The Woodward News

Local News

August 8, 2012

Recovery Woodward continuing case work

Woodward, Okla. — Recovery Woodward held a short meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Northwestern Baptist Association to discuss the work that the group has done to help families that were affected by the April 15 tornado.

During the meeting John Elam, chairman of Recovery Woodward, talked about how the various groups that make up Recovery Woodward have pledged or distributed close to $200,000 in goods and money for those affected by the tornado.

"Things are going really well and our case loads keep getting lighter," Elam said.

Gwenn Stepanski of St. Vincent de Paul reported on 2 cases and asked for help in filling the needs of these families.  

Stepanski said one family was needing items to outfit their new kitchen with things such as plates, cups and bowls, while the other family was needing appliances for their home.

She said that St. Vincent had spoken with one agency that had been distributing appliances, but the agency said all of its equipment was already claimed.

However, Betty Ward with the Woodward and Ellis counties Salvation Army stepped up at Wednesday's meeting and said her organization would take on the cases and getting the families the items they need.

Elam reminded the group that the door is still open for other families who are looking for recovery assistance, but there is a process that must be followed.

"If people need our help they need to meet with a case manager and then they can be assisted by us," Elam said, noting "We really just want the people to know that we stand by them, but the families do have to put their plan together and bring it to the case managers."

Recovery Woodward is also asking the families that have received letters from the group to please respond to them.

"Even if they don't need help, please just let us know," Elam said.

Other topics that were discussed included back to school assistance and even Christmas assistance.

"We really would like to get gift cards to those families that lost everything and might not be able to get the clothes they need for back to school and even for the up coming winter season," Elam said.

Becky Pierson, vice chair for Recovery Woodward, reported on rebuilding efforts.

"We are looking for each group to get a list of what kind of skills they have within their group, be it framing, wiring, and so on," Pierson said.

She said they are looking to rebuild 2 to 3 homes for families who's insurance just can't cover the expense.

"We will take any type of help anyone can offer on these rebuilds, money or labor, all will be appreciated," Pierson said.

Families that are still in need of assistance, even if your case has closed, can contact Recovery Woodward at 256-2674, John Elam at 256-2678, the Red Cross at 256-3828 or e-mail at

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