Due to my family, and I being the highest fundraisers so far for the Las Vegas Santa Run my Dad received an email from the people at Opportunity Village asking if our family, and any guests that we would like to bring would like to come, and tour the Opportunity village facility, and of course we said yes. It was so eye opening to see all that they do for our community. When we first arrived at the facility Casey, Marty and Ashton, then we got to meet one of the ambassadors for the particular facility we were at, whose name was Reggie. This gentlemen’s job within the facility was to clean the restrooms. He seamed very Passionate about his job, and stated, “I love what I do” After that, the people in charge of the tour, began explaining that they had four locations conveniently located all over the Valley, but this one that we got to attend, is particularly special for all that they have to offer. Unlike other Organizations, Opportunity Village is mainly self-funded. From there, we got to walk around the entire facility, and see what it was all about. At this facility, they offer two very important programs for the disabled. The programs go in levels, and the people within them are able to move up, as they get more mobile, and physically able to. The first program that we got to visit was called pride. This program started when a Mum came to Opportunity Village, and explained how she needs somewhere to drop her child off, so that she can go to work, and earn a paycheck because she knows that her child will never be able to work for himself, and obviously, the family needs money coming in. They understood what the Mum was saying, and that’s when the people at Opportunity Village said we’ll start a program called pride. The people in this program, are all nonverbal, and receive a two to one service, where the workers within the pride program, will push them around, and interact with them. The next program up from pride is called enable. The people in here are a little bit more mobile and are interactive. All the people within this program, had something they were doing, one person in there, was playing with coins, and dropping them into a bucket. This person also tried to shake my Mum’s hand. Whilst we were still in the enable room chatting, a lady came up to my Dad, and asked him if he had any T-mix (Trail Mix) and my Dad said no, and then the lady told him that he should go get some from the cafeteria haha. Once we finished touring those two very special programs, one of the guys leading the tour (Marty), expressed that it doesn’t happen very often, but when the people taking part in these two programs, move up a level, it is definitely something to celebrate. Our next stop after this, was the cafeteria. Here we met a few people, and shook their hands, they started little conversations with us, and said hello. We also met the person that inspired one of the people who was leading the tour to start working at the facility. Next up was the print shop. In there were tons of boxes, and a printer. This is where everything gets developed. Following this, we headed towards the packaging shop. It is very interesting what they do in here. Until now, I bet you thought the boxes that you receive from Cox TV Services with replacement equipment in them are brand new right? If the answer is yes, then you are incorrect. The people that work for Opportunity Village, in the packaging department at this facility, refurbish them, so they look like new, and then they are sent out to you looking like brand-new boxes, how amazing is that? Last, but not least was the Kitchen, where the workers of that department bake 5,000 cookies a day, which then get boxed up, and sent to the hotels all around Vegas. At Christmas time though, they bake 10,000 cookies, and do exactly the same with them. They offer three types of flavors: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Snicker Doodle. We got to sample the Oatmeal Raisin flavor, and it was delicious! Like all good tours, we ended at the gift shop. There I was asked to be the ambassador for the 2019 Las Vegas Great Santa Run! Of course, I said I would love to, but at the same time, I am nervous, but excited!
In summery, I think the Opportunity Village tour was very eye opening all together. I never knew they did so much for our community before taking this tour. I think it is incredible how everyone there is so welcoming, and interactive when new people come in.
I am excited to continue through my journey of weight loss and changing my eating habits. I look forward to seeing how my progress will advance up to the time of The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, and beyond. I will keep you updated as time goes by.