Flames Finally Clear; Samaritan’s Purse Helping California Wildfire Victims

Chico, Calif., Dec. 10, 2018

Teams of Volunteers Recover Precious Belongings, Providing Closure After Camp Fire

As the Camp Fire raged last month, North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse deployed staff and a tractor-trailer stocked with tools relief supplies to Chico, and immediately began coordinating with local officials, meeting with families who needed assistance, and comforting survivors.

Now that the flames have subsided and with more than 1,800 families requesting the relief organization’s help, teams of Samaritan’s Purse volunteers from around the nation are helping homeowners recover anything that may have survived the fire.

“Our hearts break for the thousands of families who have returned home to find nothing left,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. “It is hard to imagine what they are facing, but I want them to know that God loves them. That’s why we are coming alongside hurting families— to remind them that they are not alone and help them start to pick up the pieces. Please continue to pray for everyone affected.”

Samaritan’s Purse is mobilizing volunteers to assist families in searching for personal contents—an important step in the recovery process. Teams of volunteers are helping recover personal items from the ashes, looking for jewelry, coins and other keepsakes that may have survived the flames. Even the smallest item can be invaluable to a hurting homeowner.

“The Camp Fire completely destroyed Paradise, California. It is unlike anything I have ever seen. Families have lost everything—many are sleeping in parking lots and tents because they don’t know where to turn,” said Luther Harrison, vice president of North American Ministries for Samaritan’s Purse. “We are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus—helping families start to recover.”

Interview Opportunities

  • Chandler Saylors, assistant program manager of U.S. Disaster Relief for Samaritan’s Purse, on the ground in California
  • Tim Haas, manager of U.S. Disaster Relief for Samaritan’s Purse
  • Luther Harrison, vice president of North American Ministries for Samaritan's Purse

On-Site Media Contact

Alyssa Benson, 828.266.5029

The North Carolina-based organization is working alongside Rapid Response Team chaplains with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to provide spiritual and emotional care to California families. For more information about how to volunteer with Samaritan's Purse, go to spvolunteer.org.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org.