Lake Villa Community Leaders Continue to Make a Difference for OHU
Dr. Raj and Rose Bhatt have spent 59 years working and living in Lake County, IL, and distinguishing themselves as leading philanthropists. Raj built an esteemed career at Abbott Laboratories as a research and development scientist, utilizing his PhD in Microbiology and Biochemistry. Rose worked as a Lab Technician and raised her 2 children, Ramesh and Anita. The Bhatts also have four grandchildren. Fortunately for One Hope United, they have shared their time and talent with the organization for over 54 years.
In 1968, when Raj and Rose were members of the First Baptist Church in Waukegan, they became familiar with what was known then as the Central Baptist Children’s Home. The organization operated its Busy Bee Early Learning Center in the annex across the street from the church. As Rose researched her options for childcare while preparing to return to work, she chose Busy Bee for her son, Ramesh. Rose and Raj always felt he received the best care and stimulation, and this early education provided the foundation for their son’s future success. Reflecting on the impact of their volunteerism and philanthropy, Rose is quick to say the unparalleled quality of One Hope United’s early learning programs has made them proud to be part of the mission.
Because she was so impressed with the quality of education at Busy Bee, Rose became an active volunteer. She also shared her efforts and talents with the Central Baptist Women’s Auxiliary, raising funds for the Early Learning Centers and Lake Villa Residential program. Rose and her husband Raj are two of One Hope United’s most generous donors and contributed one of the largest donations in history in the form of a stock donation.
Even during busy or challenging seasons of life, Rose and Raj have remained committed to One Hope United, because they see the value the organization adds to so many communities. One story in particular has stayed with them through the years. At a June picnic celebrating the kickoff of summer for youth at the Lake Villa Residential home, they met a spirited 8-year-old who epitomized the positive influence of the care provided there. The youth was placed with OHU after the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) found him in an empty warehouse, where they suspected he had been living on his own for about two weeks. His parents lost track of him due to their addiction issues and struggles to find a place to live. He had never attended school, but was bright and enthusiastic about all learning, especially math. He thrived in school and leapt ahead two grade levels quickly. Rose and Raj were struck by the effectiveness of the intervention OHU provided.
When asked how they feel about the impact they’ve made for OHU as Scofield Gibbs Society members, they shared they are sincerely grateful for being able to support many children and families in need in Lake County. They have also appreciated One Hope United’s commitment to stewarding their contributions well by maintaining excellent staff and keeping a handle on administrative costs. Their legacy is the many hours spent volunteering over 54 years, and their generosity in annual contributions and a planned gift.
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