Recognizing non-traditional moms on Mother's Day

As Mother’s Day approaches, One Hope United recognizes the many women who nurture vulnerable children whose mothers are unable to care for them. These women step in as a mother figure in many at-risk and foster children’s lives, giving them the support they need to strive toward a successful adulthood.

Carol Dunahee, a youth care worker and kitchen supervisor at One Hope United’s Centralia Residential campus, is one of these women.

Known as “Mama Carol” to the youth who live there as well as the staff, she does everything from preparing healthy family-style meals and baking birthday cakes to sewing on buttons or answering questions about puberty.

“Mama Carol is like a grandma to me,” said Sarah, a 17-year-old girl who lives on the campus and helps Dunahee in the kitchen.

Carol Dunahee, youth care worker and kitchen supervisor at One Hope United's residential campus in Centralia, Ill., nurtures youth with family-style meals and a listening ear.

The Centralia facility houses up to 32 youth between 12 and 18 years old. They all have behavioral and/or mental disorders, making it difficult for them to live with a foster family. Most of these youth come from homes where they have been abused or neglected. They receive treatment at the campus, where they stay an average of 10 months.

Having someone like “Mama Carol” to rely on is invaluable to these youth.

”She puts the kids needs first,” said Melissa Webster, the facility’s director of programs.  “It’s a blessing to have someone like her here.”

“The kids here have been through a lot of trauma, but they will talk to Carol,” said Stephanie Bowdler, residential coordinator at the Centralia campus. “They come to her with questions that seem embarrassing to ask. She won’t judge them. It makes all the difference in the world to these kids.”

A supportive adult is key in a child’s ability to live up to their potential. Having someone listen to and answer their questions aids children’s social and emotional competence, Webster said.

Dunahee, 59, offers the children a mixture of tough love and sweetness to teach them how to handle rules and themselves.

“Carol is as tough as they come, but there is always an undercurrent of care and love in what she does,” Webster said.

Her candor and openness with the kids also gives them someone they can trust.

“They’ve had a lot of stories and lies told to them, and we tell them the truth,” said Dunahee, who has worked at the Centralia campus for seven years. “I get a lot of respect, and I’m open to discuss any topic they want calmly and openly.”

“The people who work here really care about these kids. It’s like a family,” she added.

One Hope United is working to strengthen and support families to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

On Mother’s Day and throughout the year, it is important to focus attention on prevention efforts that support parents and create healthier communities for children.

Deborah S. Reed Joins One Hope United's Florida Region Board

The Florida Region is proud to welcome Deborah S. Reed of Orlando, Florida to the One Hope United Board.

“Deborah brings a passion for improved business solutions that will ultimately help One Hope United grow,” said Barbara Moss, executive director for the Florida Region of One Hope United. “We are very lucky to have her join our board.”

Debbie is Senior Consultant for Deloitte Consulting, Inc. As a senior member of the Strategy Practice, she supports many of the nation’s largest institutions in developing and implementing meaningful business solutions to improve performance. Debbie earned her Bachelor of Science in Financial Administration from Michigan State University and a Masters degree in Program for Management Development from Harvard Business School.

21st Annual Charity Golf Outing Raises $100,000 for Northern Region Programs

In a time when many nonprofits are canceling fundraisers due to lack of registrations, OHU hosted 224 golfers at two golf courses on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. Supporters of OHU hit the links at Shepherds Crook in Zion and Bonnie Brook in Waukegan, Illinois.

Approximately $.82 of every dollar raised will go directly to OHU programs.

Ana Rivera, client speaker from the Parent Group, shared her story of domestic abuse and how OHU has helped her turn her life in a different direction. She will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2012 from the Columbia College of Missouri.

A golfer from IBM shared: “This is my 10th year attending the OHU Golf Outing. I go to many golf events, but I never miss this one. It’s my favorite golf outing of the year.”

