GREENSBORO, NC -- North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse is bringing much-needed relief to Haiti, after Hurricane Matthew pummeled the impoverished country this week.
Thursday morning, Samaritan's Purse staff loaded a jet with 20 tons of supplies and departed from its offices at Piedmont Triad International Airport around 9 a.m. The plan is for the plane to return to PTI Thursday night, reload another 20 tons of supplies and head back down to Haiti Friday. Those supplies include tarps, blankets and hygiene products.
More than a dozen staff members and volunteers are staying down in Haiti to provide immediate assistance to families. They plan to sleep wherever they can find shelter.
As of Thursday morning, the death toll was at least 23 people. But, emergency crews haven't been able to reach some of the hardest-hit areas.
"it’s very rural. A lot of the supplies have been cut off, so these supplies are going to the central international airport, and we’ll move things down there by helicopters, or if roads reopen, we’ll put the on trucks and get them there as fast as we can," said Samaritan's Purse deputy director of international projects Christopher Toews.
Samaritan's Purse has close ties to Haiti and does missionary work there year-round. The organization assisted with relief efforts after the 2010 earthquake, from which Haiti still hasn't fully recovered.
"It’s hard to see a country like Haiti go through something like this again," Toews said.
To make a donation to Samaritan's Purse or to volunteer, visit the organization's website here.