Hurricane Sandy Victims Unite to Help Young Victims of Typhoon Haiyan Have Hope this Christmas

NY Kids Know Firsthand the Power of Comfort After a Storm; Airlift More than 60,000 Christmas Gifts to Children in the Philippines

WHAT: This Christmas, children in New York and children half a world away will share an uncommon bond—being victims of a tragic natural disaster. Yet children who were victims of Hurricane Sandy are using that bond to make sure young survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines know they are loved and not forgotten.

Hurricane Sandy victims and Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham will host a send-off/press conference after more than 60,000 gift-filled shoeboxes are loaded for a 747 airlift to the Philippines. Operation Christmas Child, a project of international relief organization Samaritan's Purse, will deliver the gifts.

DATE: Thu, Dec. 12, 2013

10:00 a.m. EST – Plane arrives
10:15 a.m. EST – Cargo loading
10:30 a.m. EST – Press Conference

WHERE: JFK International Airport, Hanger 19



  • Loading of more than 60,000 shoebox gifts filled by Hurricane Sandy victims bound for children in the Philippines

  • Local storm survivors signing a banner with words of comfort to Typhoon Haiyan victims


  • Diana Barbacena of Long Beach—An 11-year-old Hurricane Sandy victim whose neighborhood was flooded during the storm, Barbacena understands better than ever how kids feel in difficult circumstances. An annual participant in Operation Christmas Child, Barbacena is passionate about sending comfort and hope through gift-filled shoeboxes to typhoon survivors in the Philippines, the country where her father was born.

  • Samantha Sourbeck of Long Island—After more than a decade of packing gift-filled shoeboxes, the 20-year-old traveled to the Philippines this past July to help deliver shoebox gifts with Operation Christmas Child. Sourbeck never anticipated the communities she visited would soon be devastated by one of the worst storms in the country's history.

  • Susan Giuffrida of Island Park—After it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, Susan's home was the first rebuilt by Samaritan’s Purse. A long-time Operation Christmas Child volunteer, Giuffrida is passionate about returning the kindness that was shown to her by continuing to pack shoebox gifts for kids in desperate circumstances.

  • Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and author of Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts (B&H Publishing, 2013)

  • Project organizers who have traveled the world delivering shoebox gifts to hurting children

On-Site Media Contact: Karen Dye, 404.538.8591 cell

Operation Christmas Child is a kids-helping-kids project that will send 9.8 million gift-filled shoeboxes—filled with toys, school supplies, necessity items, photos and notes of encouragement—to hurting children in more than 100 countries this year. Before the typhoon, Operation Christmas Child already dedicated 500,000 shoebox gifts for delivery to the hurting children in the Philippines—some which were packed by Filipinos living in the United States and Canada. Now thanks to New York's Hurricane Sandy survivors—who know firsthand the devastation a storm can cause—another 60,000 children in the Philippines will know they are loved. Several thousand shoebox gifts from churches in Canada will also be included in the airlift.

ADDITIONAL AID: Shortly after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall, Samaritan's Purse was on the ground in the Philippines, working with local partners to deliver desperately needed aid to storm victims. Since the storm hit, Samaritan's Purse has delivered more than 100 tons of emergency relief supplies, including clean water, food, shelter materials, medical supplies and a helicopter, to help the organization's disaster teams respond more quickly to people in areas of the Philippines that are difficult to reach by road. After Hurricane Sandy, Samaritan's Purse immediately deployed response teams to locations in Ocean County, New Jersey, and Nassau County, New York. To date, Samaritan's Purse has invested nearly $3 million into Sandy relief efforts. Samaritan's Purse continues to work in Ocean and Nassau counties helping families with insulation repair and other construction repairs. 

For more information on Samaritan's Purse or Operation Christmas Child, call 800.353.5949 or visit