Golfers tee off to support One Hope United

LAKE VILLA, IL (Sept. 24, 2012)–One Hope United’s Northern Region hosted its 22nd Annual Charity Golf Outing on Sept. 11, 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 to tee off at Glen Flora Country Club and Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan, Ill. After golfing and lunch, guests attended an evening program and dinner at Glen Flora that featured live and silent auctions.


Also, Alex*, a 16-year-old client 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.


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. It serves more than 27,000 children and families in northern Illinois and Wisconsin with a vision of a safe home for every child.

*Name changed for privacy.


One Hope United receives grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

Chicago (Sept. 26, 2012) – One Hope United received a $40,000 Community Partners Grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois to provide mental health counseling to at-risk families in Lake County.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ generous grant supports our mission to protect children and strengthen families,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United. “We would not be able to offer these services without the support of companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.”

The grant benefits One Hope United’s individual and family counseling for mental health issues including depression; suicidal ideations; sexual abuse; and substance abuse. Children who benefit have been diagnosed with conditions such as autism; ADHD; discipline issues; early signs of mental illness; obesity; and chronic health conditions.

These counseling services, which take place in clients’ homes or at One Hope United in Gurnee, Ill., help families who might not otherwise have access to these services handle underlying causes of conflict and improve their chances of saving their families.

According to 2011 data, the number of abused children has increased due to parental poverty and related stress. Counseling is the number-one need identified by case managers working with clients in other One Hope United child abuse prevention programs. Along with financial strains, most of these clients are experiencing conflict resolution difficulties and often have previous unresolved childhood histories that impair their parenting abilities.

This grant demonstrates Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ commitment to promoting the health and wellness of communities.

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 than 42,000 children and their families nationwide each year. For information, visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois:
With more than 7 million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care ServiceCorporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Started in 1936, BCBSIL is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. To learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, visit www.bcbsil.com.

Cub Scouts help gather school supplies for children in need

Eleven volunteers from the Local Cub Scout Pack 86 and their parents recently stuffed more than 300 backpacks with school supplies for One Hope United clients. OHU sponsors this Cub Scout pack, which includes boys from the Lake Villa and Lindenhurst area. The backpacks will be handed out by OHU staff in Gurnee, Waukegan, Joliet and Kankakee, Ill.

OHU education centers recognized for top-quality programs

Two One Hope United early education centers recently earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Chicago-based Edgewater Early Learning Center and the Elgin Child and Family Resource Center in Elgin, Ill., were given the seal of approval from the association’s academy, which sets and monitors standards for high-quality early childhood education programs — serving children from birth to 8 years old. The academy accredits programs that meet those standards.

“Fewer than 10 percent of programs achieve this milestone,” said Beth Lakier, associate executive director of Chicago-area day care centers at One Hope United.

The process includes evaluating classroom interactions, environments, staff qualifications, parent relationships and a variety of administrative requirements, she said.

“To meet all of these requirements is truly an incredible achievement, which demonstrates that OHU programs are providing best practices based on early childhood standards,” Lakier added.

Ten of the 11 One Hope United child development center programs now carry NAEYC accreditation. The recently opened Aurora Early Learning center will be eligible to apply for accreditation in September.

NorStates Bank gives Lake Villa campus a makeover

Residents and employees at One Hope United in Lake Villa, Ill., are enjoying a spruced up campus thanks to volunteers from NorStates Bank.

Ten employees from the Waukegan, Ill.-based bank visited the 33-acre campus this month, weeded the garden, filled flower boxes with flowers and painted the exterior trim on Richardson House.

The Lake Villa residential facility is home to 22 boys, ages 10 to 18 years old, who have experienced abuse and neglect and need assistance before moving back with their own family or into a foster home.

NorStates Bank is a valued partner of One Hope United. The bank is sponsoring the Northern Region’s golf outing and will send 12 volunteers to assist at the event. NorStates Bank also partners with us in our gift-giving program, which provides gifts for children during the winter holidays.

Pictured, L to R: NorStates Bank volunteers Colleen Zawaski; Pat Hays; Arely Alvarez; Desrie Flaschner; Keiry Carballo; Shelly Christian; Uin Gallegos; Fred Mutter; Diana Henkel; and Olga Quiroga

Parent coaching, support help bring 4-year-old boy home

Northern Region: Jane, 25, had a traumatic childhood. She was in and out of foster homes, and even was adopted and then returned to foster care. Jane had a baby boy, Jonathan, when she was 21 and unmarried.

Due to Jane’s cognitive limitations, Jonathan’s father was taking care of him. However, when Jonathan was 2 years old, the child’s father, who is on medication for mental health issues, called Jane, said he was frustrated with the boy and threatened to physically harm him. Jane called the Department of Children and Family Services for help, and Jonathan was placed in foster care.

Jane then began a three-year journey to get Jonathan back. She partook in services, including parent coaching with supervised visitations twice a week. Jane was receptive to feedback and worked hard to learn how to best care for her son. Jane’s caseworkers noticed that Jane began putting her child first, even discussing giving up her dog due to Jonathan’s asthma.

This month, after much support and a variety of services, Jonathan moved back in with his mother. “It’s amazing, especially considering what she’s overcome in her own life, that she is now able to be parenting her own child,” Jane’s caseworker said.

Counseling Boosts Couple’s Confidence and Parenting Skills

The Johnson family was referred by DCFS to OHU for counseling services due to difficulties with parenting their young children. The family did not know how to get their children to cooperate or listen to them. The parents believed that they were powerless when it came to their children.

Since participating in counseling services, the parents have gained confidence in their parenting abilities and are able to get the kids to cooperate and listen to their directives. Their therapist has observed the kids being more cooperative and compliant with the directives that are given by their parents. The parents responded well to counseling services and are very open to the suggestions given in counseling. They implemented them in their daily routine and received positive results. The Johnson family is still engaged in counseling services and is continuing to make excellent progress.

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