In May 2013 a disaster occurred producing tornado damage unlike any that had been seen in Oklahoma to that point. The media attention attracted many donations and fundraising events generating millions of dollars for disaster agencies.
Due to the size of the geographic area impacted and the funding resources available a collaborative effort among many disaster organizations was put in place called the “Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project”. For this, the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response ministry was formed and staffed. The focus for this ministry was recruiting volunteers, managing the projects, and completing home repairs using volunteer labor and donated materials. The recovery project from the May 2013 disaster was completed in July 2015 following the states worst flooding disaster impacting 66 of the states 77 counties. More grant dollars became available allowing the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response ministry to continue providing recovery efforts through the 2016, 2017, and 2018 disasters as well. On September 10, 2018 the staff was informed their last day would be October 31 due to shortages in funding.
The remaining staff of Chad Detwiler, Kevin Walker, and Hal Wright created a new 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called Recovering Oklahomans After Disaster Inc. in order to continue this needed and beneficial service for the long term.
Transition Letter from Jeremy Basset, Director of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church, Office of Mission.