Samaritan’s Purse Teams with Local Church to Help Tornado Victims

Staff and Volunteer Teams Help Victims in Illinois Repair Damage to Homes, Clean Up Debris and Salvage Belongings

Disaster relief teams with the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse are partnering with Grace Church in Morton, Illinois, to serve those hit hardest by the recent tornados that damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes.

A Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief Unit, a tractor-trailer stocked with chainsaws, heavy-duty plastic tarps, generators and other tools and supplies, arrived on Tuesday and is serving as the team's command center for the duration of the cleanup efforts.

The relief organization's staff are working with volunteers from local churches to clean debris, cut fallen trees, salvage belongings, put tarps on damaged roofs and provide comfort to victims. Members of Grace Church have volunteered with Samaritan's Purse on more than 20 separate disasters in the past, including during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"The destruction left by the more than 80 tornados that swept this area is devastating," said Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham. "We mourn with those who have lost their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods. In addition to helping the victims with cleanup, our team is here to let people know that God is with them in their time of need."

Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Rapid Response Team are working alongside Samaritan's Purse disaster staff and local church staff to minister to victims and their families.

COVERAGE OPPORTUNITIES:

  • On-site interviews with Samaritan's Purse U.S. disaster relief specialists
  • In-person interviews with volunteers who are helping homeowners with cleanup

Homeowners needing help are encouraged to visit the Samaritan's Purse disaster relief unit (1500 East Jefferson Street, Morton, IL, 61550) or call 828.358.0339. To volunteer with Samaritan's Purse, go to spvolunteernetwork.org. Donations to help tornado victims can be made at samaritanspurse.org.

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization that has helped more than 27,000 families in 31 U.S. states following hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and ice storms. Earlier this year, Samaritan's Purse provided aid to victims impacted by tornados that struck Moore, Oklahoma, and Granbury, Texas.

The organization is also in the midst of a significant response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Last Friday, a 747 cargo jet airlifted approximately 100 tons of emergency relief supplies—food, plastic sheeting for shelter, medical equipment and water filtration systems—to the Philippines where it will be distributed by staff on the ground to those in need.

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