For 50 years, Samaritan's Purse has worked to mobilize and equip thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Their faith-based mission is derived from the original Good Samaritan story as told in Luke 10:30-37. As such, Samaritan's Purse offers spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world in the Name of Jesus Christ.
In 1970, evangelist and journalist Bob Pierce founded and led Samaritan's Purse after visiting suffering children on the Korean island of Koje-do during World War II. After the war, he continued traveling, and in the summer of 1973 he met his eventual successor, Franklin Graham – son of the late Billy Graham. The years that followed brought Bob and Franklin to some of the world's neediest mission fields. Just a year after Bob passed of leukemia in 1978, Franklin became the President and Chairman of the Board of Samaritan's Purse, a position he holds to this day.
Under Franklin's leadership, Samaritan's Purse has seen exponential growth, including hundreds of missions across the globe and the development of volunteer programs, a Disaster Assistance Response Team, internship and apprenticeship programs, church connections and more. In addition to its headquarters in Boone, North Carolina, the organization has also added affiliate offices in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany; field offices in 18 countries; and ministry partners in more than 100 countries.
What They Do
Samaritan's Purse is multi-faceted, providing aid in not just one, not just two, but many different areas. Some of their Ministry Programs include International Crisis Response, The Greatest Journey, U.S. Disaster Relief, Operation Christmas Child, World Medical Mission, Operation Heal Our Patriots and more. They also conduct various projects that deal with agriculture, women's programs and sanitation.
In these various projects, teams are dispatched around the globe, some in the world’s most troubled regions. Most recently, Samaritan’s Purse responded to the historic wildfires devastating the United State's West Coast. A team of their disaster response specialists on the ground in Santa Cruz, California, helped impacted communities sift through ashes—searching for anything that may have survived the flames.
On March 17, Samaritan's Purse airlifted a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital to northern Italy in response to the COVID-19 crisis in the area. In addition to the Emergency Field Hospital, the organization's cargo plane delivered 20 tons of medical equipment, a specialized respiratory care unit developed specifically in response to COVID-19 and 32 disaster response specialists, including respiratory therapists, doctors, and nurses. The Emergency Field Hospital was set up just outside of Milan, Italy, where the coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed local medical infrastructure, leaving many families without access to critical care.
50 Years of Ministry
Throughout 2020, Samaritan's Purse has celebrated 50 years of ministry. This milestone has been a great accomplishment, and Franklin says, “I thank God for all He has done through Samaritan’s Purse over the past 50 years! Through His grace, we have been able to respond to emergencies worldwide to save lives, relieve suffering, and share the hope of the Gospel. To God be the glory!”
For more information about Samaritan's Purse and their many ongoing projects, visit SamaritanPurse.org.