Integrity, compassion and accountability are hallmarks of this organization. First responders during both domestic and international disasters, Samaritans Purse strives to be first to offer assistance as a tangible expression of God's love. Projects under its umbrella include Operation Christmas Child, Children's Heart Project, World Medical Mission and many others.
Our church is involved with Operation Christmas Child, which is how I became acquainted with Samaritan's Purse. I admire the work they do around the world through this program. In November, 2012 I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Haiti and work with a group of US volunteers at the Greta Home and Academy in Leogane, Haiti. I was so impressed with the SP leadership I met in Haiti, and just the overall experience I had. Our accomodations were by no means luxurious, but we were well taken care of and SP took our safety seriously. The Greta home, which is now operating, is a beacon of light that shines in a spiritually dark and corrupted country, yet beautiful and full of potential. God is doing great things through SP there. I cant think of another organization that I would rather support.
I am currently volunteering with this organization to help with hurricane disaster relief in nj. They are doing amazing work. I am Christian but not a church goer and have to admit I am always cautious of any large group in power whether political or religious. That being said, the amount of work this group gets done is amazing. They are truly making a huge difference in peoples lives every day. I have volunteered with other organizations that are not as organized and not as productive. Samaritan purse is not that way. They send out teams of volunteers who simply act. They do whatever is needed... no questions asked. They rip up carpet, pack up a house, tear up carpet, clean out moldy furniture, offer a listening ear, seriously anything needed. Thus far I have been very impressed. I have read the leader makes a huge salary which disagree with however, that aside they are great. My recommendation would be to volunteer with them. If you are concerned about donating money, don't. Volunteers are an organizations greatest asset . Honestly, any big organization needs some money for administration costs. It takes money to mobilize volunteers and get work done. I can honestly say though that the team of 20 volunteers I worked with yesterday did 10,000$ worth of work in 6 hours. That's huge.
Valuable, fun experience to understand your cash donation or christmas shoebox is benefiting a child and their holiday. Equipping them with gifts at Christams and making it a memorable experience.
Waisting resources? Could not have been more disappointed. I would caution anyone considering going on one of their missions trips to consider if their money and time could be better spent somewhere else. Maybe a group that is more accountable? We sent our young adult child on a trip that was meant to have both a medical and dental clinic as our child was preparing for medical school. NEITHER the medical clinic or the dental clinic WERE DONE on the two week trip. We did not find out until we could talk to our child when the group returned. No one told us and no one addressed it after the return. The group were just told they "didn't have a doctor" once they were down there like it was not big deal. They never so much as SAW a clinic. I wonder if this may happen frequently and unsuspecting volunteers miss out of contributing economically and physically in ways they had intended and raised funds for. The volunteers instead spent two weeks doing: some time at an orphanage and mostly distributing christmas boxes and playing with kids (often giving boys the girl boxes because they did not have the right amount of each gender) and they dug trenches by hand for two weeks (side note: daily pouring rain and mud). Prior to the trip, volunteers are encouraged to have their friends donate directly. The problem with this is that people unknowingly keep giving AFTER personal fundraising goals have been reached. I think this is done strategically by them and I believe it to be manipulative. We later found out our raised funds far exceeded the required funding for the medical and dental clinic trip (that WERE NOT EVEN DONE). We PERSONALLY raised more than the allotted funds and we had no say on where the additional hundreds and hundreds of dollars were to go. The youth raised enough for a medical and dental clinic. Neither were done and the money they raised for the clinic was of course not reimbursed or applied to them doing a clinic in the future. There were a few pre-med students on this trip anticipating to pay for incoming university and instead they invested in THIS GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT. There is no way the $3500+ that each person was asked to donate could be used up on only group reduced air fair and sleeping in a continually rained-out tent. Plus, like I said earlier, we raised quite a bit more than the minimum. WOuld not recommend.
Donor Ministries 05/29/2012
Dear personwhojourneys, Thanks for your family's commitment to doing the work of God in the world. We regret the disappointments encountered and would welcome the opportunity to review the matter to see where things broke down and to improve future planning and communication. If you would, please, contact me directly at 828-278-1396. Steve Nickel, Director of Donor Services, Samaritan's Purse
I an currently a Year Round Volunteer with Samaritan's Purse/Operation Christmas Child. During the past two years as shoe box gift packer, Project Leader for our church, Drop Off Location organizer and now Area Coordinator for Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills, AZ, I can honestly say I have been behind the scenes of this organization. They not only care about the children who receive the shoe box, but they also care about the volunteers and the people who pack the shoe boxes on "this side of the box". I only have good words and praise to say about this organization and before you make your comments based on the $$ amount paid to Franklin Graham, perhaps you should take a better look as to how they are accounting VERY CLOSELY all the monies and gifts that come in for needy children around the world. Thank you Samaritan's Purse/Operation Christmas Child for blessing me with the opportunity and privilege to work along side a well run organization!!
I volunteered in New Orleans after Katrina and also in Haiti for cholera treatment volunteering as an RN and every time I have been nothing but highly impressed with the quality of their work, their supplies, and the effort they make to maintain the safety of the volunteers. There was no fancy accommodation, basic needs were met, but they were all genuine people of God, with a big job to do and they did it with great enthusiasm and without judgement