Christian relief organization will recruit volunteers & help with fire recovery
CALGARY, Aug. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse Canada is preparing to send its specially equipped Disaster Relief Unit to the southern British Columbia community of Rock Creek and will recruit volunteers to assist impacted residents in response to a massive wildfire in the area.
"We have been praying for those affected and threatened by these fires as we have monitored the situation. We are in contact with Emergency Management BC, churches and other non-government organizations in the area to prepare our response," said Fred Weiss, Samaritan's Purse Canada's executive director.
On Sunday, the Christian relief and development organization, in preparation for the clean-up, will drive its Calgary-based Disaster Relief Unit to Rock Creek, a village just north of the U.S. border at the junction of highways 33 and 3.
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.
Thirty homes and 15 other buildings have been destroyed by the wildfire, which is 40 kilometers in size and still growing. Windy, hot conditions are making conditions difficult for more than 100 firefighters who are using seven helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment to contain the fire.
"It's heartening to see community-focused collaboration from non-profit groups like Samaritan's Purse as part of the Integrated Disaster Council of British Columbia to provide services and support," said Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness with the Government of British Columbia.
Samaritan's Purse has other Disaster Relief Units based in southern Ontario and in New Brunswick. In recent years, the non-profit organization has responded to a wide variety of natural disasters including flooding in New Brunswick (2008, 2010, and 2012), in Quebec and in British Columbia, plus forest fires in Slave Lake, AB, and catastrophic flooding in 2013 in southern Alberta.
In addition, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada often works alongside providing specially trained chaplains to comfort and pray with disaster victims. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains will be in Rock Creek.
To support Samaritan's Purse's disaster relief efforts, please visit SamaritansPurse.ca (click on "Donate") or call 1-800-663-6500.
About Samaritan's Purse Canada
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.
SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada
For further information: Media Inquiries: Frank King, Communications Manager, Samaritan's Purse Canada, 1-800-663-6500, 403-990-0161 (mobile) or [email protected]