Best of Las Vegas: Opportunity Village at 70

Group of people standing behind a sign that reads 'best nonprofit organization, best of las vegas, gold winner'

Guess who was named Best Nonprofit in Las Vegas for 2024? That’s right — it’s us!

We’re honored to have won the top spot in a contest with 9.9 million votes behind it. So we’ve compiled a quick rundown on what it takes to become an exceptional nonprofit organization.

Here’s how we do it, why it matters, and how you can get involved to make your own impact.

What is the Best of Las Vegas contest?

The Best of Las Vegas recognizes local businesses, organizations, and nonprofits for their outstanding contributions and services to the community. Voted by the public, winning this award signifies excellence, dedication, and a strong connection with the Las Vegas Valley.

The magic behind Opportunity Village

We’ve had 70 years to hone our services into programs that are truly life-changing. Here are a few ways we’re improving lives and shaping our community.

an infographic of the word 'opportunity' forming other words around it's letters

1. Empowering people through career and skill development

Opportunity Village helps program participants train for and find suitable employment. Where work is possible, it’s fundamental to living well. It not only aids personal development but also fosters a sense of independence and self-worth.

2. Economic contributions: boosting the local economy

OV injects vitality into the local economy by employing over 700 people directly and supporting an additional 2,145 jobs indirectly. This includes a whopping $133.0 million in total economic output, underlining OV’s role as a major economic driver in Las Vegas.

3. Social impact: enhancing quality of life

Our programs do more than just provide employment — they offer a pathway to a more enriching life. With initiatives like Day Habilitation and Betty’s Village, we’re creating inclusive spaces catering to our community members’ unique needs.

4. Community engagement: fostering a culture of volunteering

OV’s success is partly due to the deep engagement of volunteers and corporate partners. Events like the Magical Forest and the The Las Vegas Great Santa Run unite the community in generosity and mutual support.

Opportunity Village is a cornerstone of the Las Vegas community, driving economic growth, fostering social inclusion, and enhancing the lives of many. By supporting us, you’re contributing to a brighter, more inclusive future for Southern Nevada.

After being introduced to OV’s Job Discovery Program and hiring OV participants, I fell in love with Opportunity Village. It’s an organization that serves its population and is a model for other cities. Supporting OV is a such an honor, knowing the impact every dollar donated has on the special needs community locally.

I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the Foundation Board at Opportunity Village for 33 years. The organization has grown from 1 campus to 4 with many additional programs and efforts to serve adults with disabilities.  However, the dramatic growth hasn’t changed the philosophy and mission of the organization, which is to treat every individual with love and respect.  I could provide a long list of reasons that make Opportunity Village a remarkable organization, but the best evidence is the people being served and the best way to understand it is to come to a campus and witness it for yourself.

Tom Thomas, Board Member - Opportunity Village Foundation, Thomas & Mack Company

After being introduced to OV’s Job Discovery Program and hiring OV participants, I fell in love with Opportunity Village. It’s an organization that serves its population and is a model for other cities. Supporting OV is a such an honor, knowing the impact every dollar donated has on the special needs community locally

Deb Mele-Blanchard, Board Member - Opportunity Village Foundation, Bank of America

I absolutely love being a part of Opportunity Village’s board! It’s so rewarding knowing the work you do on behalf of the organization is having an immediate and meaningful impact on the lives of our participants and their families. The moment you walk onto campus, you’re immediately uplifted by the smiles and the warm greetings from the Opportunity Village members and the amazing staff! It’s such a warm and welcoming environment. It’s an honor to serve Bob Brown and his team. Opportunity Village’s leadership is second to none!

Janet Uthman, Board Member - Opportunity Village Foundation

What sets Opportunity Village apart is its unwavering commitment to recognize and nurture the talents of every individual it serves. It’s a sanctuary where individuals like my brother, Sean, discover their true potential. Thanks to OV, Sean has unearthed his passion for art and found a supportive community that fosters his creativity. Supporting Opportunity Village means investing in a brighter future for individuals, where their talents are recognized, nurtured, and celebrated. OV’s commitment to empowerment and inclusivity is what makes it truly special, and I am proud to be a part of its mission.

Erin Morrissey, Board Member - Opportunity Village Foundation

How do we do it, exactly?

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise. We focus on enriching, empowering and equipping those we serve to become job-ready, confident and more independent. We help remove barriers preventing individuals from finding and keeping gainful employment and assist families in accessing quality support. We offer the people we serve choices in how they’re served, where they receive services, and what future path they’d like to take.

We have a range of disability services and don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Here are some of them.

  • Job creation and workforce development: We provide trusted vocational training and create employment opportunities for people with disabilities, promoting self-sufficiency and economic participation.
  • Day habilitation programs: These programs focus on personal development, including social skills and life skills training, enhancing the quality of life for participants. We have two care options available:
    • PRIDE: serves people with very profound physical and intellectual disabilities who require 24-hour care and supervision.
    • Enable: supports people with severe intellectual and physical disabilities, allowing each to participate in various activities and rehabilitative initiatives.

two blocks with photos of groups of people around tables eating and playing games

  • Arts and creative expression: Our arts and recreation programs encourage creative and performing arts activities for people of all ability levels — and it’s a chance to have loads of fun.
  • Student and youth programs: We give young people the tools and opportunities to grow and learn, improving the future outcomes of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. We have three types of assistance available: the Autism Treatment and Assistance Program, the Very Important Arts (VIA) Program and our Job Discovery Program.
  • Independent living program: We are creating independent living communities for people to live active and engaging lives and to reach their full potential.

Hear from our participants

Personal stories from our community show you the transformative effect of OV’s programs on individual lives.


You can hear from more participants on our Mission Moments page.

How to get involved

Opportunity Village is more than a nonprofit — it’s a vibrant community where every donation, volunteer hour, and word of support contributes to a greater cause. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2024, there are many ways you can get involved (and we want your help!).

Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to discover how you can join our community and start making an impact.

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Opportunity village was founded in 1954 by seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible. Now, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the US. They are Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities and serve over 3,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that improve their lives.

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