Christian organization will provide disaster clean-up assistance
CALGARY, May 20, 2011 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse Canada is deploying its
Disaster Relief Unit to Slave Lake, AB, as part of the Christian relief
organization's efforts to help victims of massive forest fires that
have destroyed more than 400 homes, government buildings and
businesses, while also damaging many others.
The Disaster Relief Unit - a specially equipped tractor trailer and
truck - will arrive in Slave Lake on Saturday or early Sunday. It will
serve as the focal point for Samaritan's Purse staff and volunteers as
they engage in a variety of clean-up and support roles to help local
residents, including many evacuees who will be returning to find their
homes and all of their belongings completely incinerated.
"Our goal is to help the people of Slave Lake as they face the physical
and emotional challenges of rebuilding their community," said Brent
Davis, coordinator of domestic disaster relief for Samaritan's Purse,
which is working in partnership with emergency response specialists
from the Alberta government and the town, as well as with local
churches and other relief organizations.
"Samaritan's Purse can provide a significant amount of help to the
community and our church is looking forward to partnering with them,"
said Pastor Tracy Ottenbreit of the Slave Lake Alliance Church. "We
will also cooperate with other churches in the area to offer assistance
The Disaster Relief Unit is outfitted with essential disaster recovery
equipment including electricity generators, pumps, hand tools, and
safety gear for volunteers. It is equipped with a self-contained
office, communications system, and other supplies. The unit - and
another based in Moncton, NB - has helped Samaritan's Purse respond to
natural disasters all across Canada in recent years. The Moncton-based
unit is being prepared for deployment to southern Quebec to help
residents recover from recent severe flooding.
In anticipation of when Slave Lake evacuated residents receive approval
to return to their stricken community, Samaritan's Purse will also work
alongside the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada and its
trained volunteer chaplains as they offer crisis counseling and
Anyone wishing to donate to Samaritan's Purse's disaster relief efforts
can call 1-800-663-6500 or visit www.samaritanspurse.ca (click on "Donate").
About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and
development organization working in about 70 countries to provide aid
to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution.
The Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation
Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy
children around the world each year, and the Turn on the Tap initiative
that raises funds for life-saving BioSand Water Filters the developing
world. Go to www.samaritanspurse.ca for more information.
SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada
For further information:
Director, Communications and Creative Services Dept.
Samaritan's Purse Canada and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada
1-800-663-6500 or 1-403-615-8747 (cell)