Cookie and Scotty’s Thanksgiving is an annual event that feeds over 1000 in-need individuals on Thanksgiving day through at-home deliveries. We will soon be seeking volunteers to help us prepare and deliver these meals across the OKC metro. We’ll be prepping and packing smoked turkey, honey ham, stuffing, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and of course- PIE!!!! We will be announcing the schedule and prep location soon.
Every $8 donated helps us provide a Thanksgiving meal for a family in OKC impacted by HIV/ AIDS. Make your tax-deductible donation today! Providing a full, homemade Thanksgiving meal to families affected by HIV/AIDS and others in need of a warm holiday meal.
If you are a client and would like a fully prepared Thanksgiving meal delivered on Thursday, November 23rd this year, now is the time to update your information in our client portal.
Please check back soon or follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cookiesthanksgiving for more details soon.
Approximately 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and an estimated 13% of them do not know they are infected. HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, gender, age, or where they live. In the U.S., Black, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian and Alaska Native populations have higher rates of new HIV infections and HIV diagnoses, and lower rates of PrEP and ART preventive treatment awareness compared to their White peers. HIV-related stigma is one of the top factors that contributes to poor uptake of prevention tools and treatments. Despite the advancements in HIV prevention and treatment, not everyone is benefiting equally.
This infographic explores strategies to reduce new HIV diagnoses and support stigma reduction in the hopes that it could result in increased initiation of, and adherence to, PrEP or ART to prevent new infections and reduce HIV transmission.
In 2010, Ladonna felt alone for the first time in 52 years. Multiple family illnesses led to untimely deaths, leaving her to fend for herself despite her own struggles with bipolar disorder, severe social anxiety and eventually multiple sclerosis. After some time, she spoke with the Oklahoma Health Department about ways to secure food, and one of their suggestions was Other Options – a local nonprofit organization providing various services to at-risk individuals, with a focus on those affected with HIV and AIDS. Ladonna eventually attended after hunger overcame anxiety.
“It takes a lot for me to feel comfortable anywhere,” Ladonna says. “When I went there for the first time, I didn’t feel like I was being judged; I felt like my mother was there again. She was the only one who understood me. For the first time since they left me, I knew I had a family, a place to belong to.”
Other Options became a surrogate family to Ladonna; a sentiment shared by the nonprofit’s volunteers and those who regularly rely on their care.
Founded in 1988 by Cookie Arbuckle, Other Options is a staple within the metro area for those in need of nutritious food, clothing and other necessities for survival. Now operated by Cookie’s daughter, Mary, this service extended to a mainstay in holiday hospitality: Cookie’s Thanksgiving. Since 1999, this annual event provides over 1,000 in-need families and individuals with prepared Thanksgiving meals, either in person or delivered upon request. Many, including Ladonna, look forward to this holiday with a newfound appreciation.
“Thanksgiving can be a hard time for a lot of us because there’s plenty that don’t have no one else,” Ladonna says. “I try to visit every day to see my family, but Thanksgiving is different. That’s when everyone gets to see why these people are God-sent. But, this year is going to be different.”
Readjustments to daily life, holidays and annual traditions are hallmarks of COVID-19 world. This weight of planning for a pandemic-friendly Cookie’s Thanksgiving is a task not lost on people like Mary Arbuckle and Jim Everett, the Pantry Manager of Other Options. Plans to modify the in-house holiday began as early as March.
“We knew things would not be ‘business as usual’ for Cookie’s Thanksgiving back when the rest of the country was coming to grips with everything,” Everett says. “Because of this, we’re having our volunteers prepare boxed meals and either delivering them to their houses or through our drive-thru service. This is to ensure that everyone is safe while still being fed.”
For those like Ladonna, this is a difficult, though necessary, transition.
“God, I miss my Other Option family every day,” Ladonna says. “But it’s things like Cookie’s Thanksgiving that remind me that I’ll never be alone.”
Everett continues to welcome all donation and volunteer efforts towards Cookie’s Thanksgiving. Donation and volunteer opportunities can be found on the Other Options website at otheroptionsokc.org.
Thursday, October 5, 2023 Farmers Public Market 6PM-10PM
Sample the best cocktail creations in OKC and vote for your favorite Bartender at this Casion Night themed fundraiser for Other Options.
About this event
Back by popular demand, Battle of the Bartenders : The Casion will be in town on October 5th, let’s all celebrate the best cocktail creations in town created and served by some of our absolute best bartenders around.
This year 15 vendors will be competing for top prizes all while celebrating our theme: Casion Night! Get your tickets and “STEP RIGHT UP” for games, drinks, and food.
Sample and vote on your favorite cocktail creation while raising money to support Other Options, the only food pantry in Oklahoma for people affected by HIV.
General Admission $50/$75
Designated Driver Special – $25
Pre-Sale – $50
At the Door – $75General Admission Ticket that includes access to all tastings