CLH: Celebrating how we can be Better Together with ODC

Feb 14, 2024 | News & Events

In our latest Community Lunch Hour, Jenny Riggenbach, the CEO of the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, was joined by Samantha Szynskie and Ann Lepak from Opportunity Development Centers (ODC). They delved into ODC’s rich history and profound impact across Portage and Waushara counties. You can watch the full conversation in the video recording below.

The conversation highlighted ODC’s “Better Together” program, which fosters connections and promotes disability awareness. The Better Together Program aims to unite diverse groups within our community, including individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. It challenges social isolation by creating a supportive environment for participants to share their strengths, resources, and perspectives.

You can make a difference just by being yourself. How else can you do that? When you show up, you just get to be yourself.

Samantha Szynskie

As March approaches, marking Disability Awareness Month, Sammy and Ann shared insightful tips on contributing to being better neighbors and friends in our community. This conversation shed light on the critical work ODC undertakes, serving as a reminder of the power of inclusion. Key resources shared include Ben Drew’s Open Future Learning, Special Books by Special Kids, and Emily Laudau’s Demystifying Disability.

We encourage you to stay connected with ODC! Come learn about ways to get involved in making our community more inclusive at the Community Inclusion Showcase on March 12th from 1-6pm at The Commons Community Nonprofit Center. Discover opportunities to support people of all abilities.

Take Action for Disability Awareness Month and every month:

  • REGISTER to join the Community Showcase event on March 12 by emailing or calling (715) 347-7461.
  • VISIT the Better Together Friendships website to learn more about how you can get involved.
  • SHARE the CLH video recording and CLH blog post with your networks.
  • SIGN UP for our next Community Lunch Hour.

Recent Posts

Lunch and Learn Series

The Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin has a lunch and learn series called Community Lunch Hour. This event is a way for the Foundation to offer opportunities to explore and learn more about various community topics while creating connections. Attendees will...

Celebrating 15 Years in Waushara County

What a journey! As we celebrate 15 years of working with Waushara County's incredible residents and organizations, let's look back on our shared history, appreciate where we are now, and get excited about the future together. Back in 2008, we began our work in...

CLH: Voices of Hmong Week

At today's Community Lunch Hour, we welcomed Ann Vang, co-founder of the “Hmong Sib Pab Sib Qhia — Help Together, Teach Together Fund,” and Cindy Yang, the Hmong Family Strengthening Coordinator at CAP Services. They discussed the significance of the fund and of Hmong...

Job Opening: Scholarship Assistant – AmeriCorps Member

If you have experience or interest in health equity, social determinants of health, and philanthropy, this opportunity may be a perfect fit for you! The Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, in partnership with AmeriCorps, is looking for a member to serve for one...

Finding My Path: An Internship That Shaped My Future

As our Communications Intern, Madisyn Reed, finishes her final month at the Community Foundation, we asked her to share her thoughts about her experience. We are honored and humbled by her kind words. Join us in celebrating her graduation in the UWSP class of 2024! A...