Jim Miller, Charity Auctioneer, helped raise approximately $10,000 through the live auction and fund to mission appeal.

View more photos on our agency’s flickr account.





Free Weekly Military and Veteran Support Group Meets at One Hope United Offices in Lake County

Lake County, Ill. (Aug. 19, 2011)—One Hope United and Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services sponsor the Veteran and Military Families Support Group at locations throughout Lake County. The ongoing, weekly group offers support for members of the military, veterans and their families who are dealing with the overwhelming stresses from the military and veteran lifestyle.

“It is help from those who have been there,” said Jill Novacek, director of programs for One Hope United. “Just talking with others who share your experience and concerns can make it more manageable.”

The Tuesday evening support group meets from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at One Hope United, 2115 Ernie Krueger Circle, Waukegan, IL. The Wednesday morning support group meets from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at One Hope United’s Richardson House, 215 N. Milwaukee Ave., Lake Villa, IL. The groups are also made possible by a partnership with the Lake County Health Department.

The groups share infor­mation and ideas about how to care for themselves and their families. Each meeting is focused on the needs of the participants, as opposed to facilitator’s agenda. Linkages to other service needs are also available. Child care is provided as well as a meal. No registration needed.

For more information about the weekly group meetings, please contact One Hope United at 847.245.6826 or Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services at 847.377.VET6. For more information about One Hope United, please visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.


Get Moving, Get Happy at One Hope United’s Health and Fitness Day

Wilmette, Ill. (Aug. 15, 2011) — At the One Hope United Child Development Centers, health and wellness is featured front and center in the classroom, on the playground and through special events.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, One Hope United Child Development Centers invites the community to join their mission of well-being at its Wilmette day care center‘s first-ever “Get Moving, Get Happy!” event. This health and fitness event at the Wilmette Child Development Center includes a 3-mile power walk at 8 a.m. and a 1-mile family walk at 8:30 a.m. Other activities include yoga, music and movement, and an obstacle course.

All families and all ages welcome. This is a stroller-friendly event. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Wilmette Child Development Center, 3013 Illinois Rd., Wilmette, Ill.

The cost for the community health and fitness day is $10 for individuals, $25 for a family (up to four people) and $5 for each additional family member. Contributions from the day’s event benefit the following One Hope United Child Development Centers: Des Plaines Child Development Center, 9375 Church St., Des Plaines, Ill.; Glenview School Age, 235 Beech Dr., Glenview, Ill.; O’Hare Child Development Center, 2300 E. Devon, Ste. 171, Des Plaines, Ill.; and Wilmette Child Development Center, 3013 Illinois Rd., Wilmette, Ill..

Prior registration is encouraged online at www.onehopechilddevelopment.org/fitness or contact Amy Hirsh,Wilmette center director, at 847.256.6600.

For more information about One Hope United’s Wilmette child development program, please visit www.onehopechilddevelopment.org. One Hope United is a nonprofit agency that strives to educate, nourish and empower children through early learning and care.



One Hope United Offers Parent Café for Centralia Community in Illinois

One Hope United, a nonprofit agency with the mission to protect children and strengthen families, offers a Parent Café for the Centralia Community. The gathering takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 at the First Christian Church,205 S. Elm St.,Centralia,Illinois.

The purpose of the Parent Café is for parents to network with each other, and with One Hope United staff, to learn new techniques for growing strong family bonds.

“At the Parent Café, we share information and ideas that help us take care of ourselves, raise strong children and build strong relationships with our kids,” said Lucas Sigrist, staff member with One Hope United. “We encourage the community to join us and make new connections.”

At the Parent Café, parents will make new friends, share ideas and learn about community resources. It is a chance for parents to share their hopes and dreams for their family and ultimately build a stronger community. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Sigrist at 217.347.5880 x13 or lsigrist@onehopeunited.org. Babysitting and dinner will be provided.

Parent Cafés are part of Strengthening Families Illinois and more information about the statewide program is available at www.keepyourfamilystrong.org.

