Annual Appeal 2022

From the Executive Director

Dear Friends of the ODC,

For the most part, 2022 has been a good year at the ODC. While we are not yet at full capacity, we have been able to welcome back more of our participants and we continue the job of providing them with vocational training and employment. Thanks to your generosity in 2019 & 2020, we were able to raise enough money that, combined with the sale of our two old vans, we were able to purchase THREE new vehicles that we are now using to take our participants, like Elisa, Frank, Glenda, and John (seen above) out to work in the community.

Then last year, you helped us exceed our goal by 75% for a total of nearly $44,000 to help us improve the look and safety of our building. So far, we have been able to replace our old ceilings and are looking forward to getting new, safer flooring in some areas.

As we have served individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for nearly 75 years, our top priority has always been the health and safety of our Program Participants and staff. We work hard to make sure that the ODC is a very safe workplace environment. And now we have not one, but two different safety issues that need to be addressed.

We were just notified that our hydraulic scissor lift on our loading dock is no longer safe to use. We believe this is the original lift that was installed when our warehouse was built back in 1984. We use this lift daily as we take in heavy pallets of supplies from our customers, as well as ship out the work that has been completed by our participants. Nearly 40 years of usage and weather exposure have taken a toll on the lift, and it can no longer handle typical loads of 3 to 4-thousand pounds. We simply can’t afford to let anyone get hurt, and we can’t function without our regular deliveries of product. It is critical to everything that we do and what allows our participants to be trained while earning a paycheck.

Unfortunately, a new lift isn’t available immediately, so in the meantime we will have to be creative in how we accept deliveries and send out finished work. This will probably involve some mix of heavy lifting and the use of temporary ramps on the part of our staff, none of which is optimal, and comes with some level of safety risk.

But wait…there’s more! We’ve also been notified that our main fire panel needs to be replaced as it is no longer supported by the manufacturer and replacement parts are no longer available. This is the panel that connects our entire system of sensors and smoke detectors that would keep us safe in the event of a fire. We take this seriously as we are required to have quarterly fire drills with our participants. We need to replace this unit with a current model to ensure the safety of everyone in our building.

Unfortunately, these two items are not cheap. It will cost us about $25,000 to replace our hydraulic lift, and an additional $10,000 to replace the fire panel. Taking into account other incidental required building and safety expenses:

This year’s appeal goal is $40,000

You can help us meet this goal by making a donation online or mailing your check to:

ODC Annual Appeal, 640 Martha Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601

You’ve supported us in huge ways in the past, and we know that you will once again help us

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. 

Gregg Richards, Executive Director

*Also, don’t forget to join us online at the Extraordinary Give at on Friday, November 18th!