The OCP Blog

A Year of Change, A Year of Promise

It has been a year of tremendous change at OCP. It began with the launch of our Friday Lunch Restaurant, saw the departure of Ron Copeland, our founder and Executive Director, and is ending with the search for his successor. Periods of change like these are not unprecedented in our organizational history. In fact, they have always contributed to our flourishing because they have led us to rigorous self-examination, deepened our commitment to our mission, and driven us towards excellence in its pursuit. This is something that Ron modeled in the way he led OCP: he always insisted on following every insight to its logical conclusion, even if that meant throwing things up in the air and starting fresh.

One of these insights is that almost every one of our community members are victims of traumatic childhood abuse and neglect. While this realization seems simple enough, it is our guide to program development: we want to do more than give away free meals, but we know that our mission cannot be to solve everyone’s problems, because we can’t. We are not here to fix people.

What we are here to do is to provide a space that is loving, safe, healing, and fun, where everyone in the world is welcome and will be received as a gift, no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you’ve done, or what happened to you. 

The outworking of this mission is that we are committed to being a place where our community members’ inner beauty is revealed through self-expression, and where people have more opportunities to contribute through volunteering. And we will continue to provide supportive employment through our Kitchen Industries, which began operating in the black for the first time this fall! 

I can think of no other organization or space in Harrisonburg that is doing this kind of community formation on a day-in, day-out basis. We pull it off every day because we have a well-equipped kitchen, spaces for activities, and most importantly, a passionate and dedicated staff to facilitate everything!

You, our donors, provided those resources this year, and we will continue to depend on you in 2018 as our programming grows and improves. One of the most helpful ways you can financially support OCP is by becoming one of our monthly donors, who help us maintain a steady income through the peaks and valleys of the year. Follow this link to make it happen today!  If you haven’t given to OCP in a while, please consider renewing your connection by making a gift or pledge. If you gave last year, I challenge you to increase your giving this year. If a monthly pledge doesn’t work for you right now, you can still make a one-time gift here.

Of course, I would love to meet you face-to-face sometime, and there is no better way to see what we’re up to than by eating at our Friday Lunch Restaurant. Come on down between 11:30 and 1:30, meet our staff and volunteers, and enjoy the best meal you’ll eat all week!

Eric Olson-Getty

Interim Executive Director