Additional meetings will take place on Sept. 1 and 15, same place and time.

One Hope United received a $10,000 grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation

Funds to benefit prevention programs in Lake County, Illinois

One Hope United was recognized by the Cardinal Health Foundation with a $10,000 grant from its Essential to Wellness Program for the second consecutive year. The grant benefits One Hope United’s Wings and Healthy Families Illinois (HFI) programs, which will provide essential support services for single and teen parents in Lake County, Illinois who are at-risk of neglecting and ultimately abusing their children.

“One Hope United is privileged to be able to partner with the Cardinal Health Foundation to drive improvements in the area of health and wellness for our Wings clients and their infants and young children,” said Mark McHugh, executive director for the nonprofit. “These prevention programs are privately funded and we would not be able to offer these services without the generous support of organizations such as the Cardinal Health Foundation.”

The Wings program of One Hope United serves to help new par?ents adjust to the responsibilities of parenthood. Targeted for new and expecting parents, Wings promotes positive parent-child interaction. It works to enhance family functioning, build trusting relationships and teach problem-solving skills. The purpose of this service is to prevent child abuse and neglect. Wings is available to families from the prenatal period until the child reaches the age of 5, at no cost, thanks to donors like the Cardinal Health Foundation. To inquire about the voluntary Wings program in Lake County please call, 847.245.6800.

“Investing in a child abuse prevention program such as Wings has actually been proven to provide economic benefits,” said McHugh. “Research has repeatedly shown that child abuse and neglect imparts substantial monetary costs to society (an estimated $103.8 billion in 2007 according to Prevent Child Abuse America) and staggering costs on child victims’ life outcomes. This grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation is especially important as it will enable One Hope United maintain service levels and, hopefully, serve an increasing number of at-risk families.”

The One Hope United Healthy Families Illinois (HFI) program works with first-time parents to promote strength-based parenting skills and family bonds. Services begin during pregnancy or within two weeks after the birth of a child, and provide valuable information on parenting issues, educational opportunities, child development, parent-child bonding, teen parenting and family goals/support plans. In-home visits are scheduled based on family need and can range from multiple visits/week to one visit/month. First-time parents age 14 or older who reside in Lake County are eligible, and there is no cost to families in the program.  For more information, contact One Hope United at 847.245.6824.


About The Cardinal Health Foundation

Since 2001, Cardinal Health and the Cardinal Health Foundation have contributed more than $150 million in cash and product donations to non-profit organizations, domestically and abroad. For more information, visit www.cardinalhealth.com/community.

About One Hope United

One Hope United is a private human service organization dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. One Hope United offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs. One Hope United also specializes in child welfare system management, reform, consultation and training. With principal offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida, One Hope United serves more than 15,000 children and their families across the country each year. For more information, visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.



One Hope United – Florida Region wins grant to support older adult services

Grant will help meet the emerging needs of older adults in Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (April 19, 2011)—One Hope United, a local nonprofit human services organization, received a $3,000 grant from the national organization the Alliance for Children and Families to identify ways to provide quality aging services.

One Hope United was one of 22 agencies selected though a competitive, national process to receive the grant.

The grant is part of the New Age of Aging, an initiative of the Alliance for Children and Families designed to help prepare nonprofit human services organizations throughout North America to best provide services for older adults as the vast Baby Boom Generation ages. The multi-million dollar initiative is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.

One Hope United received a mini-grant through the New Age of Aging initiative because it is interested in enhancing current aging services or gaining competency in the field. The mini-grant will be used to strengthen services for older adults in the Sebring community.

“This grant enables One Hope United to take a first step in exploring the need for strengthening services for older adults in the community,” said Barbara Moss, executive director of One Hope United – Florida Region. “We are proud to have this opportunity to help meet the tremendous need of serving older adults.”

