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4th Annual “Give a Little Extra Love” Event Benefits OHU

The 4th Annual “Give a Little Extra Love” event occurred on March 4, 2016 at Young Scholars Child Care Center in Ingleside, Illinois. Chrys Zastrow is the driving force behind this event, aimed at providing comfort kits to foster children. A comfort kit is comprised of a new duffel bag containing a fleece blanket, stuffed animal, water bottle, book or craft and a toiletry kit containing shampoo/conditioner, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Chrys knows all too well that foster children often arrive at their new homes with nothing to call their own. When Chrys and her husband, Matthew, welcomed their three daughters as foster children a few years ago, they arrived with only the clothes on their backs.

The children and staff at Young Scholars Child Care Center hold fundraisers all year long to purchase the supplies for the comfort kits. They also solicited donations and discounts from local stores. This year’s donors included JoAnn Fabrics, Garvey Office Supply, CASA and Dr. Katie Hauf. Girl Scout Cadet Troop 96 ran this year’s event and cut all the material for the blankets. This scout troop also conducted fundraisers to purchase supplies.

The 4th Annual fundraiser will donate 150 comfort kits split equally between three agencies, One Hope United, Arden Shores and Department of Children and Family Services. Foster children from each of these agencies are enrolled at Young Scholars Child Care Center.
Hats off to Chrys and her continued passion to bring a smile and some comfort to children in foster care at a difficult time in their lives!

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Diana Rauner Visits Busy Bee Children’s Center!

Diana Rauner Visits Busy Bee Children’s Center!

We are very excited that our Busy Bee Children’s Center was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune alongside Diana Rauner, the wife of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner!

Mrs. Rauner’s visit was sparked by an initiative to increase access to early childhood education, including programs that start well before typical preschool ages. The article also touched on OHU’s home-visiting programs which support new parents, particularly teens and single parents, with pregnancy, preparing for their child’s birth and learning to care for a newborn.

Mrs. Rauner shared, “Efforts to help children from low-income families succeed in school won’t be as effective without programs that help parents of at-risk children from pregnancy onwards.”

To view the full news article and learn more about the visit, click here.

Our Holiday Wish Book Was A Huge Success!

In its inaugural year, the One Hope United Holiday Wish Book was a wonderful success, raising over $39,000! These funds will be used to purchase art supplies for classrooms, bedding for children in foster care, educational toys and counseling services.

Here’s How We Did:

  • There were 327 individuals who donated! For many, this was the first time that they made a monetary donation to OHU.
  • Corporations, churches, schools, civic organizations, small business owners and individuals all supported the Wish Book.
  • Corporations that donated included: Baxter, Cardinal Health, ECI, Medline, Mintel and Rust-Oleum.
  • Churches that donated included: Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Lake Villa, First Baptist Church of Belvidere and Lindenhurst Church of God.
  • Grayslake North High School, the Mid-America Club in Chicago, Superior Window Company in Centralia and William Beck Auction & Realty in Edinburg all donated to the Wish Book.
  • The civic organizations that supported OHU included Kiwanis Club of Lindenhurst-Lakes Area and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 703.
  • Prince of Peace Catholic Church contributed almost 40% of all money donated to the Wish Book campaign state wide. They were the largest and most engaged donor!

Words From Our Donors:

We were unsure if our parishioners would embrace the Wish Book, as they have an over twenty year tradition of donating gifts to One Hope United at Christmas. But they generously donated through the Wish Book and were excited to know that their monetary gifts would purchase things the children really needed.

Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Lake Villa

Though our employees love the opportunity to shop for toys during the holidays, we are aware that the bare essentials are not being met for many organizations such as One Hope United due to Illinois funding shortfalls. So our help is more critical and more impactful than ever this year!

Adiat Baker, Mintel Group Ltd.

One Hope United takes children under their wings to keep them safe and change the trajectory of their lives. I give to One Hope United because it fulfills a huge need in our society.

Joanne Celba

We at First Baptist have supported One Hope United for many years and we were happy to continue that support through the Wish Book this past Christmas. It is wonderful to know that we can help make real changes in the lives of these children and their families.

Pastor David Love and the congregation of First Baptist Church in Belvidere, IL

 

Kenwood Youth Leadership Academy Visits Rio’s d’Sudamerica!

On Saturday, November 21st, a group of students enrolled in One Hope United’s Kenwood Youth Leadership Academy attended a field trip to Rio’s d’Sudamerica, a Peruvian restaurant in the Chicago Bucktown neighborhood owned by Dino Perez. Perez and his daughter spoke to the students about their professional and academic experiences, respectively, and offered suggestions on how to build a career in hospitality.

The young ladies took a tour of the restaurant and learned several skills ranging from customer interaction and hostessing to décor and setup. The evening concluded with a delicious dinner. Many thanks to the Perez family and Rio’s d’Sudamerica for hosting such a fantastic evening!

Girls on the Run STL: Volunteer Spotlight

Melissa-Webster1Our very own Melissa Webster is currently being featured as this month’s Volunteer Spotlight on the Girls on the Run STL blog!

Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program (PA-PYD) designed to develop and enhance girls’ social, psychological and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experience. The mission of Girls on the Run St. Louis is to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living. Geared towards girls in the 3rd through 8th grade, Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Melissa is a director at an OHU residential program in Centralia, IL, as well as a coach for GOTR-STL. Check out this awesome feature, as she shares her story of beginning a fitness journey, reclaiming her life, and inspiring others.

Melissa Webster- Volunteer Spotlight