUN-TIMES MEDIA

Published in the Lake County News-Sun

News-Sun staff report September 27, 2012 4:10PM

One Hope United’s Northern Region hosted its 22nd annual charity golf outing earlier this month and raised nearly $60,000 for its child- abuse prevention programs and services.

“We are grateful for all the participants who help support our mission of protecting children and strengthening families,” said Marilee LaMattina, development associate at One Hope United.

The event drew 180 golfers who played at either Glen Flora Country Club or Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan.

After golfing and lunch, guests attended an evening program and dinner at Glen Flora that featured live and silent auctions.

A teenager in the agency’s CARE residential and therapeutic Day Treatment School, spoke at the event about how the programs have helped him grow and mature as a person and become a better student. The One Hope United staff “helped me become the successful young man I am today,” he said.

The CARE (Community Alternative Renewal Experience) program is a safe, nurturing environment for abused and neglected boys that focuses on developing life skills and relationships.

One Hope United is a private human-service organization that offers an array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs.

It serves more than 27,000 children and families in northern Illinois and Wisconsin.

Aurora Early Learning Center Celebrates First Year in the Community

WHO:      Join One Hope United to celebrate the first anniversary of its Aurora Early Learning Center and the receipt of its certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

WHEN:    Thursday, Sept. 20, from 2-3 p.m.

WHERE:  One Hope United Aurora Early Learning Center, 525 College Avenue, Aurora, IL

WHAT:     The Aurora Early Learning Center’s state-of-the-art sustainable design lowers operational costs while also providing educational opportunities for the children who learn about the environment and grow plants in an on-site vegetable garden. The center’s Healthy Lifestyles curriculum promotes overall health, exercise, nutrition and environmental sustainability.

“We are proud to serve Aurora-area residents with this top-quality learning center that is committed to early education and healthy living,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United.

Tours of the 22,000 s.f. Aurora child care center’s building, playground and garden will be given following the presentation of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The council’s Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Aurora Early Learning Center offers year-round childcare and education for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and after-school, enrichment and summer camp programs for school-age children. It provides high-quality affordable options for families in the Aurora area.

About One Hope United: One Hope United is a nonprofit agency with a mission to educate, nourish, and empower all children with trusted early care and education. It operates 11 child care centers serving more than 2,000 children and families in northern Illinois.


250 Discover Volunteers Give One Hope United’s Campus a Makeover

LAKE VILLA, IL (Sept. 5, 2012)

WHO:    One Hope United’s 33-acre campus in Lake Villa, Ill., will be revitalized by 250 volunteers from Discover Cardmember Services & Consumer Banking and Chicago Cares as part of the Discover Cares Month initiative.

WHEN:   Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: One Hope United, Richardson Building #5, 215 N. Milwaukee, Ave., Lake Villa, IL

WHY:       One Hope United’s Lake Villa campus is home to 20 boys, ages 10-18 years,    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 features a therapeutic day school for 45 boys in grades 7-12.

“The boys and the staff at One Hope United are grateful for efforts from volunteers like those from Discover to improve the facilities on our campus,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United. “Also, we could never manage the logistics of 250 volunteers on one day without the fantastic coordination of Chicago Cares.”

“Discover Cares Month provides a great opportunity to address the needs of our local communities and the desire for our employees to get involved,” said Carlos Minetti, president of consumer banking and operations at Discover. “Together, we hope to make a positive impact on the organizations we support and a difference in the lives of those they benefit.”

Volunteers will landscape One Hope United’s front entrance; construct an outdoor classroom to enhance residents’ learning environments; build benches; and restore the volleyball and basketball courts to encourage physical activity. They also will improve the boys’ living spaces by building cubbies for storage and painting wall and hallway murals.

Discover partnered with Chicago Cares as part of its Discover Cares Month, an annual volunteer initiative. Chicago Cares works to better communities through volunteer projects. Volunteer transportation, supplies, training and food are coordinated through Chicago Cares.

About One Hope United: One Hope United is a private human service organization dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. We offer an array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs. With offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida, our programs impact more than 42,000 children and families each year. For more information, visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

About Chicago Cares: Chicago Cares builds volunteer experiences that mobilize and inspire people to make Chicago a stronger community. Chicago Cares develops more than 200 group volunteer projects each month serving children, adults and seniors in need, as well as the environment. Through volunteer service, Chicago Cares enables, educates and inspires people to make Chicago a better place for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chicagocares.org.

About Discover: 
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discoverfinancial.com.


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