Donated by Calgary firm, special building on truck to US for flight to Caribbean; several Canadians going with to erect it on storm-battered Barbuda
CALGARY, Oct. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse Canada is sending a special "relocatable" building to the Caribbean to serve as an operations hub for the Christian relief organization's work in helping victims of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
The $200,000 building, donated by Sprung Structures of Calgary, departed Monday on a transport truck from Samaritan's Purse's Canadian headquarters in Calgary. The roughly 16-meter-by-32-meter building is being driven to North Carolina, from where it will be flown on Samaritan's Purse's DC-8 cargo plane to Antigua, then transported by barge and erected in Barbuda.
"We're launching a major reconstruction project in Antigua and Barbuda, and this (Sprung) structure will serve as an operations base to get supplies where they need to go to help survivors rebuild their lives," said Brent Davis, Samaritan's Purse Canada's Response Director.
"With much of Barbuda destroyed, we need to bring in our own building to provide the level of aid the people need to move forward. We'll continue to respond to clean-up needs in Puerto Rico and Dominica as well."
Samaritan's Purse's DC-8 has already made at least 12 recent trips to the Caribbean from North Carolina to deliver more than 244,000 kilograms of emergency supplies including hygiene kits, blankets, water purification units, and rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting to shelter thousands of families who lost their homes to Irma's destructive force in early September.
"Hurricane Irma leveled islands in the Caribbean and devastated the Florida coast," said Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham. "We're taking critically needed supplies to storm survivors and coming alongside affected families. We want to meet their physical needs while showing them the love of Jesus."
Charity Navigator, a non-profit U.S. organization that assesses charities, has identified Samaritan's Purse as one of the most effective disaster relief organizations helping victims of the recent hurricanes.
Donations Needed: Canadians can donate to Samaritan's Purse disaster relief work by visiting SamaritansPurse.ca or calling 1-800-663-6500.
In commenting on the urgent need for one of his company's key products, Sprung Structures President Phil Sprung said: "We are excited to partner with Samaritan's Purse and its hurricane relief efforts by donating one of our Engineered Relocatable Structures. There are many, many people in the Caribbean who desperately need help from Canadians right now. We're very proud, as an Alberta company, to do what we can to assist Samaritan's Purse and the wonderful people of the Caribbean."
Samaritan's Purse is sending three employees—including Danny Ross, from Cochrane, AB—and Sprung Structures is sending two more employees to erect the locatable building in Barbuda.
"I just want to help out any way I can," Ross says. "I have practical and theoretical experience (in erecting large-scale structures) and I like challenges."
Wanda Burchert is a Samaritan's Purse employee who just returned from assisting hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and Florida, and who has seen first-hand how desperate people are there for help. "Samaritan's Purse is needed right now because we are doing something almost no other agency is doing in the Caribbean," Burchert says. "There are some government agencies working in Puerto Rico, but Samaritan's Purse looks at the whole person—spiritual and physical. We aim to instill hope with people; if you're not providing that, then your assistance is not quite enough."
DC-8 a vital new disaster relief tool
Samaritan's Purse deployed its DC-8 plane to Iraq last December to deliver an emergency field hospital and medical staff to the outskirts of Mosul when the ancient city was being liberated from ISIS terrorists. Residents fleeing the fighting were desperate for medical aid, with many suffering from bullet and shrapnel wounds inflicted by ISIS.
The DC-8 airlifted a similar emergency field hospital and medical personnel to Ecuador last June to treat victims of the South American country's most devastating earthquake in decades. Capable of carrying 40 tons of emergency supplies and dozens of personnel, the DC-8 has become a vital new tool for Samaritan's Purse to bring aid in Jesus' name to traumatized survivors of disasters worldwide.
Samaritan's Purse has helped victims of a wide range of international disasters including the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Japan, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in 2016. Samaritan's Purse Canada has also assisted victims of many natural disasters in Canada including flooding in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, southern Alberta, and Nova Scotia, plus wildfires in Fort McMurray, AB and the B.C. interior.
About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse is a Christian relief and development organization that takes its name from Jesus Christ's biblical story of the Good Samaritan. Like that Good Samaritan, who found a beaten man and helped restore him, we aid victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. Besides disaster relief, our work includes collecting and distributing gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and providing safe water, vocational skills and agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world. Learn more at SamaritansPurse.ca
SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada
For further information: News Media Inquiries: Frank King, News Media Relations Manager, Samaritan's Purse Canada, 1-800-663-6500 (office), 403-990-0161 (mobile), [email protected]