Samaritan's Purse sends team to help with Hurricane Ian recovery efforts in Florida
North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse has sent a team to southwest Florida to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian ripped apart homes, businesses and infrastructure across the state.
The evangelical organization, led by the Rev. Franklin Graham, sent more than 20 staffers to Fort Myers and Englewood, where some of the state's worst damage occurred.
The staffers left the organization's offices in Boone and North Wilkesboro on Thursday, and arrived in Florida to begin assessing damage on Friday.
The team traveled with two tractor trailers loaded with tarps, chainsaws and other supplies, as well as several trailers containing kitchen units, showers and construction vehicles.
"We will help tarp roofs, we will clean up debris from people's homes, and we will help with 'muck outs' from where the stormwaters came in as well," said Jason Kimack, senior director of the organization's North American ministries.
Samaritan's Purse staff and volunteers will sleep and shelter inside two churches working with the organization.
In Fort Myers, the group is working with Citygate Ministries, and in Englewood, the group has partnered with Calvary Baptist Church.
Kimack said the Samaritan's Purse staff and volunteers planned to help with recovery efforts in Florida for several months and encouraged more people to sign up as volunteers on the organization's website.
"We want the families and people that we're working with to know that they are not forgotten," Kimack said, "We want to provide hope."
Samaritan's Purse previously sent a team to eastern Kentucky to help with recovery efforts after torrential rainfall led to devastating floods in the state in July 2022.
The organization also sent a team to Mayfield, Ky., in December 2021 after a series of tornadoes devastated the town and surrounding areas.
A Samaritan's Purse team also remains stationed in Houma, La., helping with cleanup after Hurricane Ida hit the state in August 2021.