Among Friends Activity Center Inc.
1185 E Main St.
Norman OK 73071-5331
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
Among Friends Activity Center, Among Friends, Among Friends Health & Wellness Program
Mission Statement
The Mission of Among Friends is to provide a safe and friendly place for adults with special needs & disabilities for fun, learning, and friendships; offering opportunities and hope for a better life.
Contact Information
Contact Name Christina Chicoraske
Contact email director@amongfriendsnorman.org
Address 1185 E Main St.
Norman, OK 73071 5331
Phone (405) 701-2121
County Cleveland County
OK
How to Give
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
Mailing a check, in-kind donations of daily supplies like paper towels, Lysol cleaning products, paper plates, printing supplies, etc.  Support our fund raisers. We have an annual Food Among Friends/Auction fund raiser in the Spring, as well local events throughout the year.   You can help by volunteering daily at the Activity Center and helping our members play games, serve meals, or help with special projects like parties.
 
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $228,690.00
Projected Expenses $221,190.00
History and Background
Supported Organization Among Friends Activity Center
Year Founded 2003
IRS Ruling Year 2003
State Registration Expiration Aug 2016
Statements
Mission
The Mission of Among Friends is to provide a safe and friendly place for adults with special needs & disabilities for fun, learning, and friendships; offering opportunities and hope for a better life.
Background

Among Friends Activity Center opened in January, 2003 with 6 adults with disabilities and a few volunteers. The purpose was to provide a place for adults with special needs & disabilities who had no place to go and very little activity or social interaction. With about a dozen clients and a donation from United Cerebral Palsy, Among Friends moved into the Community Services Building, 1185 East Main Street in Norman in 2005, and expanded its activity center space to about 1900 square feet. Our capacity increased to about 25 clients, aides, and volunteers. In 2006, Among Friends made an application to the Norman United Way, and was awarded an interim support of $5,000 and awarded funds from the 2007 campaign. This was a big step for us and we began to see there was a huge need in our community for the kind of services Among Friends was providing.

In September, 2010, the Among Friends Board of Directors voted to expand the Activity Center by moving into a new space available in the Community Services Building. This new space gave Among Friends 4000 square feet of area to better handle more clients, and expand their programs and activities. This new area can easily handle 50 people and has a large open area to have room for wheelchairs & walkers.

Open Monday through Friday, 9:30am to 4pm, Among Friends welcomes adults (20+ years of age) with all abilities & disabilities, mental and physical, who would like to meet new people, develop social skills, and participate in activities planned especially for them. A variety of activities like games, arts & crafts, music, karaoke, movies, dances, Wii bowling & games, bingo tournaments, outings, and more are offered. In partnership with Cleveland County Aging Services, clients are given the option to have a hot and balanced meal provided to them each day, or they can pack their own lunch.

In February, 2014, Among Friends expanded its program by adding a 2200 square foot area for the Among Friends Health & Wellness Center. Three days a week clients work out on exercise equipment designed especially for them and have fun in a large area for exercise classes and dance. Weekly Nutrition and Healthy Living Classes and bimonthly Cooking Classes are offered for clients to learn how to eat better and take better care of themselves. The goal of the Health & Wellness Program is to help people with special needs & disabilities have a happy and healthy life, and improve their health & wellbeing.

The newest edition to Among Friends Activity Center has been the Lifelong Learning Center and weekly social discussions. In an attempt to further meet the needs of the clients, Among Friends will now offer tutoring, basic budgeting classes, current events, and other subjects requested by the clients. Along with the Lifelong Learning Center, the social discussions will be based on the need for understanding consent, personal space, basic social clues, and etiquette.

Without Among Friends Activity Center, our clients have expressed that they would be isolated, lonely, and depressed – being stuck at home either alone or with a family member/caretaker, without much social interaction with others their age or like them. At Among Friends, we like to think we of ourselves as extended family and a safe, fun place for our clients to grow, learn, and socialize.

Impact

Accomplishments::

1. Among Friends Activity Center achieved an all-time high number of clients – 60 active clients.

2. Among Friends Activity Center hired a full time Executive Director in November 2016.

3. Among Friends Activity Center has effectively maximized the use of our Activity Space, knocking down a wall to expand the art area as well as creating a quiet, Lifelong Learning Lab for tutoring and classes as well as a comfy “wind down” area for our clients when they get over stimulated by a loud and busy day at the center.

4. As of January 1, 2017 Among Friends Activity Center has effectively gone paperless with daily operations; everything from client files, to bookkeeping, to daily activity logs is now easily accessible to ALL staff for use.

