Author Archives: Amy Zuck

Celebrating 25 Years: Jodi Tukker’s Milestone at Christian Opportunity Center

Christian Opportunity Center (COC) proudly celebrates a remarkable milestone in the career of COC Executive Director Jodi Tukker after 25 years of service to the organization. Jodi’s journey at COC embodies dedication, hard work, and a deep commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities.

Jodi Tukker’s career at COC began over 25 years ago, when she stepped into the role of a COC Direct Support Professional while pursuing her college education. During the past 25 years, she has worked in various administrative positions, including Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/ID) & Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Program Coordinator, HCBS Program Manager, ICF/ID Regional Director, Associate Director, and now, Executive Director. Her dedication to COC’s mission and her genuine care for the individuals supported have been the guiding principles of her tenure.

Reflecting on her 25-year journey at COC, Jodi shared, “In every role I’ve worked in, it’s the people supported that stand out. I’ve seen their joy and excitement while riding rides at amusement parks, listened to them recount the moment-by-moment details of their day, and sat with them as they grieved the loss of a loved one. We are with them during the highs and lows of life, and in all of those moments, I’ve known that what I was doing was meaningful and that I was making a difference.”

When asked about how coming up through the ranks and the diverse experiences Jodi has had have shaped her leadership style, she remarked, “It has given me a respect for the various positions – what is involved in each one and the skills and abilities they require to be done well. This understanding provides good perspective when making leadership decisions – balancing the best interest of employees while keeping the good of the people supported at the center of every decision – they are the heart of the mission of COC.”

Looking ahead, Jodi expressed her excitement for the future. “I’m excited to see what the future holds! I’m thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to work for such a great organization over the past 25 years and am looking forward to what God has planned for us next!”

The entire COC community celebrates Jodi Tukker’s 25 years of dedication and service and looks forward to the continued impact she will make as Executive Director. Her passion, leadership, and commitment to COC’s mission embody the spirit of service and empowerment.

For more information about Christian Opportunity Center, please visit   

COC Unveils Newly Rebuilt Tulip Time Float at Tulip Time Parades

The Christian Opportunity Center (COC) is excited to announce the unveiling of its newly rebuilt Tulip Time Festival float, just in time for the highly anticipated festivities in Pella.

The Tulip Time Festival is special for COC and the individuals we support, symbolizing community spirit and cherished traditions. However, COC’s participation in the Tulip Time parades was limited for years by the lack of wheelchair accessibility on the COC float.

Motivated by a commitment to inclusivity and a love for the Tulip Time festival, COC’s Executive Director, Jodi Tukker, championed the initiative to ensure that the float was made for individuals of all abilities.

After exploring several external options and encountering challenges in finding someone able to complete this project, COC’s maintenance department stepped up to take on this endeavor. Doug Vermeer and Corben Mears, our maintenance team members, spearheaded the project with the goal of inclusivity and accessibility.

What initially started as a project to modify the existing float soon evolved into a complete rebuild, as structural issues were uncovered. Undiscouraged by the challenge, Vermeer and Mears, along with maintenance team member Loren Dykstra, embarked on the ambitious task of constructing a new float, primarily using reclaimed wood sourced from past COC maintenance projects along with salvageable pieces from the original float. To allow for wheelchair accessibility, a ramp that is stored underneath the float was added.

Their craftsmanship and the generosity of a local electrician, Brad Overbergen,
who donated his time to wire the lighting for the float, ended in a float embodying COC’s commitment to inclusivity and community. Individuals in COC’s Pella Life Skills program have been excited to see the progress as they watched the new float take shape.


“We are incredibly proud to reveal our new Tulip Time float, and it is an example of the staff of COC’s dedication to creating accessible and inclusive experiences for all of the people we support,” said Amy Zuck, Public Information Director at Christian Opportunity Center. “Our Executive Director and Maintenance Team led the way on this project, bringing together our team to ensure everyone we support can be a part of this event. It’s all about inclusivity and being part of the community – something we’re all about here at COC!”

The new float will debut during the Tulip Time parades on May 2 – 4 in downtown Pella.

For more information about the Christian Opportunity Center and its mission, please visit our website at





COC Hosts Spare Some Time Bowling Fun-Raiser to Support Individuals with Disabilities and Foster Community Connections

Oskaloosa, IA—Christian Opportunity Center (COC) is excited to announce its upcoming fundraising event, the Spare Some Time Bowling Fun-Raiser, which will take place on Sunday, March 17, at Statesmen Lanes and Community Event Center in Oskaloosa. This event serves a dual purpose: raising funds to support individuals with disabilities in the Mahaska County area and fostering meaningful connections between individuals with disabilities and community members.

