Samaritan's Purse available to help property owners in Joplin

Staff reports

Samaritan's Purse disaster relief experts and volunteer teams are working in Joplin to provide emergency assistance to survivors of the devastating tornado that ripped through the area May 22.

Samaritan's Purse International Relief is operating out of Forest Park Baptist Church, 725 S. Highview Drive (Seventh Street and Range Line Road), Joplin. Phone 417-623-4606.

People with damage to their homes or property are asked to give thr group permission to enter that property and to sign a work orfder. Then teams of volunteers from churches and other groups are sent to the property to help the owner. There is no charge for this assistance.

"This is the worst storm season I have seen in my lifetime," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "These survivors need to know that God loves them, and we're grateful that He has given us what we need to respond to these disasters within hours."

Staff from the international Christian relief organization arrived on Monday and immediately began assessing the damage, visiting tornado victims and taking requests for help with home repairs and debris removal. The team is basing its Disaster Relief Unit with a local church partner, Forest Park Baptist Church.

The Disaster Relief Unit - one of five tractor-trailers that the organization has stocked with emergency supplies and tools that are ready to roll whenever disaster strikes - will function as a self-supporting operations center for volunteers and staff.

Samaritan's Purse is asking for volunteers to help with this response, and the first volunteer team was sent out today to work in some of the hardest hit areas of the city.

"Samaritan's Purse will help Joplin tornado victims salvage their important possessions, remove fallen trees and debris and make emergency repairs on storm-damaged homes," said Luther Harrison, director of North American projects for Samaritan’s Purse. "We want to come alongside these homeowners who have lost so much and help them through this difficult time."

The U.S. Disaster Relief teams of Samaritan's Purse have helped more than 18,000 victims of natural disasters over the past decade by quickly providing emergency supplies, repairing, cleaning and rebuilding homes.

Recent efforts include emergency tornado relief in Tuscaloosa - where Samaritan's Purse teams are still working - and Birmingham, Ala., repairing houses hit by tornadoes in eastern and central North Carolina and Virginia, and clearing homes of mud and debris after flooding in New Jersey.

To volunteer with Samaritan's Purse or make a donation to help the storm victims, go to

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham that provides immediate, no-red-tape response to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations - especially in locations where few others are working.

Samaritan's Purse has worked in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.