Other Options, Inc.

Rating: 4.67 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Food, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 3636 NW 51st St Oklahoma City OK 73112 USA

Mission: Other Options, Inc. Friends Food Pantry Mission Statement Our mission statement is focused on non-discriminating, compassionate care to those in need. The purpose of Other Options, Inc. is to provide food, resources, services, and education to at-risk individuals and families with a focus on those affected by HIV and AIDS. The primary program at Other Options is the Friends Food Pantry which provides nutrient dense food, nutrition formula, and toiletries to over 1,200 adults and children able to shop monthly. A delivery program for homebound and bedfast individuals/families that provides food baskets and easy to prepare meals is also in place at Other Options. Other Options, Inc 3636 NW 51st St OKC, OK 73112 405-605-8020 405-948-6531 fax Mary Arbuckle Director crspromo@coxinet.net www.otheroptionsokc.org
Geographic areas served: Other Options serves the 405-580 area code
Programs: Friends Food Pantry The primary program at Other Options is the Friends Food Pantry which provides nutrient dense food, nutrition formula, and toiletries to over 1,064 adults and children able to shop weekly. It is estimated that Other Options provides 21 meals(7 breakfast, 7 lunch, 7 dinners) per client number. These men, women, and children are living below the poverty level. At least one member of the family lives with HIV or AIDS. The Food pantry shoppers are pre-qualified by other agencies in the HIV and AIDS fields. The majority of our food is purchased with grant funds at a bulk rate from the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. Hours of operation are Monday 4-6pm and Saturday 10am-Noon. Home Delivery Program A delivery program for homebound and bedfast individuals/families that provides food baskets and easy to prepare meals is also in place at Other Options. Currently, Other Options provides home deliveries to those individuals unable to shop at the Friends Food Pantry because their illness keeps them homebound. Without the ability to provide home deliveries and transportation to the Friends Food Pantry, many of these adults and children would go without proper food supplements. Home deliveries are made on Monday morning. Nutritional Supplement/Vitamin Program Other Options, clients can apply to receive a weekly supply of nutritional supplement at no cost, they must have a doctors referral to receive supplement. Other Options carries a variety: Ensure, Boost, Nutren, Jevity and Glucerna. Other Options, also keeps on hand prenatal vitamins and a complete vitamin. Other Options tries our best to meet their nutritional needs. The HOPWA Program The HOPWA Program was established by HUD to address the specific needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. HOPWA makes grants to local communities, States, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low income persons medically diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and their families. Humanitarian Medication Program Other Options, Inc. an Oklahoma City-based AIDS organization joined Dr. Anderson’s need to provide donated medications to varies clinics. Other Options, Inc. acts as the channel for the Program in the US. Medications are sent to our office from many areas in the US and Canada. When the medications arrive they are carefully checked by health professionals, sorted, inventoried, packed and then shipped out to over 12 different countries. Donated medicine has played a vital role in the health of many individuals.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm writing in response to the awful mean and untrue Donna has said. I was one of the people (volunteers) that was there helping her bother out. for one point he was going to just leave the mower in the front yard, we moved and packed in the middle od the summer heat because he needed help, no other reason. I personally have lost my mate years ago, and I understand the pain of giving up your house and giving up your possessions just to survive. we used Other Options van, bought our gas and was more than honors to be of any help to a fellow man who was in grief and pain, we all wished him a good travel and sent our prayers and good thoughts with him,

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 1 stars  

I'm writing on behalf of my brother. Don't get me wrong, the food bank is great for people that need help. But Mary Arbuckle is another thing. She cheated my brother out of $275.00 dollars. On a riding lawn mower that we just got out of repair shop before she bought it. She was suppose to pay him $500.00 .Well she sent him $175.00 and she said she had to have a tune up and what ever else. like I said we just got it out of the repair shop and had everything done on it . It cost him $175.00 to have every thing done on it. So he got nothing on a year old Troy built riding lawn mower. My brother is blind and crippled and has to have help walking. He is HIV positive, He just lost his partner of 31 years that is why he had to sell every thing he had, What he didn't sell he donated to the food bank .He had to move with me to Idaho cause he is blind and disabled. Since Roy died he couldn't be there by his self. Mary was real ignorant to him. when he got here. Bryan has a big heart and she took advantage of him. Now none of his friends write or call him because of her. Thanks for listening. Donna

