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One Hope United opens new Mt. Vernon location

From the Mt. Vernon Register-News: One Hope United opened a new, consolidated location in Mt. Vernon, Ill. The agency purchased a building at 4110 N. Water Tower Place and will hold an open house to celebrate the opening from 3 to 5 p.m. on July 15. One Hope United formerly operated two separate offices in Mt. Vernon. It serves nearly 400 children and families in the area each year. Read more here.

Foster families provide children 'strength and love'

ohu-nwherald-4From the Northwest Herald: McHenry County foster parents Dan and Connie Jensen of Algonquin, Ill., and Mark and Kate Detwiler of Woodstock, Ill., are highlighted in this article for National Foster Care Month. “We’re here to build [the children] up and give them strength and love and positivity so they can move forward,” Dan Jensen said. One Hope United helps place foster children in the county and is quoted in the article. Read it here. Photo by Lathan Goumas, Shaw Media.

Foster grandparents giving back to their communities

Pictured: Foster Grandparent Volunteer Jack Sunderlik.
Pictured: Foster Grandparent Volunteer Jack Sunderlik.

From Naperville Patch: In the article, “Finding One’s Self in Serving Others,” columnist Tim Mitchinson writes about how the Foster Grandparent Program benefits the children served and the seniors who volunteer to participate. “Our volunteers become family,” said Gloria Monahan, One Hope United’s foster grandparent program director in Springfield, Ill. “I’ve always felt that the purpose of life is a life of purpose,” added foster grandparent volunteer Jack Sunderlik. Read the full article here.

Foster grandparents put smiles on children's faces with homemade cards

ohu-fostergrandparents-cardsFrom the Mt. Vernon Register-News: Foster grandparents from One Hope United’s Hudelson Region created homemade cards for children with life-threatening illnesses as part of Senior Corps Week activities that occurred throughout Illinois. “The card will put a smile on a child’s face,” said Foster Grandparent Volunteer Cyndy Dycus. Read the article here. Photo by Mt. Vernon Register-News

Old Navy holds diaper drive for Go Blue campaign

ohu-Old Navy diaper driveThe Old Navy store in Vernon Hills, Ill., participated in our April Go Blue Campaign for Child Abuse Prevention Month by holding a diaper drive for One Hope United clients. We appreciate it and thank store manager Rick Pilcher for organizing the effort!

Tampa's WFLA-TV features OHU family who adopted five siblings out of foster care

ohu-harre-wflatvThe Harre family was featured in a Mother’s Day story for WFLA-TV News Channel 8 in Tampa, Fla. The family, with help from One Hope United, recently adopted five siblings out of foster care — expanding their family to 12 children. 

“Just knowing she’s there for me makes every day worth living,” 15-year-old Vanessa said about her mom, Tammy Harre.

Click here to watch the segment.

Students reach for the stars with foster grandparent’s merit program

ohu-meritprogram
Students at Ball Charter Elementary School in Springfield, Ill., pose with their portraits, drawn by foster grandparent volunteer Bassem Zaki.

Foster grandparent Bassem Zaki is encouraging student achievement at Ball Charter Elementary School in Springfield, Ill., with a new merit program.

Zaki, who is working closely with teachers to implement the program, joined his artistic abilities along with his passion for helping students to create the new system. He designed stars for each student, and when a student accumulates 50 star points, Zaki — with student permission — will draw and frame a portrait of that student, who can then take it home. The stars also can be used in the school store.

The teachers are pleased with Zaki’s creativity and commitment to helping them and their students. Zaki said he is happy to encourage excellence in scholastic achievement.