Former Vice President Mike Pence Joins Volunteers in Arkansas

June 14, 2024 • United States
Former Vice President Mike Pence joined volunteers in storm-damaged neighborhoods in Arkansas.
Former Vice President Mike Pence joined volunteers in storm-damaged neighborhoods in Arkansas.

Vice President Pence and Samaritan's Purse COO Edward Graham joined volunteer teams to help clean up storm-damaged homes.

U.S. Disaster Relief

Vice President Mike Pence joined Samaritan’s Purse volunteers on June 14 to help serve homeowners in Benton County, Arkansas, where deadly storms damaged numerous neighborhoods and businesses.

Vice President Pence helped clean up the home and property of Catherine Anderson.

Vice President Pence met with homeowners who described harrowing experiences as they sheltered from the powerful twisters that ripped through the Rogers area on May 25. Samaritan’s Purse has been working in that part of Arkansas since days after the storm to help homeowners remove fallen trees, patched damaged roofs, and carry debris from properties.

Catherine Anderson, 52, told the vice president that she emerged after the storm to a yard filled with fallen trees. Anderson is caregiver to her aging mother. She said they were overwhelmed by the damage around them. Then they learned it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to have them removed from her property and roof.

The former vice president also met to pray with Catherine and Billy Graham chaplains.

The former vice president also met to pray with Catherine and Billy Graham chaplains.

“I’m so sorry this happened, but I’m thankful the Lord spared you,” Vice President Pence told her. “It’s an honor to get to serve you today.”

Vice President Pence and Samaritan’s Purse COO Edward Graham served alongside our volunteers carrying branches, logs, and other debris away from the home as the chain saw team cut them up. As that seemingly insurmountable mess began disappear into piles near the street, Catherine said she began to experience hope again that normalcy might return.


“I was hopeless, I didn’t know how I was going to live with this damage and mess around me. But I also had no way to pay for it to be cleaned up,” she said. “Then you guys came. When the trees were starting to get cleared, I could see light, and I felt like I could breathe again. I can never tell you how thankful I am.”

Vice President Pence led the group in prayer during a special gathering at the conclusion of our work on Catherine’s property. She also received a Billy Graham Study Bible signed by the team. Graham also encouraged Catherine, reminding her of the deeper reason for the work of Samaritan’s Purse in the wake of disasters.

“We love you, but more importantly Jesus loves you,” he said. “That’s why we’re here. God spared you. He’s with you, and He sent us to help you.”

Overwhelmed by the Love of Volunteers

We also worked at the home of Bill Mudd who described the close call with a tornado the night of the storm–a tree crashed through his roof only two feet from where he was sheltering.

Samaritan's Purse board member Stick Williams worked at the home of Bill Mudd.

Samaritan’s Purse board member Richard “Stick” Williams worked at the home of Bill Mudd.

“I’m just thankful to God for sparing my life,” he said. “I’m overwhelmed by the love of these volunteers.”

Volunteers were able to cut up the fallen timber and cover Mudd’s roof with tarp to keep the elements out of his home.

Edward Graham worked alongside volunteer and Samaritan’s Purse Board Member Richard “Stick” Williams and his wife, Teresa. Williams said he was grateful to help homeowners like Mudd who’d experienced so much loss.

“I feel so blessed to be part of this volunteer effort today,” Williams said. “It’s heartbreaking to see people whose homes have been torn up like this. I pray God comforts each and every one.”

Since the beginning of our work in Arkansas, more than 450 volunteers have joined our efforts and we’ve served more than 120 homeowners. We praise God that 21 people have prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Please pray for the many hurting communities impacted by storms this spring as we continue to serve in multiple locations, including Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida.

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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