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Donna, I/We did everything we could to help you and your brother out when Roy died. I/we were there every step of the way helping you and brother. For one I WAS NOT BUYING IT, to say that I ripped you off when he was going to leave the riding lawn mower since he could not sale it and I said I would try to help him with it and the first time someone came over to try it out it died and I had two mechanics look at it. They both said that it had a bad engine and it was worthless. I still sent you money to help out even though it did not work and I could not sale it. Keith, Donnie and a few others FROM OTHER OPTIONS spent days over your house helping with everything and never took a dime or charged you gas money. These guys busted their backs helping you both pack everything up, than loaded all of your items on the truck, I/we paid out of pocket for straps so that you did not have to leave your bed. All this was done because we cared and because the two of you were physically un-capable to load so for you to come after me personally after ALL WE DID! Mary Arbuckle

Donna, I/We did everything we could to help you and your brother out when Roy died. I/we were there every step of the way helping you and brother. For one I WAS NOT BUYING IT, to say that I ripped you off when he was going to leave the riding lawn mower since he could not sale it and I said I would try to help him with it and the first time someone came over to try it out it died and I had two mechanics look at it. They both said that it had a bad engine and it was worthless. I still sent you money to help out even though it did not work and I could not sale it. Keith, Donnie and a few others FROM OTHER OPTIONS spent days over your house helping with everything and never took a dime or charged you gas money. These guys busted their backs helping you both pack everything up, than loaded all of your items on the truck, I/we paid out of pocket for straps so that you did not have to leave your bed. All this was done because we cared and because the two of you were physically un-capable to load so for you to come after me personally after ALL WE DID! Mary Arbuckle

Donna, I/We did everything we could to help you and your brother out when Roy died. I/we were there every step of the way helping you and brother. For one I WAS NOT BUYING IT, to say that I ripped you off when he was going to leave the riding lawn mower since he could not sale it and I said I would try to help him with it and the first time someone came over to try it out it died and I had two mechanics look at it. They both said that it had a bad engine and it was worthless. I still sent you money to help out even though it did not work and I could not sale it. Keith, Donnie and a few others FROM OTHER OPTIONS spent days over your house helping with everything and never took a dime or charged you gas money. These guys busted their backs helping you both pack everything up, than loaded all of your items on the truck, I/we paid out of pocket for straps so that you did not have to leave your bed. All this was done because we cared and because the two of you were physically un-capable to load so for you to come after me personally after ALL WE DID! Mary Arbuckle

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Mary Arbuckle is an awesome giving cowgirl who knows that people need food and services more than a sermon. She knows that for service providers it is better to listen than preach. I've seen her do extraordinary things in terms of fundraising. Even people just passing through Oklahoma have benefited from her kindness. Other Options space is warm and inviting and people leave feeling good about themselves as opposed to some food pantries where one has to listen to some judgement as the price for accepting food. It is so much better to leave a food pantry feeling empowered because that promotes wellness and can be the jumpstart to improving one's life. As a horseperson, Mary Arbuckle has translated the ethic to human beings in that everybody deserves to be warm, dry and fed, especially in the Winter.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I am amazed at the work that Other Options, Inc. provides for those living with HIV/AIDS. The volunteers are friendly and they make the clients feel at home. Other Options has gone out of their way to make the clients feel welcomed and that the have a safe haven.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Friends Food Pantry at Other Options is the only free food source in the 405 and 580 area codes for the HIV population in Oklahoma. The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Oklahoma is growing significantly which continually places a burden on Other Options to enhance its’ funding sources. Other Options recognizes that this target population of children, youth, men, and women with HIV disease typically require a higher intake of proteins and complex carbohydrates as well as special formulas for babies and adults in trauma. This target population is unable to obtain this higher content food because of income restrictions and other pressing needs. Without Other Options these clients would not get the proper nutrition that they need to continue on!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been with this organization from its inception in 1989.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to this organization I would have a kitchen built to be able to make hot meals for the home bound, bedfast clients.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a board member for over two years now and am continually amazed at what this organization can generate in terms of benefits for the people who need them, and in the role of getting the community excited about helping. Cookie and Mary Arbuckle are pioneers for helping in this local community. My first experience with them, before becoming a board member was when I showed up to volunteer during 'Day without a Gay', an annual event to bring awareness to the fight for marriage equality. I decided to help that day, instead of hanging out at a bar drinking with the other gays. We arrived at Other Options Inc/Friends Food Pantry and were asked to help move and clear out stock items, as well as sort through donations for Christmas baskets. We finished early, and Mary Arbuckle called and found another charity in town that we could go and assist at. It was such a great experience that when I was asked to join the board I immediately knew it was an organization I wanted to be a part of. I'm very proud of what this organization's role is in the community, and to be part of it gives me far more than the help we are able to supply for those in need. This organization generates more than food, medications, clothing, gifts...it generates love and friendships within the community. And no matter how much money we have produced to fund feeding those in need we will always be very rich in life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through the various benefits, AIDS walks, Pride Parades, and other events, I've seen the once scarce account balance of OOI/FFP grow into something substantial that can now support more and more people in need. The numbers of people in need have been growing in this community, and this organization, even in national economic downturn, has been able to grow and supply to those growing numbers of people in need.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

