2022 Update from Our CEO

Happy New Year! I hope you, your family, and your friends are all healthy and doing well in 2022. While this year may feel much like the movie “Groundhog Day,” it’s different. Much has changed at Orchard Village since last year.

The first change, I’m happy to report, is that more than 90% of our staff and clients are vaccinated, and most of our residents are boosted. In conjunction with Jewel-Osco, we held two vaccination clinics on our Skokie campus that were well attended. While numbers remain high with the Omicron variant, they are moving in the right direction. We monitor the situation closely and respond quickly to any positive cases. We did have a small number of cases during this last surge, and thankfully none were too severe. I remain hopeful for things to improve soon, and folks can resume more and more community activities.

March 2, 2022, marks Orchard Village’s 50th birthday. In 1972, a dedicated group of parents imagined a place where their children could live fulfilling lives as active participants within their communities. Orchard Village took that seed of an idea and grew it tremendously since purchasing that first small house on Marmora Avenue. Along with our residential programs, we have added vocational, clinical, recreational, a transitional high school, and community day programs over the years. It is gratifying to see our clients grow and blossom in their abilities. In fact, some of the very first individuals served by Orchard Village are still being supported today – 50 years later! They came to us as young adults, and we have seen them gain greater independence with jobs and housing. They now are senior citizens seeking engaging leisure activities, hobbies, fun excursions, and community living.

To meet the changing needs of our residents, Orchard Village launched a new day program – DiscOVer. This program offers participants fun and engaging day activities. Our InnOVations program, where employment is a major component, continues to grow and attract new participants. We have recently purchased a new building where we can build on these great day programs and add enhancements like an art studio to continue this positive direction in the new year.
We have also launched a Behavioral Health Clinic to meet the mental health needs of our clients. We hope to expand these services in 2022 to serve even more members of the community!

We recently purchased two group (CILA) homes that are more accessible and spacious than some of our current residences. We are in the process of getting these homes ready for our residents by doing renovations and enhancements and installing fire safety systems.

So, much is happening at Orchard Village in 2022. Please keep a lookout for special ways to help us celebrate our birthday this year. And, save the date of May 7 for the 35th Annual Blossom Gala, which is planned to be in person at the Loews Hotel in Chicago.

As always, thank you for your interest and continued support of Orchard Village.
Sending our best wishes,

Susan Kaufman
President & CEO