The $40,000 goes towards the NSO Dental Outreach Program

Neighborhood Services Organization is extremely proud to be awarded an iFund Access to Health Care Grant for $40,000 that will go directly towards the NSO Dental Outreach Program.

President of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Nancy B. Anthony, presented a check to NSO on Monday, June 26.

“Providing dental care to children is one of the most beneficial preventive efforts that we can do,” said Anthony. “We appreciate NSO’s commitment to this program and their partnership in serving those who might not otherwise have access.”

NSO’s Dental Outreach program met and exceeded all goals set for 2016. Through free dental screenings, preventative procedures and grassroots outreach, NSO’s dental hygienist saw over 10,000 individuals in 2016. That number includes over 4,500 children from Oklahoma public schools.

“NSO is so thankful for our partnership with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation,” said Stacey Ninness, President and CEO of NSO. “Without their support and generosity, we could not continue to offer this free program to so many at-risk Oklahomans. With our numbers steadily rising, the NSO Dental Outreach program is aiming to reach 6,500 children in 2017. We are grateful that OCCF shares in our vision and mission for providing such crucial services here in Oklahoma.”

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 16) – Neighborhood Services Organization is welcoming its new board members and
officers, including new Board Chair Sue Alberti, on July 1, 2017. NSO’s new board members include Brian
Bakeman (Finance Chair), Dr. Kay Holt, Trey Petty, Angela Powell, Lisa Putt and Casey Sanderson.

Sue Alberti is Senior Vice President of Marketing, Supply Chain and Strategic Planning for Devon Energy.
In addition, she was a United Way allocation panel volunteer in Texas for six years, the last three as
Chair of the Youth Development panel. She has served on the NSO Board of Directors since 2013.

Brian Bakeman is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and is semi-retired, currently
serving as the Executive Director for the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Kay Holt is the Associate Director and Professor in the Graduate Program in Nonprofit Leadership at
Oklahoma City University, having served as adjunct professor in the program since it began 7 years ago.

Trey Petty is an Assurance Senior at Ernst & Young and has been with the company since 2014. He also
earned his Masters’ of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Angela Powell is a Senior Health Care Strategist for the Chickasaw Nation and a native Oklahoman. She
has a Bachelor of Arts and Masters’ in Business Administration from the University of Tulsa.

Lisa Putt retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma after 22 years, where her past position
was Senior Vice President of Marketing and she was a member of the Executive Leadership team.

Casey Sanderson is a member of BKD National Financial Services Group, with more than five years’
experience providing audit, accounting and consulting services to public and private financial institutions
as well as manufacturing and distribution entities.

Officers for the 2017-2018 fiscal year include:
• Board Chair- Sue Alberti, Devon Energy
• Vice Chair – Lauren Decker, OG&E
• Finance Chair – Brian Bakeman, South Central Jurisdiction of the UMC
• Board Secretary- Steve Ford, ZFI Engineering Co.
• Past Chair- Brian Knight, Eide Bailly

This article can also be seen in the Oklahoman at

United Methodist church women bearing wrapping paper, candy, cookies and bows recently descended upon a small building in south Oklahoma City like elves anxious to get to their North Pole workshop.

The “Santa Operation” had officially begun.

Methodist women from across the state wrapped gifts, filled jars with candy, stuffed stockings, created holiday cards and baked cookies — all to be delivered to individuals and families served by the Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO).

Stacey Ninness, the nonprofit’s president and chief executive director, said Neighborhood Services Organization was founded and operated by Oklahoma United Methodist Women for many years. Although the two entities are now separate, the women’s group has continued to help support the nonprofit, which is now a United Way agency, she said.

The annual Santa Operation, a half-day Christmas service project, provides the women with an opportunity to offer aid in a personal and fun way, Ninness added.

Many of them wrapped, stuffed and baked holiday items at the office, 431 SW 11, while others traveled to decorate the agency’s supportive living centers to provide a bit of Christmas cheer to the residents.

“Not only are we getting ready for Christmas festivities here, but we’re also connecting people to our mission,” Ninness said.

Nancy Koplowitz, a member of McFarlin United Methodist Church in Norman, baked chocolate chip cookies in the NSO kitchen so that other volunteers could fill gift boxes with the sweet treats.

