Feature Story

Moving Forward with 'One Vision'

On June 20, 2017, our organization begins a new chapter in its history.

On this Tuesday afternoon, our community celebrated the reveal of our new name with two events in Mason City and Fort Dodge. I wanted to reach out to our families to personally share this news with you.

More than 50 years ago, Village founders had a vision of a place where everyone was treated with dignity and respect — a place where people could connect and find purpose.

In 1994, Handicap Village changed its name to Opportunity Village to better represent who we were as an organization. The way our organization provides services has continued to evolve over the years. Today, our reach extends far beyond that place that started providing services in 1971. We now support more than 550 individuals in numerous locations across 30 different North Iowa communities, including Mason City, Garner, Lake Mills, Humboldt, Eagle Grove, and Choices Made Independently in Webster City. In 2010, Northwoods Living and Northwoods Products & Services in Fort Dodge joined our organization. We support more than 150 individuals and employ approximately 160 people in the Fort Dodge area.

In recent years, our community — staff, families, and friends alike — have all worked to support people in further connecting with their needs, dreams, and interests. We support them in finding jobs in their communities, and homes that meet their needs and wants. We support and encourage their personal interests. All the while, our focus remains on providing that support in their communities.

Just as it was so many years ago, supporting people in their quest for purpose continues to be the essence of what we do.

Meanwhile, we want to continue expanding the types of services we provide and populations of people we support, and to do this, we realized we needed a name that would carry us into the future while still recognizing our past.

The process we used to select a new name was extensive, spanning many months. We garnered input and feedback from numerous groups of community members, stakeholders, staff, and people we support.

On June 20, a new name was adopted to better represent who we are. We are no longer a single place separate from those around us. As our organization continues to grow geographically and our services continue to diversify, we must reaffirm our vision as an organization. Our vision has always been supporting people as they find purpose and meaning in their lives.

Today, Opportunity Village moves forward under a new name — One Vision.

What is our vision? Our vision is to inspire meaningful lives by connecting people with purpose. Our community does this each and every day, in so many different ways, which is why I am truly excited about our new name. It symbolizes how our founders came together with a common vision that still helps guide our efforts today. It unifies our organization throughout the numerous North Iowa communities in which we provide services. The name also reinforces this vision in the many new services and unique endeavors we did and continue to pursue. Above all, it strongly represents our commitment to the people we support as the driving force behind everything we do.

As Opportunity Village did for a very long time, we continue to do as One Vision. We continue to connect people with purpose.

I hope you will celebrate with me this newest chapter in our journey as one!

Jeff Nichols