When the flooding Kettle and Granby rivers damaged hundreds of homes in the southern British Columbia town of Grand Forks, some local employees of Shaw Cable heard about it. They saw the damage and knew there were despondent residents who had nowhere to turn for help.
They contacted their supervisors and told them Samaritan’s Purse had brought its Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailer to the community and was recruiting, training, and deploying volunteers to help flood victims.
A group of Shaw employees decided, with their supervisors’ permission, to be some of those volunteers. For almost two weeks, between seven and 12 employees from several Shaw offices travelled to Grand Forks to join Samaritan’s Purse.
Equipped with safety and disaster relief equipment from Samaritan’s Purse, they helped “mud out” waterlogged homes, remove damaged possessions, and strip away soaked drywall, insulation, and flooring, all at no charge to grateful homeowners.
“It’s been a great experience,” said Karl Bohn, Shaw’s operations supervisor in Castlegar, about an hour’s drive east of Grand Forks. Speaking during a break in a hot day’s work cleaning out a badly damaged residence, he noted, “Everyone’s helpful and positive. It feels really good to be able to help out.”
Patrick Metcalfe, another Castlegar Shaw employee, noted “you need an organization to have things set up (to assist flood victims). If we were just showing up blind, it would be really difficult (to make any progress).”
Jennifer Waldie, Shaw’s community access producer in the Castlegar-Grand Forks region, was impressed by the work being done through Samaritan’s Purse. “These people have nowhere else to turn for help, so when you see a team roll up and clear out a flooded house, it’s just amazing,” she said.
Samaritan’s Purse is continuing to recruit volunteers to bring physical and spiritual assistance to flood victims in Grand Forks and also in the Fredericton, New Brunswick region. It was hard hit by severe flooding in early May.
If you can’t join us in helping flood victims, please consider praying for these relief efforts and supporting them with donations. When you do that, you link arms with us to show a watching world that “the love of Christ controls us” (2 Corinthians 5:14, ESV).
Help Samaritan's Purse respond quickly to victims of disasters within Canada, providing not only physical assistance as people clean up and rebuild after floods, fires, and other disasters, but also emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of tragedy.