“We come every year to help them get ready for Christmas,” she said. “It’s one of the things that we do as United Methodist Women because our aim is to to serve.”

Christmas at the door

Ninness and NSO communications director Amber Brooks said the Santa Operation brings Christmas literally to the doorsteps of individuals and families participating in the agency’s programs.

These include: Martha’s House, which provides temporary housing for homeless families; Gatewood, a transitional living program for single mothers who are pregnant or have a child five or younger; the Carolyn Williams Center which provides a temporary home for young men 18 and older who have aged out of the foster care system or living on the streets; and Palo Duro living centers for adults with mental illness.

In addition to the gifts, candy, cookies and stocking that were to be distributed at the agency’s annual Christmas party, some United Methodist Women members spread out into the community to add garland, ornaments and wreaths to decorate the living centers for the holidays.

Chris Massey, a member of Chapel Hill United Methodist, said she was part of a group that decorated at Palo Duro.

“We decorated the tree, and we put wreaths on the windows,” she said. “It was amazing. I don’t think you can do something like this without being touched.”

Glenda Gilpin, of Hooker Methodist Church in Hooker, will be the new president of Oklahoma United Methodist Women come Jan. 1.

During the recent Santa Operation activities, she sat with a group of women filling stockings for young men living in NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center with items like men’s cologne and shower gel, trail mix, socks, hand towels and hats and gloves.

She said many of the winter wear items were hand made by United Methodist Women while others items, such as children’s coloring books and toy cars for children’s stockings, were donated.

Gilpin said Neighborhood Services Organization was started in 1920 when a group of Oklahoma United Methodist Women decided to pass a hat around to gather funds for needy families in the community.

“It was women seeing the need and stepping up,” she said.

Not much has changed since then, she noted, as busy women all around her filled boxes with cookies, placed gifts in bags and made Christmas cards designed to bring holiday cheer to the recipient.

Santa Operation 2016 — mission accomplished.

OKC Beautiful is partnering with NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center through the
OKC Harvest Program

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov 9)- Neighborhood Services Organization is partnering with OKC Beautiful and the OKC Harvest program to educate and impact the lives of the young men living at NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center.

Volunteers with Blue Cross and Blue Shields along with the NorthFace Store built a four-bed garden at CWC that provides fruit and vegetables year round for the residents who live there. According to OKC Beautiful, of the 26 gardens they’ve helped build, NSO’s garden is one of the top producers thanks to the care provided by the staff and residents.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with OKC Beautiful and OKC Harvest to teach our residents about eating healthy and working together,” said Stacey Ninness, President and CEO of NSO. “Our residents love having the garden. They tell us that caring for the garden is a very calming activity for them.”

NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center provides a two-year transitional housing program and a 90-day emergency shelter to homeless young men ages 18-23. The residents who live there receive essential life skills classes, such as preparing meals, so they can learn to live independently.

“We hope the residents are perfecting their gardening skills and then enjoying and preparing wonderful meals with the fresh, healthy produce,” said Lisa Synar, CEO of OKC Beautiful. “OKC Beautiful looks forward to working on additional garden projects with NSO.

OKC Beautiful’s goal is to have a positive impact on the economic viability of our community. Their mission is to improve the image and appearance of Oklahoma City through beautification programs and community engagement. NSO’s mission of transforming lives and encouraging independence through safe, healthy homes, dental care and nutrition, is a great compliment to OKC Beautiful’s mission, making them a natural community partner.

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 8) – Neighborhood Services Organization’s dental clinic manager, Laura Gutierrez, was awarded a certificate for Nonprofit Management through the Nonprofit Management Certification Program. Gutierrez was among the 25 students who participated in the six-month professional development program. According to the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Gutierrez accumulated 36 hours of Continuing Professional Education in the following content areas: Leadership Essentials, Managing Support for the Organization, Managing Budgets and Leading Meetings, Human Resources, Conflict Management and Diversity, and Coaching as Supervision.

“Participating in the course was a wonderful opportunity,” Gutierrez said. “The course has great instructors who give continued support and the topics were extremely relevant to every day nonprofit life. I am very proud to have been selected and I can’t wait to put my new skills to use in our office.”