Woodward, Okla. —
The following is a brief, "by the numbers" look at what the Woodward Community Foundation has done over the past year in helping the recovery efforts of those affected most by the April 15, 2012 tornado.
The statistics were provided to The News by Foundation President Steven Jones.
103 cases, with 77 cases closed after that individual's or family's needs were met. There are 26 cases still active, with case managers working hard to identify the needs in those cases and how they may be addressed as quickly and as best as possible. "And we know of at least 7 more out there who are currently in litigation with their insurance, but are not yet an active case with us," Jones said.
$362,000 dispersed and/or currently committed for disbursement to individuals and families. "And not one penny was spent on administration, all of it we gave to the recovery effort," Jones said.
$200,000 remaining in fund to help meet the needs of the 26 open cases and potential new cases. But there is "a rough projection" of up to $250,000 in possible additional needs requests.
3 primary categories of assistance including 1) allotment for furniture and appliance replacement, with the stipulation that items be purchased locally; 2) housing costs from rent allocations to funds to repair damage to homes that insurance didn't cover or for those with no insurance; and 3) vehicle assistance from help with repairs to even purchasing some vehicles to replace those that were totally destroyed. In addition, Jones said that during the 2012 holidays, the Community Foundation presented "a gift card to everyone we were involved with, to help them buy Christmas gifts."
Jones said he is "real pleased" with the progress that the Woodward Community Foundation has made over the past year.
"I'm pleased when looking at how we've spent $362,000 in helping people, and a lot of that was done very quickly afterwards. So I'm happy about that," he said. "I'm also happy to have some money left because we know not all the needs have been met yet. But we hope to do so soon."
As for the projection that estimates the remaining needs could exceed what is left in the foundation's fund, Jones said he isn't worried.
First because those are just projections, so it is possible that what is left in the account could be sufficient to cover actual assistance requests that are received, he said.
"So far what we've done is as the case managers present a case, if we can meet that need, we do it. We haven't thought much beyond that. It's just let's meet needs as we can and as we get farther down the road and find out we need more money, we'll deal with it then," he said.
The second reason Jones isn't worried about a possible deficit is because he's confident the community will step up to cover the shortfall if needed.
"If it got to the end and substantial needs remain, we could request more donations," he said. "And if we had to request for more contributions, with the way our community is, I've always thought if we had a $25,000 shortfall, there's no doubt we'll get it. Our community is great about helping each other and taking care of its own."
While there is still more work to be done, Jones said that so far he and his fellows on the Woodward Community Foundation board "feel like we have been meeting our goal" of helping those hurt by the storm to recover.
"When it's all said and done, to be sitting where we are today, I'm pretty comfortable with that," he said.