North Oakland Strong makes final donation to ‘Caring for Oxford’ fund

Contact Journey Lutheran Church for mental health care reimbursements
By Joseph Goral
Staff Writer
OXFORD TWP. — Nonprofit North Oakland Strong donated $10,000 to Journey Lutheran Church on March 8 to support the church’s “Caring for Oxford” fund that provides finances for those struggling since the school shooting on Nov. 30, 2021.
It was North Oakland Strong’s final donation. The nonprofit is ceasing operations.
The nonprofit has donated approximately $200,000 in cash and goods to those in need during its operation. The remaining $10,000 balance was donated to Caring for Oxford because mental health care is the biggest remaining need, according to a North Oakland Strong Facebook post.
North Oakland Strong began as part of Oxford Strong Community organization to support community members in the wake of the 2021 shooting at Oxford High School. Lake Orion business owner Matt Pfeiffer posted Facebook announcements in an effort to collect goods and food for funerals and student and family get-togethers.
“That turned into tons, literally tons, of goods being shipped from around the country,” said Pfeiffer said, who started the North Oakland Strong nonprofit, “and even (from) outside of the country, we started getting goods and donations.”
Eventually, Pfeiffer said the focus for the nonprofit and its volunteers became obtaining clear backpacks, which were given to Oxford High School students, Oxford Middle School students and Lake Orion High School students.
The continued need, however, is providing mental health support and services for those who are experience ongoing affects from the tragedy, Pfeiffer said.
Every dollar Caring for Oxford receives goes to mental healthcare treatments, according to Journey Lutheran lead pastor Matt Schuler. This donation is no different.
Those eligible to receive assistance are teachers, students, staff, faculty, their families and community members who do not have insurance or sufficient coverage, according to Schuler, who also said all income levels are able to receive financial support.
To protect citizens’ privacy, the fund is administered through the church’s typical budget process, meaning the church’s case workers and administrator are the only people who know who receives Caring for Oxford’s support.
“We’re super blessed to receive $10,000 from North Oakland Strong,” Schuler said. “By way of estimates, that will equate to about 100 sessions with a mental health professional.”
Caring for Oxford’s disbursements for mental health care are primarily accomplished in two ways – direct invoice payments and reimbursements.
If someone with an outstanding invoice for a counseling service they received sends Journey Lutheran a request, the church works with the provider to ensure the invoice is paid, according to Schuler.
Other times people may have insurance coverage, but still need to meet a deductible. Once they pay their bill, they can send Journey Lutheran the receipt for reimbursement.
Schuler said the church’s hope is that those who need the financial assistance will receive it for as long as they need.
“We want people to have the best possible outcome for their treatment and to work with them in the way that they find best,” Schuler said.
Journey Lutheran has given away nearly $150,000 with this latest donation, according to Schuler, who said the reason the church has provided funding is donations from business leaders, Journey Lutheran members, other churches and other community efforts from groups like North Oakland Strong.
To learn more about Caring for Oxford, or to request a reimbursement, visit

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