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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.

One Hope United Event Celebrates 2012 Achievements in Preventing Child Abuse in Chicago Metro Area

WHO: One Hope United is gathering supporters in a Celebration of Hope event to spotlight 2012 achievements.

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 6-9 p.m.

WHERE: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL

WHAT: In the Chicago Metro Area, One Hope United offers a comprehensive array of services to protect vulnerable children from child abuse or neglect, strengthen their families, and prepare children for a prosperous future through early learning programs. One Hope United is a leader in early learning, operating 10 NAEYC- accredited child development centers that care for over 1000 at-risk children ages 6 weeks to 5 years every day.

Below are some of One Hope United’s achievements in 2012:

• One Hope United received new federal funding to enhance and expand its Healthy Families and Wings child abuse prevention programs serving predominantly teenage parents through the addition of community-based doulas.

• Ten One Hope United child development centers are now accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), putting them in the top 10% of early childhood education programs nationally.

• 98% of One Hope United clients had no substantiated reports of abuse or neglect while in services.

• 98% of children in our Foster Care Program remained stable within their foster home placement.

WHY: “We rely on volunteers and private donations to enable us to provide a measure of excellence in counseling and therapy, and to cover costs such as clothing, participation fees at school, books and activities,” said Mark McHugh, Executive Director, One Hope United’s Northern Region.

HOW: This special evening will include dinner and a live auction.

Individual tickets are $125.

To purchase tickets visit http://onehopeunited.wpengine.com/celebration/ or contact Jenaeth Markaj, 312-949-4001, jmarkaj@onehopeunited.org.

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.

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.

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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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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.

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.

One Hope United receives grant from Cardinal Health Foundation

One Hope United recently received a $10,000 grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation through its Essential to Wellness Grant Program.

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

“The Cardinal Health Foundation’s generous grant supports our mission to strengthen families and protect children,” said Mark McHugh, executive director of One Hope United. “We would not be able to offer these services without the support of organizations such as Cardinal Health.”

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

The Cardinal Health Foundation’s funding of this evidence-based, child abuse prevention program spotlights its commitment to the community by helping at-risk children, youth and families.

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.

To learn more about the Cardinal Health Foundation and the Essential to Wellness Grant Program, visit www.cardinalhealth.com/community.