Samaritan’s Purse offers physical, spiritual help to SW La.

Marlisa Harding

Samaritan’s Purse is back in Southwest Louisiana after responding to Hurricane Laura, Sally and now Delta. The non-denominational, evangelical relief ministry is responding to the region’s needs with teams working out of Lake Charles, DeQuincy, DeRidder and Jennings.

 Each city is offered the same free services for recovery including tarping,  the removal of wet content, sheetrock and carpet, tree cutting and tree removal.   “We’re going to be here as long as there’s a need with cleanup and we encourage the local church to join us in helping each other,” Todd Taylor, Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief manager, said.

 Samaritan’s Purse also partners with the Billy Graham Rapid Response team to provide chaplain services to community members in need. These services are especially necessary, Taylor said, because of the unique nature of the multiple crises residents are facing.

 “We know that folks have been through a lot with these storms, Laura and Delta, plus COVID. They need to talk.”

 Chaplains are trained with a specialty in stress and crisis management, he said. “They train these chaplains to be perfect listeners.”

 Even community members who’ve sustained minimal damages are finding immense benefit from the services, Taylor said, recalling one woman’s experience with the organization. “She needed the visit from the chaplains more than we needed to remove the tree and the debris in her yard. She needed to talk.”

 Samaritan’s Purse takes its name and mission from the parable of the Good Samaritan who made a long-term commitment to the needs of a beaten victim. “He told the inn keeper, ‘If there’s anything that man needs, I’ll take care of it when I get back.’ We’re seeing that with Delta,” Taylor said.

 “We were coming to the close of our work and with Delta it’s added a new dynamic…We’ve extended all of our sites as long as there’s a need. We want to be here as long as it takes to help see Southwest Louisiana recover.”

 Samaritan’s Purse is in need of volunteers as it continues local operations. To volunteer visit www.spvolunteer.org and click “day volunteer.”

 Residents in need of services should call local sites directly: Lake Charles, 337-244-0982; DeQuincy, 337-317-9919; DeRidder, 337-226-4923; Jennings, 337-329-1477.Volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse work on a house in Jennings. The group has been a fixture through this year’s recovery efforts.

Samaritan’s Purse

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