By Michela Owen
June 20, 2024

The On Call Project Foundation

Learn about Jeff Morefield's mission to support retired first responders.
Jeff Morefield, Executive Director of The On Call Foundation (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

When you see a problem in your community, what do you do about it? Do you complain, or do you try to find a solution? Jeff Morefield noticed a troubling trend: retired police officers had a mortality rate that didn’t match the rest of the population. Why were the people who protected our community vulnerable after they left active duty?

In a word, purpose. We all crave it. When Jeff saw a problem among his brothers-in-arms, he decided to act.

A vision from experience

Jeff Morefield, the Executive Director of The On Call Project Foundation, knows firsthand the challenges first responders face. Having recently retired after 26 years as a police officer and serving in Afghanistan with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, Morefield saw a glaring gap in the support system for first responders transitioning out of service. “Many do not live more than 5-7 years after their service time, and the average age of death for first responders is 66—15-20 years younger than the average American civilian,” Morefield notes.

Recognizing the need for a structured transition program, Morefield founded the On Call Project Foundation in July 2023 before his retirement in January 2024. The foundation’s mission is to provide retired first responders with stability in family life, the ability to invest in their communities, and, ultimately, the ability to extend their lives. 

Transformative program

The cornerstone of the On Call Project Foundation is its innovative seven-week transition course. Held twice a week at Oklahoma Christian University, the course offers a comprehensive suite of resources, including financial advice, holistic health care, and training for employment in the private sector. Each class is limited to 20 participants to ensure personalized attention and one-on-one coaching.

“Our goal is to give them family stability, the ability to invest into the community they just served, and ultimately keep them alive,” says Morefield.

Building a network of support

Since its inception, the foundation has quickly built a network of supporters and partners, each playing a crucial role in the program’s success. Notable partners include Warriors Rest Foundation, which addresses the mental health aspects of the transition course, Ken Stafford and Associates for financial planning, and Mosaic Personnel for resume building and job interview skills.

“The connections and networking are what I like most about running this nonprofit,” Morefield shares. “Every day, more first responders, administrative leaders, community business leaders, and other supporters express interest in supporting and investing in the Foundation.”

Overcoming challenges

Despite the promising start, Morefield acknowledges the challenges of running a nonprofit without a business background. “It’s like I’m learning a new language, operating tempo, and lifestyle,” he admits. “But I believe in the mission and know I’m starting something that can greatly impact thousands of lives.”

What sets the On Call Project Foundation apart is its unique focus on first responders—a community often overlooked in the transition process. “There is nothing like this in the United States,” Morefield emphasizes. “The On Call Project will make a significant difference in the lives of first responders and their families.”

Looking ahead

Morefield is optimistic about the future as the On Call Project Foundation prepares to launch its first transition course in Spring 2024. The plan is to have two “Projects” by the end of 2024, expanding the reach and impact of the program.

For those interested in supporting the On Call Project Foundation, Morefield encourages sharing the foundation’s resources and raising awareness about the critical need for such programs.

The On Call Project Foundation is a beacon of hope for retired first responders, offering them the tools and support they need to thrive in their post-service lives. For more information or to support the foundation, visit https://www.OnCall or reach out directly for a phone assessment. Together, Edmond can help ensure that those who have served continue to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

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About Michela Owen

Michela Owen is an Oklahoma native and passionate wordsmith with a knack for creative problem-solving. After obtaining her associate's in business management from Baptist Bible College, she went on to receive her bachelor's of journalism with a focus in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma. During her time at OU, she was the news lead of OU Esports.

Michela is also a Marketing Strategist at Backslash Creative, where she helps businesses and nonprofits be strategic about how and where they spend their marketing efforts.