Samaritan's Purse Aiding West Coast Families in the Midst of Devastating Wildfires.

Volunteers to Help Hurting Communities Sift Through the Ashes to Find Meaningful Keepsakes

Boone, N.C., Sept. 15, 2020—Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the historic wildfires that continue to devastate the West Coast as thousands of families return to find their homes and years of priceless memories destroyed. The organization’s volunteers are on the ground in Santa Cruz, California, helping impacted communities sift through the ashes—searching for anything that may have survived the flames. A team of disaster response specialists is also working with local officials and church partners in Medford, Oregon. As soon as local authorities provide necessary clearance, volunteers will begin helping families start to recover.

The international Christian relief organization deployed a Disaster Relief Unit stocked with critical relief supplies from its West Coast Ministry Center in Fullerton, California to aid Santa Cruz area families. As millions of acres continue to burn, Samaritan’s Purse is launching a second response in Oregon.

“Please join me in praying for West Coast families as they endure these devastating wildfires,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. “We want to come alongside them during this difficult time, helping them salvage their personal belongings while reminding them of the hope found only in Jesus Christ.”

As Samaritan’s Purse responds to the coronavirus pandemic around the world, natural disasters continue to impact local communities. The North Carolina-based organization is tailoring its response to safely provide critical relief to affected families. Teams of volunteers will sift through the ashes to salvage precious keepsakes that are priceless to a family who has lost everything. This is an important step to foster healing and closure in the recovery process.

Media Opportunities

  • Interview Tom O’Brien, program manager for U.S. Disaster Relief on the ground in Santa Cruz, CA
  • Interview Todd Taylor, manager of U.S. Disaster Relief, conducting field assessments on the West Coast
  • Download photos and b-roll of U.S. Disaster Relief.
  • Response photos and b-roll available upon request
  • Media Request Form

Chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Rapid Response Team will also work alongside Samaritan's Purse to provide emotional and spiritual encouragement to families impacted by the wildfires.

For more information about how to help or volunteer with Samaritan's Purse, go to

Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO 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, visit