Education, prevention, intervention, community outreach: These are some of the many things One Hope United (OHU) does to serve many communities across the nation as a family and child outreach and education organization.
OHU is a national program that started as an orphanage in Chicago, under the name Hudelson Baptist Children’s Home. The program quickly grew to be more than an orphanage or even a local affair. A federated partnership since 2004, it changed its name to OHU in 2010. As it grew from a local to a national organization, so did its responsibilities and goals.
“The agency went from an orphanage to [increasing] the opportunities for children and families by providing quality solutions that enhance lives, communities and futures,” said Jayme Godoyo, donor relations officer of the St. Louis office.
With hands in many places and coordinated effort on many levels, it works to support families in trouble and educate people in need.
“We are uniquely positioned to advance our mission throughout our service areas by providing a diverse array of prevention, intervention and community-based support programs to vulnerable, high-risk populations, as well as education and advocacy on the local, state and national levels,” supervisor Chanta Love said.
One Hope United serves many ages. Love supervises St. Louis programs helped with an Old Newsboys' grant last year. Items ranged from car seats and safety supplies for infants and toddlers to coats and school supplies and uniforms for older children.
Due to its scope, One Hope United needs a great amount of support and staff. For some, working for and with the organization starts as a job, but becomes something more.
“When I first started with One Hope United, I just needed a job. I started as an overnight youth care worker at our Centralia residential facility and slowly started to move up into leadership roles. After about a year, the fundraising position opened. I believe in the work we do: We help kids and families and I love helping to raise funds for an agency that has such a positive impact on some of the most vulnerable populations,” Godoyo said.
However, it is more than a calling or a job-turned-passion that keeps people helping families seeking help. Its reach extends into four states, including Missouri and Illinois.
“It has always been my desire to help people in all aspects in life. One Hope United, which was Kids Hope United when I became a part of this organization 13 years ago, was and still is the organization to work for, (because we) facilitate social change, development, cohesion and empowerment with the staff and in turn with the families that we serve,” Love said.
No matter its name, One Hope United still focuses consistently on one goal. Godoyo said, “Our vision, for every child and family, (is) life without limits.”