Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian humanitarian organization that seeks to provide relief for those in need around the world. The organization is named after the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. The organization Samaritan’s Purse’s goal is to aid all those who are hurting, particularly the most vulnerable and impoverished people in the world.
Samaritan’s Purse was founded by Bob Pierce who also founded the relief organization, World Vision. After visiting the poor children on the Korean island of Kojedo, Pierce felt compelled to aid those that he met. He founded Samaritan’s Purse in 1970 with the mission to “to meet emergency needs in crisis areas through existing evangelical mission agencies and national churches.” Later Pierce met a young man named Franklin Graham. Traveling with Pierce all around the globe, Graham underwent life-changing experiences as he witnessed the world’s most destitute. When Bob Pierce passed away in 1978, Graham became the president and chairman of the Board of Samaritan’s purse. For 30 years, Graham has led the organization, overseeing responses to natural disasters, famines, and wars.
Today, Samaritan’s purse operates in 100 nations around the world with a number of programs. One important program is providing international crisis response. When disaster strikes, the organization works with local partners to provide immediate food, medicine, and shelter to victims. Pre-position supplies in warehouses located around the world are always ready to be used. Disaster Assistance Response teams are also always ready to be deployed. The organization works within the United States with its U.S. Disaster Response project and Operation Heal our Patriots, a program designed to aid wounded military service members and their families.
Samaritan’s Purse also provides aid for children. The Children’s Heart Project works with hospitals to provide surgery to children in impoverished areas or those that lack medical expertise. The Greta Home and Academy is a home for orphaned and at-risk youth in Haiti where they can receive care and education.
The organization is also well known for its program Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child provides Christmas gifts to children in disaster or poverty stricken areas. Anybody can volunteer to purchase toys, hygiene products, school supplies and clothes. Volunteers are encouraged to include personal notes and think carefully about what a child might want to receive as a gift. Instructions are provided online on how to properly pack the gifts in a shoebox and how they can be labeled and delivered to distribution centers.The shoeboxes are then distributed to children around the world.
More recently, Samaritan’s Purse has begun a fundraising campaign called “Raise A Village.” The campaign is dedicated to improving the living conditions in the Niger Village of Guidan Gado. To aid the impoverished villagers, the organization is trying to raise $85,000 to provide livestock, farming tools and food production equipment.
No matter the project, Samaritan’s Purse’s ultimate mission remains simple: to give aid selflessly as the Good Samaritan in the Bible did. Today the organization continues to give aid to thousands of people. With the support of a dedicated staff, donors and volunteers, the organization continues to make a difference in world.
– Grace Zhao
Sources: Samaritan’s Purse