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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Handicap Village dba Opportunity Village

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Group Homes, Human Services

Mission: Opportunity Village commits to excellence in service to individuals with disabilities.

Results: People with disabilities have experienced personal growth in their lives. Some have gained employment others now live without any support services.

Target demographics: All age groups of Iowans with permanent disabilities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 600

Programs: Vocational training, job readiness, daily living skill development, social skill development, community involvement.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Village has been providing services to our special needs son and daughter for the past 5 years. The day that we moved the kids to an apartment was one of the hardest of our lives. I knew we had found the perfect Supported Community Living (SLC) staff supervisor - Ann Hoefer - when she shed as many tears as I did. "Angel Ann" (as we call her!) and her staff go above and beyond to support our kids. Opportunity Village has made living life as independent as possible for special needs kids because they truly care about each person that they work with. We have been blessed to have them as part of our "family"!

Sharon Z.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My brother has lived at the Village for along time.The staff are wonderful people.He considers this his home.He has a job,friends and very caring staff.There is no better place to call home for him than the Village.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing place that began with a Christ-driven vision to provide a place for people with handicaps to recieve care with dignity and compassion. Opp Village serves "the least of these" as Jesus commanded us to do and does so with excellence in every way! With many personal ties to Opp Vill, I had the opportunity to work there over a summer in college and still maintain relationships with some of the clients there. What a wonderful place that has been a blessing to me and continues to be to so many others! I am now honored to support them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with Opportunity Village on a few video projects and used their client services on several projects. The video projects were designed to capture what a typical day is like for clients that could be posted on the web and viewed by parents, potential residents, and others. Working with the staff of OP was wonderful and videotaping the residents was a heart-warming experience. Although a little "skeptical" at first, most warmed up to the camera and a few even became "Movie Stars"! The care and giving the staff provides is truely amazing. We have also used the Client Services for assembly of projects including an RV Safety Training packet. At first I was skeptical because even missing one manual from the kit would create a lengthy correspondence as well as shipping missing components and could jeapordize the project. After assembling over 3,000 kits, not one manual was missed! We have used them for several other projects and all have been performed professionally and exact to the task. Opportunity Village is staffed with not only the best professionals this industry could obtain, but also the best members of a community as they become part of activities and events throughout the course of the year. They are an embedded part of what makes this a great community. Thanks to the entire staff!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, supporter, donor, V. President and President of Family and Family Association I praise everyone that is involved with Opportunigy Villiage. Our son has been there 15 years and to him it is the perfect home. The staff treat each client as if they have no disability.

Donor

Rating: 5

When I was growing up there was a Widow who lived next door to to us who had a son with mental illness. During the summer months she would put him outside on a chair and he would do nothing but twist and turn a little belt he held in his hands. I had to baby sit (or adult sit as he was a young man) and even in the house he would do very little but twist that belt. As time passed, the Mother could not care for Willard any longer and she placed him at Opportunity Village. I did not see him for a couple of years and then one day, when I was at the Village on business, I saw Willard and could not believe the transformation. The man who could do nothing but twist that belt was helping in the Kitchen. After that it seemed like everytime I saw him he was doing more and seemed so proud. This man now had a real life. I do not believe you can ask more of an organization than that. They are miracle workers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After the death of our parents my sister Sandra moved to Opportunity Village in 2003. Opportunity Village has given Sandra a new life plus a new home. They provide so much for her for example Swimming, baseball games, boat rides, fairs, bowling, movies, learned to play bells. I am so proud of her and Opportunity Village has given this all to her. The staff and other clients are like family to her.

Carol F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Village is such an AMAZING place with AMAZING people!!!:) My sister, Mary, moved into Opportunity Village in the Fall of 1985; during which I went off to college too. It was called "Handicap Village" then, but Mary called it "Handicap College", because that is where you go when you finish high school, she is just adorable:) Everyone was going through adjustments, but Opportunity Village so eased the transition for Mary and our family. She has an extraordinary life there. It is so much better than if she would have stayed home with my parents or even with one of her siblings, because she has her own life and is given experiences that she would have missed other wise. I know it makes my mom sad at times when Mary says she is ready to go home, but I know it gives all of us peace knowing that Mary has this spectacular home with such an incredible family that loves her at Opportunity Village. Our family feels so blessed by Opportunity Village.

