The Tornado Response Fund (TRF) of the Otsego Community Foundation (OCF) was established to provide a centralized opportunity for donors to invest in disaster relief efforts and a support mechanism for nonprofit organizations responding to the crisis. Our goal is to work collaboratively with the nonprofit, government, philanthropic and private sectors to accelerate recovery for a thriving, resilient, and even stronger Gaylord.

Serving Survivors

Our local nonprofits continue to demonstrate incredible resilience, ingenuity, and tenacity as they increase and adapt their programs to meet the needs heightened by the tornado. Here are a few highlights of grants awarded from the Tornado Response Fund.


The Tornado Response fund awarded Veterans Education Training & Support, Inc. a grant to help those affected by the May 20th tornado that lost a vehicle or need repairs to a vehicle. With grant dollars, the organization was able to help 3 families obtain new vehicles and repair an additional 12 vehicles. 


The Tornado Response Fund awarded Michigan Disaster Response and Recovery a grant to hire case managers to assist tornado victims. 

What do disaster case managers do?

  • Assess:  Provide comprehensive, individualized, strength-based, and culturally responsive assessment of survivors’ needs to connect them to available services and monies to aid in their healing from the tornado. 
  • Support: Help survivors with insurance inquiries, completion of the SBA application, and gain access to unmet needs through local resources. 
  • Connect: Network with vendors, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations to guide survivors through the recovery process.

To date, caseworkers have served 20 clients by utilizing 71 community services. 


The Tornado Response fund awarded Otsego-Antrim Habitat for Humanity a grant to complete critical repairs on structures affected by the May 20th tornado. To date, 3 home repairs are complete and 17 homes are in the process of being repaired. 

This grant is providing hope for many families impacted by this devastating storm. 

  • “Joseph felt very disheartened and convinced NO one could or would help him after the tornado. Habitat for Humanity answered his call for help, and he was very happy that his roof got fixed and so quickly.” Felicia Guyot, Project Manager Otsego-Antrim Habitat for Humanity.
  • “John and I thought that our home would be unlivable, but our prayers were answered when Habitat for Humanity came to our door to help us.”  – Darlene Glover


The Tornado Response Fund has awarded a grant to the Refuge homeless shelter.
This grant has helped the Refuge provide:

  • Services for 92 individuals.
  • 29 Families with temporary housing. 

Chris, the housing resource case manager, has also provided housing counseling for multiple individuals.


The Tornado Response Fund of the Otsego Community Foundation has awarded a grant to the Otsego County United Way. The United Way has filled huge gaps in direct service typically provided by multiple organizations. Since May 20, this small but MIGHTY organization has:

  • Distributed thousands of dollars in essential supplies
  • Mobilized hundreds of volunteers

Assisted 565 people with direct and indirect services as well as gas cards, gift cards, bus tokens, and laundry vouchers.

Your generosity makes this work possible and we are so thankful for each and every donation from Mexico to Canada and California to New York. It’s an honor to play a part in implementing local solutions. The OCF understands that the effects of the tornado are far-reaching; that the recovery process is a marathon, not a sprint. Our team is working diligently alongside many other community partners to find solutions for the many challenges. Your continued patience with the complex process and support are encouraging.


If you would like to donate to the Tornado Response Fund to continue to provide support for those affected by the tornado, please use this link: