The people's voice of reason

Rescuing, Relieving and Responding

A heartwarming story took place in Florida just before the arrival of Hurricane Irma. Pam Brekke was next in line at a Lowe’s when she burst into tears as the last generator was given to the person ahead of her in line. “My father is on oxygen and I’m worried about this storm,” she said. Ramon Santiago, who was that next person in line, saw Brekke’s tears and handed over the generator he was going to purchase. “He’s an angel from God is what he is,” Brekke said. “She needed the generator. It’s okay.” Santiago replied.

The people of our nation shine the brightest in the face of disaster. Strangers help strangers and the divisions that sometimes separate us disappear. Over the past few weeks, our nation has faced a series of natural disasters. We have suffered ravaging wildfires in the west, Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and Hurricane Irma in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. And when those disasters struck, relief agencies responded, rescuing those in distress, and providing relief to all who needed it.

Although I hope that my doing so does not cause you to forget about other relief agencies, I would like to highlight a couple of those organizations that do a great job at responding to disasters. For nearly fifty years Samaritan’s Purse has been helping people around the world who need it the most. Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian-based organization that not only provides physical aid but also spiritual aid to those who have fallen victim to natural disasters, poverty, disease and a number of other circumstances. Samaritan’s Purse is strictly donor based and limits the cost of administering a gift to ten percent of the donation. Samaritan's Purse mobilizes staff and equipment and enlists thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. Of course, we are all familiar with the American Red Cross, which is also donation and volunteer-based. Ninety-one cents of every dollar the American Red Cross receives go toward their humanitarian services and programs. An individual who would like to respond after a natural disaster but can’t afford to make a financial contribution can help by donating the gift of life – blood. The American Red Cross collects and processes about forty percent of the blood supply of the United States. Maybe you have seen one of their busses outside a department store on a Saturday. The next time you do, please consider stepping inside to become a donor. By doing so, you will become someone’s hero; in fact, you might save more than one life.

Reaching out and helping someone else in need guarantees a double blessing; God blesses the one receiving and He blesses the one giving. Although we can’t prevent natural disasters, we can do our part by support those organizations that work to reduce the effects of natural disasters. I urge you to support those agencies that regularly answer the call to rescue, relieve, and respond.


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