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Samaritan's Purse sends teams to Europe to help with Ukraine crisis

The Christian relief organization is sending disaster response specialists to Poland and Romania amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

BOONE, N.C. — Samaritan's Purse, the Christian relief organization based in Boone, is sending disaster response specialists to Poland and Romania to help with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

On Thursday, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine including air raids of cities and military bases.

The disaster response specialists determine how the organization can help as a result of the invasion. According to Samaritan's Purse, each team has a medical staff member who works to identify any health needs that may be unable to be met by the local healthcare system.

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“Samaritan’s Purse has been closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine for weeks,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, in news release. “We have deployed members of our Disaster Assistance Response Team to surrounding countries and are standing ready to help meet emergency needs resulting from the crisis. Please join me in praying for the people of Ukraine and for this conflict to end quickly.”

The organization said it will be working with more than 3,000 churches across Ukraine.

"We have thousands of churches in Poland, Ukraine and Romania that we work with (for) Operation Christmas Child and those (are) the churches that we'll network with and go in and support as these evacuees and refugees are coming out," said Edward Graham, the vice-president of operations for Samaritan's Purse.

Graham said they have the Samaritan's Place plane on standby in Greensboro, ready to go if needed. 

"We have an emergency field hospital that we can set up anywhere in the world within about 36 hours' notice," Graham said. We have doctors and nurses and specialists on reserve, on-call that can go with us."

According to Graham, the organization has helped during many different conflicts and crises. 

"We do all of this because we want to love our neighbors and those that are hurting and we do it in the name of Jesus Christ and we want them to know that Jesus loves them and even during this time of great loss and destruction," Edward Graham said.

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