Samaritan's Purse arrives in Merced County to help with flood recovery efforts

Alyssa Flores Image
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Samaritan's Purse arrives in Merced County to help with flood recovery efforts
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Samaritan's Purse arrives in Merced County to help with flooding recovery efforts

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Christian disaster relief organization group has arrived in Merced County to help people whose homes were devastated by flooding.

Evangelist Franklin Graham's non-profit Samaritan's Purse has recently responded to hurricanes in Florida, tornados in the south, and war in Ukraine.

Three feet of flood water left 79-year-old Samuel Canal's home in an unlivable state.

The floors, part of the walls and many of his belongings are a total loss.

He has spent 6 decades living here and isn't giving up on his home.

On Tuesday, Samaritan's Purse got to work inside his house.

The international disaster relief organization wants to give residents like Samuel a clean slate.

Volunteers will be stationed at Gateway Community Church for the next three or-so weeks as recovery efforts continue.

"We brought our 53 foot tractor trailer full of supplies and tools for volunteers to use as we go out into the community to help with the cleanup process," explained Tony Williamson with Samaritan's Purse.

They are joined by chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to offer spiritual support to people impacted.

"These are the kinds of times when Christ calls us to be his hands and his feet," said Gateway Church Senior Pastor Al Schap.

The goal is to gut out what's damaged inside homes and get them what they call "contractor ready."

Samuel was humbled to receive the help.

"We come in here just letting them know that God has not forgot them. And when we asked him about the impact he actually broke down and started crying and just repeated over and over again how grateful he was that people from all over the place can come over here and help others, said Daniel Gerardo with Samaritan's Purse.

Samaritan's Purse is hoping that locals in Merced and surrounding areas will join them in volunteering.

They will be holding a volunteer orientation every single day here at Gateway Community Church.

If you know someone who could use help from Samaritan's Purse volunteers, they are also taking requests.

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