Our History

Open Door started with the actions of two visionary duos who forever impacted hundreds of lives in the community of Sandwich, IL.
David & Juanita Graf and William & Virginia Squier recognized a need in their hometown. Each couple had adult children with disabilities whom they felt would greatly benefit from daily, structured programming.
ODDO the octopus

In 1963, their idea became a reality, as the two couples began a grassroots endeavor, opening the doors of a small, community-based workshop in the Graf’s basement, which provided custom services to intellectually and developmentally disabled adults. Sandwich Community Sheltered Workshop was thereby founded, serving four individuals, including the Graf’s daughter, Cindy, and the Squier’s son, William, Jr.

Over time, the number of clients expanded, and by 1966 it was clear that a larger facility was needed. An impressive community fundraising effort generated $35,000, which enabled the construction of a new workshop at 405 S. Wells Street. In 1981, the workshop’s name was officially changed to Open Door Rehabilitation Center.

Open Door under construction
Open Door under construction
Open Door building complete
two women in the entrance of Open Door

Open Door has continued to grow and prosper over the years, with the addition of two more workshops where day services and programming are offered to over 100 intellectually and developmentally disabled adults. Services also include nine group homes, which provide 24-hour residential living for 64 individuals.

Focusing on one primary goal, opening doors and developing opportunities, Open Door works to help create the best life possible for the individuals they serve, focusing on their abilities and not their disabilities. The community of Sandwich continues to play a crucial role in the organization’s success by providing tremendous support for Open Door’s growth. Open Door will continue moving our mission forward by providing vital services to those in the area.

ODDO's Story

ODDO is the Open Door octopus. ODDO is an acronym that stands for Opening Doors and Developing Opportunities, which is what Open Door does for the individuals we serve. His colorful tattoos are a reminder that the disabled adults who live and work at Open Door should have a balanced life. Shouldn’t we all?

Unfortunately, many disabled people have obstacles that make it difficult to achieve a quality life in all eight areas. ODDO doesn’t believe in letting those obstacles get in the way, so he helps all of his friends at Open Door work together to ensure that everyone thrives and creates their best possible life!

ODDO’s tentacles represent the following areas:

  • Work and Money
  • Community and Service
  • Health and Well-being
  • Personal Image and Self-direction
  • Personal Relationships
  • Culture and Spirituality
  • Fun and Recreation
  • Home and Personal Space

ODDO the Octopus