Two Ontario residents join growing team of Samaritan's Purse staff/volunteers in Philippines

Christian relief organization providing broad range of disaster assistance after deadly typhoon

TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Two southern Ontario residents with disaster relief experience are on their way to the Philippines to help Samaritan's Purse provide physical and spiritual aid to tens of thousands of victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Tim Kikkert, a 26-year-old logistics specialist from Grimsby, and Marianne Maertens, a 36-year-old water and sanitation specialist from Newmarket, departed from Pearson International Airport early today.

Kikkert, who helped with Samaritan's Purse's relief work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, will be in the Philippines working for the Christian relief organization for at least the next month. Maertens, who worked full-time for Samaritan's Purse between 2005 and 2007, is volunteering in the Philippines for two weeks.

"I want to make stuff happen and help people stay alive and get back on their feet." said Kikkert, in explaining his decision to go to the disaster zone. He will act as a supply chain manager—helping with transportation and customs issues as relief supplies and equipment arrive from Canada and elsewhere.

Maertens will help Samaritan's Purse provide survivors with clean drinking water and appropriate sanitation, and help teach safe health and hygiene practices while the typhoon-ravaged parts of the Philippines gradually recover.

"You see the pictures in the media and the loss that people are experiencing, and if that was someone in my family, I'd hope there was someone out there to help them," said Maertens, who has taken a leave of absence from her job with the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority.

Please contact us if you would like to interview Kikkert or Maertens.

So far, Samaritan's Purse's response to Typhoon Haiyan includes:

  • a 27-member, specially trained Disaster Assistance Response Team working out of Cebu City
  • a chartered Boeing 747 cargo jet loaded with enough plastic sheeting to provide emergency shelter for 12,500 families, plus community water filtration systems and storage tanks capable of providing safe water to thousands of Filipinos, medical supplies, mosquito nets, and blankets
  • thousands of hygiene kits, including soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, detergent and other items
  • Medical staff and volunteers, plus equipment and supplies, to provide essential health services

For 40 years, Samaritan's Purse has responded to disasters in Canada and around the world, including the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and last summer's massive flooding in southern Alberta.

Donations Needed
Anyone wishing to make a financial donation to Samaritan's Purse's disaster relief work in the Philippines can call 1-866-663-6500 or visit SamaritansPurse.ca. There is more information about Samaritan's Purse typhoon response at SamaritansPurse.ca and via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 40 countries to help victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Christian charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world annually. In addition, we build and install thousands of life-saving BioSand Water Filters in the developing world. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.ca.

Image with caption: "Marianne Maertens (left) and Tim Kikkert left Toronto's Pearson Airport early Wednesday to join Samaritan's Purse's Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines. Maertens is volunteering for two weeks while Kikkert is working for Samaritan's Purse for a month. (CNW Group/Samaritan's Purse Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131120_C9208_PHOTO_EN_33636.jpg

SOURCE: Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information:

Media Inquiries:
Frank King
Communications Manager
Samaritan's Purse Canada
403-250-6565 (office)
403-990-0161 (mobile)
fking@samaritan.ca


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