150 families helped in the aftermath of storms and floods.
Bernadette,* a 79-year-old senior living on her own, was barely able to drive home through a massive storm that swept through Ottawa on May 21.
When she finally arrived, it was to find trees from neighboring yards had fallen into her front and back yards. Thankfully, her house wasn’t damaged and neighbors disposed of their fallen trees. But giant, dangerous branches still dangled from on her own front yard tree, threatening to fall at any moment.
Dangerous situations were common for hundreds of homeowners, many of whom had their dwellings severely damaged by falling trees and incredible wind. But help came when a Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief team arrived in Ottawa through the generosity of partners like you. They came with a convoy of disaster response vehicles and equipment, just days after the storm.
Bernadette learned about Samaritan’s Purse and asked if there was anything we could do.
“I thank God and I thank the donors.”
“I didn’t know if they could help,” she said as an orange-shirted team member—an expert arborist—climbed the tree and, using an axe and a saw, cut off the dangerous branches. They harmlessly fell to the ground, where another Samaritan’s Purse volunteer hauled them down the street to a pile that the city would soon take away.
“I thank God and I thank the donors,” Bernadette said gratefully. “When people give to Samaritan’s Purse, they will be blessed.”
By the time the month-long Ottawa deployment ended, a total of 130 volunteers—equipped from our disaster relief unit tractor trailer based at the Met Church—cleaned up 113 storm-damaged properties. All at no cost to the homeowners.
As we carried out this work, God opened many doors for us to tell curious people why we were helping: “For we are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV).
This is Samaritan’s Purse’s fourth time serving in Ottawa. Teams responded to flooding in 2017 and 2019, plus a 2018 tornado. Area resident Brian Kelly appreciatively remembers the help his community received in the past, adding “I was very pleased to know you were coming to help.”
Kelly, president of The Glens Community Association, which covers much of the storm-damaged area of Ottawa, noted, “people have been very grateful to receive the assistance.”
At the same time, Samaritan’s Purse wrapped up another disaster deployment, cleaning up the flooded homes of 40 families in the remote Northwest Territories town of Hay River.
“Many seeds of faith have been planted in this community,” said Greg Schmidt, who led our relief work in Hay River with a small but mighty team of 19 dedicated volunteers.
As our team prepares for the next disaster deployment wherever it happens in Canada, we thank God for our partnership in this mission. Will you reach out to hurting people through your prayers and gifts?
*Name changed to protect privacy