Samaritan's Purse responds to humanitarian crises with physical aid and a message of spiritual hope. In Canada, our Disaster Relief Units, several tractor trailers outfitted with generators, pumps, hand tools, and safety gear, equip staff and volunteers to share God's love in a tangible way with Canadians in need. This is an overview of our past responses.
Helping Survivors of Mountain View County, AB Tornado:
Other Samaritan’s Purse teams have delivered food to evacuees in Quebec.
View the 2022 Year in Review
When disaster hits, people often don’t know where to turn. That’s when hundreds of Canadians answered the call in Jesus’ Name. As Samaritan’s Purse prepares for whatever natural disasters might occur this year, we are pausing to celebrate all that God accomplished through this ministry in 2022.
Alberta Wildfires (2023) Fox Lake, AB suffered catastrophic damage from one of the hundreds of wildfires that burned across Alberta this spring. More than 200 structures, including 100 homes, have burned in the community of around 3,700 people. The Samaritan’s Purse volunteer relief teams helped the community remove debris, took down dangerous trees, and sifted through the ashes of homes for any items that survived the flames.
Nova Scotia Wildfires (2023) More than 6,700 people had to flee the flames that destroyed about 60 homes and 90 other structures. Thanks to the prayers and gifts from Canadians like you, one of our specially equipped Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers arrived in the area and worked with local volunteers and residents to clean up properties and sift through ashes to find keepsakes or possessions that survived the flames.
Hurricane Fiona response (2022) Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief teams and volunteers helped show over 300 residents of Prince Edward Island that they were cared for, loved, and not forgotten.
Ottawa violent storms (2022) Violent storms left 10 people dead and hundreds of homes damaged over the May long weekend. 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.
Hay River flood response (2022) Samaritan’s Purse teams helped clean up the flooded homes of 40 families in the remote Northwest Territories town of Hay River.
British Columbia flood response (2021) Catastrophic rain and flooded rivers in November 2021 damaged hundreds of homes and businesses in Abbotsford and Merritt. Samaritan’s Purse and our church partners provided physical and spiritual help to many hurting homeowners who had nowhere else to turn.
British Columbia Wildfires (2021) Samaritan’s Purse sent two Disaster Relief Units, our specially equipped tractor-trailers, to serve B.C. Interior homeowners who lost nearly everything during a devastating wildfire season. The team operated out of Cache Creek, and helped residents of Lytton—after almost the entire town burned on June 30—and the surrounding First Nations. The second team was based in Vernon and helped families in the aftermath of the massive White Rock Lake wildfire. The teams helped sift through the ashes of homes to recover treasured possessions that might have survived the flames, cleaned up debris, and removed burnt trees. Most importantly, they also brought comfort and shared the eternal hope of Jesus Christ.
Attawapiskat COVID-19 Response (2021) A significant coronavirus outbreak in June 2021 made life extremely difficult for residents of this isolated northern Ontario community. Responding to a call for help, we sent six staff members, plus supplies, to help out wherever possible.
Thunder Bay COVID-19 Response (2021) When the pandemic hit this northern Ontario city hard in March 2021, many cases were amongst individuals experiencing homelessness and precarious housing. This overwhelmed the isolation shelter systems. Samaritan’s Purse provided emergency stop-gap support, included cleaning rooms in a hotel where COVID patients were staying, transporting food, caring for the needs of residents, and more.
Calgary Hail Damage (2020) Samaritan’s Purse offered help to uninsured/undersinsured homeowners in NE Calgary who suffered damage as a result from hailstorms. Staff and volunteers tarped roof vents, boarded broken up windows, and provided other aid. 27 volunteers served with Samaritan’s Purse, helping 20 Calgary homeowners.
Flooding in Ontario (2019) Over 80 volunteers served with Samaritan’s Purse, helping almost 125 homeowners in the Ottawa area. Our team also served in the Renfrew County area (about 120 km west of Ottawa), helping flooded homeowners there.
Chuckegg Creek Wildfire (2019) 16 homes were destroyed in the northern Alberta community of Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement. Our team was able to clean up fire-damaged properties and sift through the ashes of destroyed homes. Eleven homeowners accepted our offer.
Flooding in Quebec (2019) Our team worked alongside volunteers to clean out flooded basements and sprayed to prevent harmful mold, at no charge to residents. 42 volunteers served with Samaritan’s Purse to help 29 homeowners.
Flooding in New Brunswick (2019) We responded to flooding in Fredericton, coordinating with local authorities and partners to assist impacted families and provide assistance. 165 volunteers served with Samaritan’s Purse to help 106 homeowners.