According to U.S. Census projections, 71.5 million Americans will reach age 65 by 2030, double the number in 2003. By 2050 that figure will grow to 86.7 million, at which point the population over age 65 will be more than 20 percent of the total population.

One Hope United is a private human service organization dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. One Hope United offers a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based programs. One Hope United also specializes in child welfare system management, reform, consultation and training. With principal offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Florida, One Hope United serves more than 15,000 children and their families across the country each year. For more information, visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com.

The Alliance for Children and Families, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, is a nonprofit national membership association of private, nonprofit human service providers in the United States and Canada. Motivated by a vision of a healthy society and strong communities, the Alliance strengthens the capacities of North America’s nonprofit child- and family-serving organizations to serve and advocate for children, families, and communities. The more than 330 members of the Alliance provide an array of community-based programs and services to all generations, serving close to 3.4 million people each year. More information about the Alliance is available at alliance1.org.

For more information on the New Age of Aging project, contact Carla Washington, director, New Age of Aging, at cwashington@alliance1.org or 800-221-3726, ext. 6523.

Centralia Regional Library District selected to host “Great Stories CLUB” book discussion program for troubled teens

Centralia Regional Library District (CRLD) has been selected to host a three-part reading and discussion series called the “Great Stories CLUB.” The library is one of 150 libraries nationwide receiving a grant from the American Library Association (ALA) to host this series, developed by the ALA Public Programs Office (PPO) and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Funding was provided for this program by Oprah’s Angel Network. Local support for the series is provided by One Hope United, Friends of the Centralia Regional Library District and Centralia Business & Professional Women.

The Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a book discussion program created to provide troubled teens with an opportunity to read and discuss books that are relevant to the challenges in their lives. Each title selected for the program relates to the theme “Second Chances.” As a recipient of this grant from ALA, Centralia Regional Library District will receive programming resources as well as copies of the following books for distribution to teen participants:

  • “Hate List” by Jennifer Brown
  • “Dope Sick” by Walter Dean Myers
  • “The Brothers Torres” by Coert Voorheers

The first program will explore “Hate List” by Jennifer Brown and will be held in February. All programs will be held at One Hope United’s Centralia campus. Additional books will be discussed at One Hope United in March and May. Rita Lewis, CRLD Youth Services Librarian will lead a discussion of the book at each session.

For more information about the Great Stories Club at Centralia Regional Library District, contact Rita Lewis. For information about the Great Stories CLUB national initiative, visit www.ala.org/greatstories.

More information on library programs and Friends of the Library can be found at www.centralialibrary.org or by calling the Main Library at 532-5222. Visit www.onehopeunited.wpengine.com for information on One Hope United and www.bpwcentralia.org for Centralia Business & Professional Women.

Dr. Jie-Qi Chen and “Young Children’s Play in School”

Monday, January 24, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.Wilmette Child Development Center, 3013 Illinois Rd., Wilmette, Illinois Tel: 847.256.6600

Young children learn through play. This presentation at One Hope United’s Wilmette Child Development Center will provide information in a conversational format regarding child development from 2 to 6 years of age. Dr. Chen will offer insight into the significance of children’s play and how it enhances growth and learning. Dr. Chen will also focus on how play can be supported by the social interactions children experience at home and at school with parents, peers and teachers.

Dr. Jie-Qi Chen is a professor at the Erikson Institute, a graduate school focusing on child development in Chicago, and has published many books in the field of education and child assessment. Her areas of expertise include cognitive development, multiple intelligences theory, instructional assessment, diverse learning and teaching strategies, early mathematics education, and school-based intervention. Dr. Chen is the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Educator’s Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (2009) and a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Education.

Attendance fee is $10 per household. Please RSVP by January 20, 2011 to Candace Hernandez or Sue Laschinski at 847.256.6600 or chernandez@onehopeunited.org, or visit OHU’s Wilmette day care center. Pay at the door or mail check made out to One Hope United to Wilmette Child Development Center, 3013 Illinois Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091.

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