The Spare Some Time Bowling Event offers a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between individuals with disabilities and the community. Often, these connections may not naturally occur in day-to-day interactions. However, through shared experiences like bowling, individuals of all abilities have the chance to come together, build relationships, and create lasting friendships.

“At COC, we believe that everyone, regardless of ability, thrives in a supportive community,” said Amy Zuck, Public Information Director at COC. “The Spare Some Time Bowling Event isn’t just about raising funds; it’s about celebrating inclusion. It’s a chance for the community to connect with individuals with disabilities, discovering their unique talents and fostering friendships that may not naturally occur. This event embodies our commitment to community integration for the people that we support.”

In addition to fostering community connections, funds raised through the Spare Some Time Bowling Event will directly support COC’s mission of empowering individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential. These funds will help supplement our services and support by providing financial assistance for individuals to attend camps and trips they may not otherwise have access to. Additionally, funds will support spiritual services, including weekly bible studies and retreats, enriching the lives of those we serve on a spiritual level.

COC extends its gratitude to Tony Witt, the event sponsors, volunteers, and community partners whose support makes events like the Spare Some Time Bowling Event possible.

Event Details:

Date: March 17
Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Statesmen Lanes and Event Center
Address: 1700 A Ave E, Oskaloosa

For more information about the Spare Some Time Bowling Event, including sponsorship opportunities and how to get involved, please visit or contact Amy Zuck at or 641-673-9480, ext. 1105.

COC Embarks on New Building Project

In 2023, the Christian Opportunity Center (COC) purchased property in Pella with the goal of building a new duplex, which the individuals in our remaining Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/ID) will move into. These individuals currently live in one of the original COC residential homes, which was designed for up to 15 individuals.

In the disability services field, a goal of federal and state entities has been to decrease the number of individuals receiving services in “institutional” or “facility” environments (including ICFs/ID), and to instead have individuals live in community homes with no more than four individuals (funded through the Home and Community Based Services waiver). In 2022, COC was able to convert our other Pella ICF/ID home in its current location to meet this standard. But due to the layout of the one remaining ICF/ID home and its proximity to other COC administrative sites, that was not feasible for this home.

We are thankful for the years of faithful support we have received from Pella and the surrounding communities. It is because of this support, along with additional federal grant funds, that we can move forward with this project without additional fundraising.

COC has contracted with 2B Constructed Inc. to complete this project in 2024. We are excited to begin the building project and to see the new home for our individuals take shape. COC remains committed to providing excellent services and support to individuals with disabilities, while also meeting and exceeding the expectations of funders, regulators, and other COC stakeholders. Building this new home will help us continue meeting this goal!

For more information about Christian Opportunity Center, please visit

Empowering Lives: Generous Donations from Knights of Columbus Boost COC’s Mission

Christian Opportunity Center (COC) extends heartfelt gratitude to the Knights of Columbus from Indianola, Norwalk, Oskaloosa, and Pella for their recent donations totaling $39,832.00 to the COC Foundation Fund. These generous contributions are a testament to the Knights of Columbus’ strong commitment to supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in their communities.

The breakdown of the donations is as follows:  Indianola: $1,260.00, Norwalk: $4,302.00, Oskaloosa: $1,533.00 (not pictured), Pella: $32,737.00.


These funds will be pivotal in enhancing COC’s services to benefit those we support. The impact of these donations will make a significant difference in the lives of the people we support and will be used in these three ways:

  • Enabling individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in summer camps and trips that may have been otherwise inaccessible due to financial constraints. This aligns with COC’s mission to provide enriching experiences and opportunities for personal growth for the individuals we support.
  • Supporting COC’s Spiritual Services program, facilitating weekly Bible studies and Spiritual Services retreats throughout the year. These programs contribute significantly to the overall well-being and spiritual development of both individuals supported by COC and the dedicated staff.
  • Assisting in the construction of a new duplex in Pella which will allow those individuals in COC’s final Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities to move into the Home and Community Based Services waiver program.

COC is grateful to the Knights of Columbus’ commitment to positively impacting the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.

“We are amazed by the Knights of Columbus’ generosity. These donations will empower us to continue our mission of providing meaningful experiences and spiritual enrichment for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The support from Indianola, Norwalk, Oskaloosa, and Pella KoC is a testament to their dedication to inclusivity and compassion for every member of our community,” said Amy Zuck, COC’s Public Information Director.

Christian Opportunity Center sincerely appreciates the support and collaboration of the Knights of Columbus and remains committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with intellectual disabilities. We are grateful for the partnership with the Knights of Columbus and will continue working together to enhance the lives of those we serve.

For more information about COC and its programs, please visit or contact us at

Our mission is to Integrate Christian values in empowering individuals with disabilities to realize their full potential.