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Newsletter 5-30-18

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Serving Disaster Survivors with Volunteers


In May 2013 everything changed in the way Oklahoma recovers from disaster.  Following devastating tornadoes grant funds became available allowing for a fully staffed Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response ministry to begin serving disaster survivors through case management, volunteer management and project management.  These three disaster management services became the synergy that was needed to reach recovery and continues to this day what is helping hundreds of disaster survivors and thousands of volunteers accomplish the same.

Over the last 5 years the staff of the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response ministry has assisted

  • 2,077 disaster survivors
    • 5,806 volunteers representing
      • 11 different denominations/businesses/schools reaching across
        • 34 different states, to complete
          • 664 projects across
            • 47 counties, valued at over
              • $2.4 million dollars in labor value.

This has been made possible by the generous financial grants from the American Red Cross, Central Oklahoma United Way, UMCOR, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and individual donors like you.

It has been said Oklahomans are either responding to or recovering from a disaster all the time.  For this reason full time disaster management services are needed year round to continue turning mess into ministry.  Tornadoes, wildfires, winter storms, flooding, hail, high winds, earthquakes… all create damage to those that need help in recovery.  We exist to be the hands and feet of Christ meeting that need.


As we continue to finish the last 21 projects from the 2015 spring storms we are also coming alongside the communities in NW Oklahoma that were impacted by the 2018 wildfires that burned over 348,000 acres of land to include homes, barns, vehicles, farm equipment, fences, and livestock.  These disaster survivors will need the combined disaster case, volunteer and project management services that the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response provides.

Staying until recovery is complete is our motto and can only be realized if we stay the course.  The Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response staff must be supported financially to continue.  Oklahomans must not revert back to pre-2013 disaster recovery where the needs were identified, but no one was there to coordinate the required volunteer efforts for disaster survivors to have a hope of recovery.

Don’t let this ministry end.  Grant dollars run out July 31, 2018.
Be a part of the hope by generously giving today…

We welcome your generous donations online.  You may also contact our office to learn more about this ministry and the need to continue.


In the response phase of a disaster roofs are tarped, houses are mucked or ashed out, debris is cut and left in the yard...  In the recovery phase a new roof is put on, drywall and flooring is installed, and debris is hauled off.  Both phases are necessary, but leaving a disaster survivor after the response phase is not what we are called to do.  Finding the disaster survivors in need and seeing recovery complete is where the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response ministry needs you.

What we know is that volunteers are needed now and for years to come to complete the long term recovery needs in Oklahoma.  Our project calendar shows the 2015 disaster projects yet to be completed and soon will list the 2018 disaster projects.

Our staff will arrange for your lodging, deliver materials and provide oversight on the task to be accomplished.  You can register online or contact us for more information.


Help us tell the story of your volunteer service with us.  By collecting your thoughts and stories from 4 short questions we can improve our efforts and share the valuable experiences of your mission.  Please tell your story today!


Okmulgee UMC 

Durant FUMC

Duncan FUMC 


Chapell Hill United Methodist Church, OK

Plains & Peaks Presbytery, CO

Trinity Presbytery, TX

Enid United Methodist Church, OK

St Matthews UMC, OK

Mennonite Disaster Services

Special thanks to our OKVOAD partner for their tireless service through Disaster Case Management
and the generous use of their office space for our staff.