As a board member, any changes to the organization that need to be made, we try and make. It is a slow process. I would love to give the pantry a larger and more easily accessible facility.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

My partner

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

A new location to house the growing number of friends in need.

What is its top priority in the long run?

To make certain that no one in need is turned away.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with Other Options Inc/Friends Food Pantry (OOI/FFP) over the past 4 yrs after retiring after 20 yrs from the USAF/military. With more free time in the evenings and weekends, I have been enlightened working with the many volunteers and board members of this organization and seeing the fruits of our labor in the grateful eyes & smiles of the clients as they shop at the food pantry on Sat/Mon or when we deliver the food on Mondays as well as during the Thanksgiving meal deliveries as well as when they pick up their Christmas toiletry & gift baskets. It's truly a blessing getting to witness the board members and volunteers within the community get together as a team and work the fundraising events just to see us be able to support OOI/FFP serve its mission. Getting to know and work with Cookie Arbuckle, who had the passion, heart and wherewithall to start this great organization in helping the clients, was truly an honor -- I hope to be able to help continue her legacy for many more years.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering and as a board member in Fundraising events--helped organize, coordinate, create auction items, helped pickup, unload donated foodstuffs and good clothing/household items for clients, helped itemize, do up charitable donation receipts, participated and fully supported fundraising events and OOI/FFP Thanksgiving & Christmas events

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

love to see us able to help/assist in many other ways, like regular hot meals for our clients and bedfast/homebound clients. Expanding with a kitchen and/or just more floorspace for more donated household stuff/clothing/coats for our clients...

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with this agency as an employee for about a year and a half. I love it here! The works that are performed here everyday are like nowhere else. Other Options, Inc. has multiple programs to aid people living with (or affected by) HIV/AIDS. The biggest one being Friends Food Pantry - the only food pantry in the 405 and 580 area code specifically serving positive Oklahomans. This is a beautiful thing and if you really want to do something good for the community you should come in and volunteer sometime. We can always use the help. Especially now, during the holidays. We do a Thanksgiving dinner delivery and we make gift and toiletry baskets for Christmas. We are small but with the help of volunteers we are mighty.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

in my day to day work I see clients able to get their nutritional needs met daily.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give us more room to work. A kitchen to prepare a hot meal daily.

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Rating: 5 stars  

At Other Option, I felt as welcome as the clients. The staff and other volunteers helped me to find opportunities to be useful and fulfilled in every task I was given. I really appreciated that I could work alone stocking shelves or working along side other volunteers on special projects or directly with clients. The flexibility suited me perfectly. Volunteers, staff and clients all made me if they were my second family.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Other Options dramatic growth from 49 clients to over 1,500 people.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

upgrade Other Options facilities.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been affiliated with Other Options for more than 20 years as an advocate, supporter and volunteer. In the last two years I have become more involved and now serve on the board. I can't tell you how much gratitude I feel by helping in the small part that I do. This organization helps so many people with their food pantry and so many other services they provide, primarily for HIV & AIDS patients. Many people discriminate against these groups, but what people don't realize is that there are children and families that we help on a daily basis. Many people and families are affected by this disease. People tend to judge and they shouldn't.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Those we help feed through the food pantry are growing in numbers as the economy worsens. These are chronically ill people who depend on nutrition to help prevent other illnesses with their underlying disease. In the last year, we have increased our outreach and now provide Humanitarian Medication relief to EIGHT countries and we are expanding that list regularly

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Move it to their own location rather than seeing them have to use their monies on rent. The Exec. Director is working hard to raise money to make that possible and has made huge strides in at lease securing a hefty down-payment on a building.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered at Other Options for over three years. It is a wonderful organization that provides so much to our community. I am proud to be part of such a wonderful group.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the difference they have made in peoples lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them buy a bigger pantry to meet the growing needs of the clients.

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