Donor

Rating: 5

Opportunity Village is what we've searched for in every state we've resided in throughout my daughter's life. Since the day she was diagnosed we knew we had to find a place that would provide her with caring, dignity and purpose in her adult years. It's been a 20 year search. From California, Illinois, Florida, New York, to Iowa we have searched for this place. Now in a tiny community in the northern part of Iowa we found Opportunity Village. My daughter attends daily and paticipates in the varioius employment areas, craft areas, volunteer opportunities, and social networking the Village offers her. Her life is full of laughter, friends, and most importantly opportunity. We have watched as this organization continues to support large numbers of disabled people throughout the community with constant budget cuts from state and federal funding. They actively search for revenue streams while continuing to organize fund raisers and community outreach to supplement the shrinking dollars. The Village is dedicated to the services it provides each and every client. While implementing cost saving measures their remaining goal is it to continue to serve their clients at the same level of care they are known for throughout the surrounding communities. While continuing to battle the budget crunches it remains a haven of kindness, caring, and a belief in every person's ability to contribute. Our child has found her place in a community of friends who have her best interests at heart. Opportunity Village continues their service to disabled individuals with "privacy, dignity, and purpose" and most importantly with caring.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been a client at Opportunity Village for going on eight years. Lauren has a condition called San Felipo Syndrome. Mental retardation and increased loss of physical abilities. The staff at Opportunity Village treat her with love, dignity, respect and honor. Annual reviews are followed up on throughout the year to be certain the objectives and goals are being accomplished as well as communicated to any new members of the care team. Physical therapy along with community experiences keep her active and alert. We are very thankful to have such a wonderful facility and group of heros to see her through the challenges she faces daily.

Donor

Rating: 5

This facility aids mentally and developmentally handicapped individuals learn skills in self help and to become more functioning in society.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Opportunity Village as a volunteer, donor, and served on the Board for 6 years. This is an organization with exceptional leaders dedicated to serving the people recieving services. Dignity, respect, love, and faith are some of the behaviors displayed daily. There is great support by the community, families, staff and generally anyone who comes into contact with Opportunity Village. I am fortunate someone took time to introduce me to this organization as I have personally benefited through the experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have experienced the Village on a volunteer level. I enjoyed the treatment of clients, volunteers and staff. Everyone's pride and humanity are top shelf. I have ridden in the Annual Fundraiser Walk. The Festival of Trees is an Annual Event drawing people nationally to be a part of some beautiful trees, marvelous food and mostly a comraderie that has people coming together for a group of people who could be helpless and isolated. Instead the Opportunity Village helps a population of adults become productive, positive enriching people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Handicap Village DBA Opportunity Village My wife and I have been members of the Famuily and Friends Association of Opportunity Village for almost 30 years. We have been Volunteers and have served on Boards and Committees associated with the Village. We started as our daughter had Down's Syndrome and attended the Village Work Activity cCenter for over 20 years. She died almost 3 years ago and was ginven the opportunity to live her life to the fullest. The staff at the Village are a very dedicated to the Clients they serve but with out Volunteers it would be almost impossible to operate effectively as the costs of salaries would be much higher. The volunteers have the opportunity mingle with the clients and appreciate the various services offered as there are mulitple handicapped that are served at the village and at half-way house where somw of the clients have been able to live on their own with some supervision. The opportunit to serve could be on the Board of Directors, The Village Store, in some of the Cottages or in many othe ways. I strongly recomend taking the opportunit to serve as you will find it to be very gratifying.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This agency has great and dedicated staff members. They are very committed to the mission of the Village and are not only loyal and capable, but they continue to do more work for their clients and their programs, with less available funding. The Village is an important part of our community and their clients are seen all over town with staff members who accompany them to do shopping and recreational activities. The Village hosts an annual Christmas Tree decorating contest and a Breakfast with Santa that is a huge tradition for the community.... residents flock to this event and look forward to it every year.

slickmdm

Donor

Rating: 5

I feel confident that my gifts to Opportunity Village are used wisely and for the good of those dependent on the Village. I receive an immediate acknowledgment of my gift with a handwritten note so I know my gift is appreciated. The newsletters and other mailings help me see how my gift is used and give me confidence in the organization. Seeing how this agency has impacted lives is heartwarming. Not only has the Village changed lives for people with disabilities, it has changed the lives of many who live in North Iowa.