Sometimes we get so caught up with the busy-ness of the work that we do, that we forget how special the people we work with are.

We see their talents and abilities every day, but we often take that for granted. 

This morning Vince came in to work with a painting. This is nothing new. Vince works here at the ODC four days a week, but on Tuesdays, he spends his time at the Friendship Heart Gallery in Downtown Lancaster where he paints. Over the past few years we’ve even had a few of his framed paintings on the walls here at the ODC, which are regular reminders of his talent.

But this morning was different. Vince had taken a picture of our Executive Director Gregg Richards with him to this week’s painting session. What he brought into work with him this morning was nothing short of amazing. An unbelievable painting of Gregg from that photo. I think you could hear every jaw in the building drop. It’s one thing to see paintings of landscapes, but to see Vince’s version of Gregg was an eye-opener. And it was done free-hand. No sketch, no drawing, nothing more than Vince’s artistic eye seeing the photo, having it pass through his eye to his brain and down to his hand.

I think I speak for most of the folks on staff here at the ODC, that if we were to try the same thing, the results would pale in comparison. 

And that’s what makes Vince, and all of our other participants, so special. 

Not only do they have to overcome their disabilities on a daily basis, they have to overcome OUR PERCEPTIONS of their disabilities. 

As a society, we look at Vince and others with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and write them off. We look at them and think (or say), “They CAN’T do that…”

And we are wrong. 

Our participants CAN do a lot of things, and do them incredibly well. They have skills, talents, and abilities that surprise us every day. Couple that with persistence, and what we see our participants doing on a daily basis is nothing short of amazing.

While Vince doesn’t paint here at the ODC, it’s just one of his many skills. Each of our participants has their own unique set of skills and talents. Each of them has their own dreams and ideas of what they want to do with their lives. 

This is what they bring to the table. This is why they would make great employees at area businesses. 

Talent. Skills. Abilities. Persistence. Dreams. Goals.

And a desire to do a job and do it well.

Thank you, Vince, for this wonderful reminder of why we do what we do. Thank you for reminding us of what you are capable of doing. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. We are truly humbled.

And, we can’t wait to see what other great things you and our other participants are capable of doing in the future!

If you’d like to be a part of helping folks like Vince discover and develop their talents and abilities, all while pursuing a life of independence, consider a year end, tax deductible gift to the ODC. 

Thank you!