Ottawa-Gatineau Tornadoes (2018) Samaritan’s Purse supported relief efforts in Ottawa. 877 volunteers served with Samaritans Purse to help 217 homeowners.
Telegraph Creek Wildfire (2018) Approximately 31 structures were destroyed in Telegraph Creek and hundreds of families were forced out of their homes due to a dangerous wildfire in northwestern B.C.. We came alongside 21 homeowners and offered our assistance with sifting and helped salvage many precious belongings.
Flooding in British Columbia (2018) Samaritan’s Purse supported relief efforts in Grand Forks, British Columbia. 371 volunteers served with Samaritans Purse to help 117 flooded homeowners.
Flooding in New Brunswick (2018) 452 volunteers served with Samaritan’s Purse to help 140 flooded homeowners. Residents were very appreciative and expressed their relief and thanks.
Flooding in Beiseker, AB (2018) Dozens of homes were damaged in Beiseker, a small town 75 kilometers northeast of Calgary, due to rapidly melting snow in the area. Samaritan’s Purse Canada assisted half-a-dozen families whose homes were not insured.
Flooding in Windsor, ON (2017) Almost a meter of rain fell in the Windsor-Essex region during a 20-hour period in August, flooding thousands of homes. Samaritan’s Purse Canada helped flood victims in Windsor by having one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units on site and trained, equipped, and deployed 754 volunteers, who did flood relief work for 65 grateful homeowners.
Wildfires in Williams Lake, BC (2017) Samaritan’s Purse Canada aided families who lost their homes and belongings in catastrophic wildfires that spread across the interior of British Columbia. Besides helping homeowners recover personal items from the ashes of their homes, volunteers also helped clean up 47 fire-damaged properties.
Flooding in Vernon, BC (2017) One of our specially equipped Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers was sent to Vernon, B.C. on the invitation of local officials after rising water on Okanagan Lake forced more than 200 residents out of their homes. We trained, equipped, and deployed 29 volunteers, who did flood relief work for 42 grateful homeowners.
Flooding in Ontario and Quebec (2017) Samaritan’s Purse sent two of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to eastern Ontario and western Quebec after snow melt and rainfall cause the Ottawa River to spill its banks. Almost 2,000 people were forced to leave their homes in communities such as Rockland, ON, Gatineau, QC, and Rigaud, QC. We trained, equipped and assigned more than 250 volunteers to remove mud, damaged furniture and water-soaked drywall, then sanitize the flooded areas to prevent mould. By the time our work was completed June 14, almost 130 homes had been cleaned.
Flooding in Lil’wat First Nation, BC (2016) Samaritan’s Purse Canada sent one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to Lil’wat First Nation, British Columbia and recruited volunteers to clean-up homes in response to flooding. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains were also on location to offer emotional and spiritual care.
Flooding in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (2016) Samaritan’s Purse Canada sent one of its specially equipped Disaster Relief Units to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and recruited volunteers to clean-up homes in response to flooding. Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains were also on location to offer emotional and spiritual care.
Flooding in Windsor, Ontario (2016) In late September, as much as 190 millimeters (seven inches) of rain fell in the area in just 24 hours. Thousands of homes were flooded as a result. Samaritan’s Purse Canada worked with local churches and almost 230 volunteers, we responded to 122 requests for help, cleaning out basements, spraying them to prevent the spread of dangerous mold and preparing them to be rebuilt. Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional and spiritual needs of flood victims and volunteers.
Wildfires in Fort McMurray (2016) On May 3, 2016 Fort McMurray, Alberta was evacuated due to a massive wildfire that engulfed the city and region of 80,000. Over 2,400 buildings were destroyed in the fire. On July 6, the Alberta government announced the fire was under control. Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers helped meet the physical needs of residents while sharing the love of Jesus. Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional and spiritual needs of fire victims and volunteers.
Rock Creek Fires (2015) Areas of southern BC were swept by US wildfires that moved north across the border. These fires resulted in damage around Oliver and Rock Creek, BC and destroyed 30 homes along the Highway 33 corridor. The Samaritan’s Purse team actively worked in the area, helping 20 homeowners who were affected by the fires. 83 volunteers contributed over 500 volunteer hours. Seven chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional needs of flood victims and volunteers.
