Canadian donations and volunteers bringing hope to Ottawa storm survivors.
After returning home from playing tennis, Sebastian* opened the back yard door to his Ottawa home and was stunned to see a catastrophic wind toppling many of the giant trees on his property.
“The storm was in full rage,” Sebastian recalled. “I slammed the door and screamed at my wife to run to the basement. We didn’t make it, so we just got on our knees in the dining room. We were terrified.”
By the time the late-May storm ended, Sebastian’s home and hundreds more were badly damaged from rain and downed trees. When he took stock of the aftermath, he was shocked. “Outside every door I opened was damage beyond anything I could imagine.”
He estimates 15 mature trees—some of them so big you couldn’t wrap your arms around them—either crashed to the ground or were so damaged they had to be taken down. The trees damaged his dining room, garage, and wiped out a back yard gazebo.
Adopting a stoic, ‘get-it-done’ outlook, Sebastian started what he knew was going to be a long, long clean-up job. A Samaritan’s Purse staffer, working on a nearby property, saw him hauling branches to the curb and ask if he needed help.
With vital support like yours, one of our Disaster Relief Units, a tractor trailer filled with relief equipment, had arrived in Ottawa just days after the storm. Using its supplies and under the direction of experienced leaders, volunteer teams fanned out across the city to aid families in need.
Sebastian gratefully said yes to our offer of help and soon a team descended on his property with chainsaws, a skid-steer (to move giant tree trunks), and more equipment. It took nearly three days to remove or bring down dangerously damaged trees, clear away hundreds of broken branches, and generally clean up the property.
“Samaritan’s Purse has helped me so much, it’s unbelievable,” he said, his tired, face etched with awe. “I’ve never said ‘wow’ so many times in 48 hours.” When the work ended, Sebastian happily accepted a Billy Graham Bible signed by all the people who worked on his property.
Many more people like Sebastian, in Canada and around the world, need help to recover from disasters. Through your prayers and gifts, you meet them in times of crisis, bringing help and hope in Jesus’ Name.
*Name changed to protect privacy.