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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.

FULL ARTICAL LINK: 1 IN 8 PEOPLE with HIV do not know they have it!

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.

 

Other Options’ philanthropic legacy

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.

Original Publication  (Click Here)

The survey is entirely voluntary and anonymous. Survey findings will be reported in summary form, and nothing linking participants to the results will be presented or accessible by anyone other than the evaluation staff at the University of Oklahoma.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Monkeypox may cause fever and swollen lymph nodes. Headache, muscle and backache, chills, and exhaustion can also be present. A painful rash develops and goes through several stages including fluid and pus-filled blisters that eventually get crusty, scab over, and fall off.

Can monkeypox spread through sex?

Monkeypox can spread through any type of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person including, but not limited to, sexual contact. At this point, it is not known if monkeypox virus will spread through semen or vaginal fluids. However, the rash can look similar to symptoms of STIs such as herpes and syphilis. Mouth-to-skin contact can spread monkeypox when blisters are present. Condoms may not prevent the spread of monkeypox.

What should I do if I think I have monkeypox?

If you think you have monkeypox, contact the OSDH Epi-on-Call at 405-426-8710 for a free confidential consultation, or your healthcare provider for advice, testing, and medical care. Self-isolate away from others to protect them from infection. Cover all possible blisters (e.g., wearing clothing over the rash).

What should I do if I am a contact to a confirmed
monkeypox case?

Close contacts to someone who has monkeypox may be eligible for post-exposure vaccination to prevent illness. For close contact consultation, call the OSDH Epi-on-Call at 405-426-8710. Monitor yourself for symptoms for 21days from exposure. If symptoms develop, self-isolate away from others and contact the OSDH Epi-on-Call or your healthcare provider for advice and testing.

Want to make a Donations!

Board Games, Puzzles for Children & Families.

Amazon / Visa / Mastercard Gift Cards / Movie Passes

Nonperishable food Items welcome.

Drop off locations thru December 10th:

Other Options 3636 NW 51st Street OKC, OK 73112

Other Options-Friends Food Pantry offers a great place for people to exercise the power of community. It is amazing to see the support that people provide to help those in need, and many of these folks have been or are currently clients of Friends food pantry.  The cycle of helping others when you can help and accepting help when you have a need makes for a strong community.  Friends food pantry offers a fun environment for volunteering, being a volunteer at the Friends food pantry is like being a member of a family, we support each other as we support others. Volunteering brings a feeling of happiness and accomplishment, and for younger volunteers it also leads to increased empathy and compassion.  If you have a need to use the services of the Food Bank, please do. That is why we are here, to help during tough times, and remember, you do not have to be “poor” to use the pantry. If we can help you keep your car or pay the utilities by supplying you with food, let us do that.

If you wish to support an organization that is right here in your hometown serving your community, please do. We need your support; without your support we cannot exist.  Lately with the pandemic I’m feeling the weight on my shoulders, sometimes I feel overwhelmed and tired but if people can wait in long lines for food, I can get up and go to work so that their cupboards are not bare.  We all must do something we must build a more just and equitable society where no person goes hungry.

If that feels like that is a tall task, here are some simple things you can do to help others (and your own mental health):

Give:  Nonprofits that have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact are facing significantly increased costs. We will need your continued support in the ongoing crisis. Do your research, find a charity you trust that speaks to your heart and donate to support its efforts.

Volunteer:  Yes, this may feel like a worrisome time to be among other humans. Many charities that need your help have implemented new safety measures for volunteers. Get out of the house and help others, you will feel better and you might make some new friends.

Vote:  Hunger knows no political party. We should all be able to agree that no one should go hungry. This fall, we are urging everyone to vote in the November election to ensure all voices are heard, particularly those who are typically disenfranchised, and to strengthen the safety net for our most vulnerable neighbors.

I do not know what tomorrow brings but I have made a pledge that I will keep Other Options and Friends food pantry doors open.  Please help me to do this task by doing the simple ones that will help keep our doors open.

What we cannot do alone WE can do together!

Mary Arbuckle
Executive Director

Guiding Right is now able to offer the delivery of at-home rapid testing kits for the detection of HIV, providing a self-help option for fast results in minutes. The tests are designed with a simple, easy-to-use process for patients to test themselves without needing a medical professional.

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