5. 2016 was the highest earning year for Among Friends Activity Center with a handful of successful fundraisers and grant opportunities.


Goals::

1.  Increase the number of active clients from 60 to 75.

2.  Grow the relationship between Among Friends Activity Center and the University of Oklahoma’s students, faculty, and staff.

3.  Receive specific funding to be able to increase the number and amount of scholarships awarded to clients to help them cover the membership and meal costs on an ongoing basis or in case of emergencies.

4.  Hire a marketing intern to help grow our social media presence as well as help create monthly blog posts or newsletters – our goal is to get to 1,000 likes on Facebook by December 31, 2017.

 
Needs

1. Among Friends Activity Center must be able to continue to grow with number of clients while also growing funding sources – meeting or exceeding a budget FY17 of $221,000.

2. Among Friends Activity Center needs increased visibility in the community in order to recruit new members and raise awareness to the programs and activities offered by Among Friends.

3. Among Friends Activity Center needs three additional board members from the community to fill its ranks. This would give Among Friends a 15-member board to better serve the mission of Among Friends Activity Center.

4. In order to achieve #2, Among Friends Activity Center needs marketing and media assistance to help rebrand/reimage the Center’s digital presence to reflect the mission of the organization as well as attract new clients, volunteers, and donors.

5. Among Friends Activity Center is in need of new accessible and durable commercial grade tables and chairs for the Center’s daily use. Purchasing new would cost approximately $2200.

 
CEO/Executive Director Statement

The vision of Among Friends is to be an independent, strong, and sustainable presence in the community, offering programs and opportunities that will improve the well being of adults with special needs and their families and caregivers. 80% of the members at Among Friends live at home with their family as caregivers. These caregivers can be parents, single moms, siblings, and even grandparents. This can be a huge burden on families and cause a lot of stress. Among Friends offers respite breaks for family caregivers which allows them to work, run errands, have lunch with friends, or just rest. We offer our family caregivers support, information, and a Family/Caregiver Support Group. Some of the comments from family members on our 2016 Survey are "I am given a much needed break"; "I have less stress and worry about my loved one"; "The happiness, excitement, and friendships flow through Among Friends everyday with lots of smiles & laughter"; "I have peace of mind knowing my son is at a safe place"; "Having a place to go he likes makes my brother happier at home & easier to deal with"; and " Having a place like Among Friends for my daughter, helps me be able to continue working".

Among Friends is an independent organization that operates on donations, business and community service group contributions, fund raising, and membership fees. NO State or Federal funds are used. Among Friends charges a monthly membership fee of $100. This fee helps support the operations of Among Friends. An Adult Day Care Center costs $65/DAY. Among Friends Activity Center has discovered a need long left unmet in the Norman community, and one that is not met by any other agency in our area.

Our client list over the years has grown with almost no referral network, just by word of mouth and the hard work of a few volunteers. With the number of disabled children in the public schools, research shows that the need will continue to grow rapidly and Among Friends must continue to grow and expand to meet these needs in our community.

Today, Among Friends is working with the high schools to help transition disabled students into the community, offering Among Friends as an option. One of our goals is to re-integrate our members into the community and help them feel more comfortable in public settings, while forming relationships with others in a social setting. Some of our clients have developed enough self-confidence to move into their own housing, get jobs after developing their social skills, and make friends and get together outside the center for dinner, etc.

Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Norman
Cleveland County
Cleveland County
Norman 
Oklahoma City Metro Area 
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Human Services/Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations
Tertiary Organizational Category Human Services/Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
Programs
Description
Among Friends Activity Center is a safe, accessible, and friendly place for adults with special needs & disabilities.  The center is 4000 square feet with a large main area where the members gather for games, lunch, and activities planned especially for them.  We have a kitchen, Art room, movie room, utility room, and outdoor courtyard.  The activity center has a computer center, Wii game/tv area,  and music center.  The members enjoy games, music, arts & crafts, bingo, and
a monthly dance.  A hot, nutritious lunch is served each day, and special parties for birthdays and seasonal theme parties are planned monthly.
Strategy
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program.
Among Friends offers a place for disabled adults to come and get out of their homes, often their room, and break the cycle of loneliness and depression.  With daily activity and socialization, this population (who are limited in their access to the community, employment, and meaningful activity) can have a happy, healthy, and productive day.  Family members who must care for their adult disabled child have a break each day, and get the support & information they need to help them take care of their loved one.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
The long-term goal of Among Friends is to improve the health & well-being of adults with disabilities, improving their daily lives.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact.
The success of our program is monitored  and observed each day by staff, volunteers, and families.  An annual Member Survey and Family/Caregiver Survey gives us information about our program is working and how it is impacting our members lives.  We also get good feedback on what is working and what needs to be improved to better serve the disabled Adult population in our community.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.
Our success is seen in our members and the many comments we get from members and family/caregivers.  100% of members surveyed in this year's annual Member Survey said they feel Among Friends safe, accessible, & friendly place to come, and they feel happier, & have more self confidence since coming to Among Friends.  100% of families surveyed in this year's annual Family/Caregiver Survey said they feel their well-being and quality of life has improved since coming to Among Friends. 
Description
Members in good standing with Among Friends Activity Center and who have a Medical Release from their doctor, can participate in a comprehensive program of exercise, healthy living and eating classes.  The exercise program meets Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 2:15 to 3:30.  The program consists of exercise on equipment like treadmills, bicycles, peddlers, recumbant bikes, and pulley weights.
They also have exercise classes and Wii dance programs.  There are classes like the 6 week Nutrition class by the county extension office and cooking classes.
Strategy
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program.
Short-term success is seen in weight loss, increased stamina, fewer health problems, and a happier attitude.   The most surprising result we have seen is improved cognitive or mental ability.  Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain and oxygen improves brain function.  Exercise and working out with their peers & friends makes the program more fun and they work longer, they have fun, and feel good about themselves.
 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
Adults with special needs & disabilities will have improved health and well-being, and a better quality of life.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact.
We know our program is working by observation and participation.  We also do an annual Member Survey to see how successful the program is with our participants.  In this years survey, 85% of the participants surveyed said they feel their health & well-being had improved since participating in the Health & Wellness Program.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.
Member comments:   "I love exercise because all my friends are with me, cheering me on."  "I am trying to take better care of myself."  "I like when I get a good report from my doctor and he tells me to keep up the good work."  "I feel really good after a good workout."  "Dancing to exercise is really fun."
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Cathe Fox
Start Date Jan 2003
Email CatheF@amongfriends.csbi.org
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Melissa PearsonProgram Director
Staff
Number of Full-time Staff 2
Number of Part-time Staff 2
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 5
Staff Retention Rate 0
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? No
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 2
Native American/American Indian 1
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures Under Development
Collaborations
Aging Services, ABLE, Thunderbird Club House, CART Access.
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Mr. Jay Winfrey
Company Affiliation Retired
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2016
Email redwing1547@yahoo.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of Jan 01, 2017
Board of Directors List
NameAffiliationStatus
Becky Aguilar RetiredVoting
Randi Brockhaus Case mgr. Food & Shelter, Inc.Voting
Ashlee Byram-Garms Accounting/HR Sandstone EnergyVoting
Carl Deaver VolunteerVoting
Cathe Fox Voting
Jennifer Gober Arvest BankVoting
Sarah Hall Healthcare Mgmt., Nurse DHSVoting
Terri Paden Voting
Kelly McBride Powers Special Ed Teacher at Madison Elementary SchoolVoting
Dr. Wade Smith Pastor, First Baptist Church NormanVoting
Merry Voeller Voting
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 9
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 0 %
Board Orientation No
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Standing Committees
Executive
Finance
Board Development / Board Orientation
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017-Dec 31, 2017
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $228,690
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $221,190
Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$7,426$11,835$10,555
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified------
Individual Contributions$21,260$9,559$16,747
$32,500$33,000$28,000
$10,165$9,735$11,745
Investment Income, Net of Losses$40$46$59
Unrealized Gain/Loss------
Membership Dues$14,236$12,278$10,154
Special Events$40,492$30,578$20,949
Revenue In-Kind------
Other$5,700$140--
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$114,614$85,264$79,833
Administration Expense$13,562$7,102$6,247
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.161.14
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%92%93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$78,898$74,965$60,137
Current Assets$71,988$66,684$53,912
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$706$417$394
Total Net Assets$78,192$74,548$59,743
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities101.97159.91136.83
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $40,492Indirect Public Support $33,000Indirect Public Support $28,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndirect Support $32,500Special Events $30,578Special Events $20,949
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividuals $21,260Memberships $12,278Individuals $16,747
Endowment? No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line? No
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from audited financial statements.  
Address 1185 E Main St.
Norman, OK 73071 5331
Primary Phone 405 701-2121
CEO/Executive Director Cathe Fox
Board Chair Mr. Jay Winfrey
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired

 

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