Flood Relief in British Columbia (2015) The small BC interior town of Cache Creek declared a state of emergency in May after torrential rain caused a flash flood which sent raging water and debris through downtown streets and closed two highways. Samaritan’s Purse responded with staff and local volunteers to clean up 17 damaged homes. Two chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association accompanied Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the emotional needs of flood victims and volunteers.
Flood Relief in Ontario (2014) Intense weather in the Greater Toronto Area dumped 130 mm of rain on the city of Burlington in the course of five hours. Flash flooding affected more than 2,000 homes. Samaritan’s Purse partnered with World Renew and 145 volunteers to help 57 families clean up their homes. As is the case for all our Canadian disaster responses, we partnered with chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to help meet the emotional needs of flood survivors and volunteers.
Flood Relief in Saskatchewan (2014) Samaritan’s Purse was invited to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts in Melville, Saskatchewan, after 200 mm of rain fell in just a few days. More than 340 volunteers helped Samaritan’s Purse clean up 89 homes.
Flood Relief in New Brunswick (2014) The Village of Sussex Corner declared a state of emergency on April 16 due to severe flooding in the southern New Brunswick community of 1,500 people. Ice jams and high water on area waterways damaged as many as 100 homes in Sussex Corner. More than 400 volunteers worked with Samaritan’s Purse to clean up 72 homes and prepare them for repair.
Flood Relief in Southern Alberta (2013) Record river levels and melting snow from the Rocky Mountains combined with heavy rainfall to produce major floods in the city of Calgary as well as other southern Alberta communities. Three Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Units and multitudes of volunteers responded to help affected communities.
Flood Relief in Ontario (2013) Heavy rains and melting ice and snow created a devastating combination in central Ontario. Samaritan’s Purse helped homeowners clean out and prepare their homes for rebuild when several communities in the Muskoka region were forced to declare states of emergency.
Flood Relief in New Brunswick (2012) The St. John River overflowed its banks in March, forcing over one third of Perth-Andover’s 1,700 residents to evacuate. A Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Unit and over 500 volunteers cleaned out houses and brought comfort to many grateful homeowners.
Flood Relief in Quebec (2011) Prolonged flooding damaged hundreds of homes in the Richelieu River valley in May and June. A Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Unit and dozens of local volunteers brought comfort and assistance to many devastated residents.
Slave Lake Fires (2011)
When forest fire swept through this small northern Alberta city in May, Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers took one of our Disaster Relief Units to bring help and hope to the devastated community.
Flooding in New Brunswick (2010)
When flooding affected the residents of Zeeland, Samaritan’s Purse sent a Disaster Relief Unit to assist local volunteers with the clean-up.
Newfoundland hurricane response (2010)
After Hurricane Igor struck Newfoundland, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a Disaster Relief Unit to Bonavista, Newfoundland where we worked with local churches, agencies, and volunteers to manage and provide clean-up and other assistance to residents.
Southern Alberta Flooding (2010)
When heavy rains caused severe flooding in southern Alberta in June, 2010, Samaritan’s Purse deployed a Disaster Relief Unit to Medicine Hat where we worked with local churches, agencies, and volunteers to manage and provide clean-up and other assistance to residents.
Ontario Tornado (2010)
Samaritan’s Purse was on the ground coordinating volunteer clean-up efforts following a powerful tornado on June 6, 2010 in Leamington, ON.
Chilliwack Flood Relief (2009)
When freezing temperatures, close-to-record snowfall, and enormous amounts of rain combined to cause massive flooding in January, 2009, in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, Samaritan’s Purse mobilized a Disaster Relief Unit. Together with local volunteers, we provided aid to more than 65 families who were forced out of their badly damaged homes.
New Brunswick Flooding (2008)
Following recent flooding in the province of New Brunswick, Samaritan’s Purse Canada deployed a Disaster Relief Unit and equipped local volunteers to help with flood clean-up and recovery. Many of the people we helped were elderly, disabled, facing medical problems, or otherwise unable to tackle the clean-up on their own.
British Columbia Flooding (2007)
One of our Disaster Relief Units was sent after spring floods damaged homes in the Terrace, British Columbia area. Around 130 volunteers provided approximately 3,000 hours of work cleaning out homes.
United States Flooding (2006)
We dispatched a Disaster Relief Unit and equipped over 200 Canadian and American volunteers who helped clean up 27 communities in New York and Pennsylvania after summer floods, winds, and rains devastated neighborhoods and destroyed businesses.
United States Hurricanes (2005)
One of our Disaster Relief Units mobilized and equipped more than 200 Canadian volunteers who made emergency repairs and helped with massive clean-up efforts for 566 homes in Gulfport, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.