Samaritan’s Purse Provides Food, Hygiene Items for Families Fleeing to Europe (Press Release)

This Week: U.S. Relief Organization Distributing Filled Backpacks to Thousands of Women and Children

BOONE, N.C., Sept. 16, 2015 — As refugees continue to stream into Europe, Samaritan’s Purse is preparing to distribute backpacks filled with relief items to thousands of women and children.

“These are families with small children who have traveled hundreds of miles and are desperately trying to find a place to live before the bitter winter cold sets in,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “We are working to provide food, hygiene items and other basic necessities they so badly need.”

This week, the international Christian relief organization will distribute some 2,000 backpacks to refugee women and children in Gevgelija, Macedonia. These include 1,000 backpacks for children with a rain poncho, blanket, towel, toothpaste and toothbrush, hygienic wipes, granola bars, cap, sweets, and a soft toy. The other 1,000 backpacks will be distributed to women and contain a poncho, blanket, towel, bar of soap, hygienic wipes, feminine hygiene products, diapers, granola bars and infant biscuits.

Emergency personnel with Samaritan’s Purse are on the ground in Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Greece. These teams are tirelessly working with local churches and partners to provide food and hygiene items to the massive influx of refugees making their way into Europe. Many of these men, women and children are in a mad scramble to transit through the Balkans and Hungary in search of better opportunities—sometimes passing through countries in less than 24 hours.

“The need is overwhelming,” said Dr. Nathalie MacDermott, who is coordinating Samaritan’s Purse response efforts on the border of Macedonia and Greece. “We see little children forced to walk miles alongside their parents who are carrying even younger siblings and what little belongings they can.”

  • Dr. Nathalie MacDermott, member of the Samaritan’s Purse disaster assistance response team (DART), who is on the ground working in Macedonia; MacDermott is available to give a firsthand account of the backpack distribution via phone on Thursday, Sept. 17, between noon and 2 p.m. ET
  • B-roll and high-resolution photos of the backpack distribution will be available Thursday evening
  • Barry Hall, director of program support for Samaritan’s Purse, who is coordinating relief efforts from the ministry’s international headquarters in Boone

For the past year, Samaritan's Purse has been assisting Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq and in other parts of the Middle East. The organization has helped by providing necessities such as hygiene kits, winter clothing, shoes, blankets and access to clean water as well as creating safe places for children to play.

Samaritan’s Purse works to meet the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations. Led by 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 or to donate to Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts, visit

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