OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The inaugural Vodec Days are off to a great start.
“We’ve done a lot of fun stuff and I enjoy the fun days instead of working all the time,” Vodec consumer Erin Stienblock said.
"The consumers have been talking about Vodec Days for a couple weeks now and they've been getting really excited,” special education teacher and Vodec Days organizer Kellie Katelman said. “To finally be in it and having all the fun and working with everybody - it has just been a blast.”
Since 1968 Vodec has served people in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the goal of helping them become active participants in community life.
“We provide employment training services, we provide residential services, and day services,” Vodec service operations manager Micky Jackson said.
In the past 53 years, 2020 was its most challenging yet.
“We had a lot of consumers that decided to stay home so they weren’t getting that social interaction that they get every day at work. A lot of consumers come here and get a paycheck, they do work,” Katelman said. “So, they weren’t getting that either. We also go out in the community and do things like that; we were unable to go out in the community.”
“Our consumers had to make changes and to adapt, and just to watch them be able to do that and make those changes has been awesome,” Jackson said.
Now they’re all back, and they couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve made a lot of good friendships here and get to meet new people,” Vodec consumer Jon Nissen said.
“Vodec is really special to me because they help me with my needs, and they help me if I need help,” Stienblock said. “They’re good to me.”
“It is everything. It means the world to us seeing the consumers coming in and having a good time,” Katelman said.
The week is full of events that are creating a lot of excitement and joy, but more importantly Vodec Days is bringing them all closer together once again.
“It just brings everybody together, consumers and staff, because we are like a big family,” Katelman said. “It’s so nice bringing everyone together, having fun and building those relationships back up after being gone for so long.”
Vodec serves around 120 people a day at its Omaha facility and has facilities in Council Bluffs and Urbandale, Iowa as well.