Effective Monday, 11/23, the ODC will be closed until further notice due to ODP guidelines regarding the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Lancaster County. We will be tracking the transmission levels and positivity rate and will be providing weekly updates to our participants and staff on Fridays.

Dear Friends of the ODC,

What a long, strange trip it’s been! This year hasn’t gone as planned for any of us. Due to Covid19 and the ensuing restrictions, we closed our doors on March 13th for what we hoped would be only a few weeks. Almost exactly six months later, on September 14th, we reopened our doors to a small number of participants, and we welcomed them back to a more socially distant environment, with many new procedures in place.

We slowly increased the number of participants we were serving, but our primary goal has been to keep everyone safe and healthy, while still giving them the chance to learn necessary vocational skills and earn paychecks, as they work toward fulfilling lives of independence.

Unfortunately, due to a rise in positivity and transmission rates, we once again had to close our doors just before Thanksgiving, and are hoping that perhaps things will settle down and we can reopen early in the new year.

What did we miss during these closures? Well, in addition to losing more than seven months of work and our participants not receiving paychecks, we had to cancel many of our fundraisers. Our 3rd Annual Food Truck Fest was postponed until 2021. All events from our Auxiliary and Parents Group were also canceled. So, not only did we lose out on work revenue, but also much needed donations.

Where does that put us? Last year we asked you to help us raise $20,000 so we could trade in one of our vans and purchase a more efficient, low-mileage mini-van for the purpose of getting our participants out in the community. You came through for us big time, and we exceeded that goal by $1,700.

We still need to get our participants out more, and to do that, we will need more than one new vehicle. So this year we are extending our appeal to include trading in both of our vans for new vehicles, plus looking to replace some of our lost fundraiser income.

This year’s appeal goal is $25,000.

You can help us meet this goal by donating online at your convenience on our website at odcenter.org. Or, if you prefer, you can send a check to:

Occupational Development Center

640 Martha Avenue

Lancaster, PA 17601

Our participants thrive on consistency, and we are encouraged at how well they have adapted to our ever-changing work environment. With all the talk about “essential workers” during the pandemic, we believe that the individuals we serve are truly essential. They are our heroes, and we want nothing more than to see them succeed and flourish in every area of their lives.

On behalf of our program participants, their families, our staff, and the ODC Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued support of our mission. 

It is our hope that you all have a very happy holiday season, and here’s to much brighter 2021!

Gregg Richards, Executive Director