• Mario Carr

Samaritan’s Purse helps struggling flood victims


Samaritan’s Purse Canada has sent one of its specially-equipped Disaster Relief Units to Burlington and is recruiting volunteers and donations to clean up homes in response to recent flash flooding that has damaged more than 1,500 Burlington homes.

The Christian relief and development organization has driven its Hamilton-based Disaster Relief Unit to nearby Burlington and is meeting with local officials, churches, and homeowners there, while simultaneously recruiting and training volunteers. Samaritan’s Purse will be partnering directly with World Renew, a Burlington-based disaster recovery organization associated with the Christian Reformed Church denomination.

“People in these communities are struggling,” said Darren Tosh, Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s projects director. “We’ve been monitoring the situation to gather information about the flood damage, and we are in contact with churches and other non-government partners in the area to provide an urgently needed, coordinated response.”

The Disaster Relief Unit is a tractor trailer outfitted with essential disaster recovery equipment including generators, pumps, hand tools, and safety gear for volunteers. It also serves as a volunteer coordination center, and is equipped with a self-contained office, communications system, and other supplies. Anyone in the Burlington region needing assistance or wanting to volunteer can call 1-905-592-1874.

“I would like to thank Samaritan’s Purse for helping Burlington recover from the devastating impact of the August 4 storm which produced so much rain in so little time and affected so many,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Having a compassionate organization like Samaritan’s Purse help lead the cleanup effort, mobilizing volunteers in Burlington, is a very valuable gift.”

Samaritan’s Purse, which has other Disaster Relief Units based in New Brunswick and in Calgary, has already been cleaned up after floods in Canada this year, including a three-week-long response in southeastern Ontario in May, and similar response in Saskatchewan in July and August.

In recent years, the non-profit organization has responded to a wide variety of natural disasters in Canada including massive flooding last June in southern Alberta, plus flooding in New Brunswick, Quebec, and British Columbia, forest fires in Alberta, and a tornado in Ontario. Samaritan’s Purse’s “sister” organization, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada, often helps by providing specially-trained chaplains to comfort and pray with disaster victims. Its Rapid Response Team chaplains will be in the Burlington region.

Samaritan’s Purse also responds to international disasters including the enormous earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the devastating earthquake/tsunami in Japan in 2011, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013. The Calgary-based charity is continuing to assist in Haiti and the Philippines.

Donations Needed

To support Samaritan’s Purse’s disaster relief efforts, please visit SamaritansPurse.ca (click on “Donate”) or call 1-800-663-6500.

Samaritan’s Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization that aids victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Calgary-based charity also operates Operation Christmas Child, which sends gift-filled shoeboxes to hurting children worldwide. Visit SamaritansPurse.ca to learn more.

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