Samaritan's Purse leaves Albany after 50 days of service - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Samaritan's Purse leaves Albany after 50 days of service

Samaritan's Purse left Albany (Source: WALB) Samaritan's Purse left Albany (Source: WALB)
The non-profit had been clearing yards since the first storms (Source: WALB) The non-profit had been clearing yards since the first storms (Source: WALB)
Keeth Willingham (Source: WALB) Keeth Willingham (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The need was great, but the response greater.

Samaritan's Purse fulfilled 677 work orders in the past 50 days.

But as the requests for assistance slowed, program manager Keeth Willingham realized it was time to move on.

"At some point you draw a line and you pass on to your local church partners the remaining efforts," said Willingham.

In their bright orange shirts, they did the dirty work for countless families in need.

The Christian non-profit was one of the first to arrive in relief of the January 2nd tornadoes to help the community heal.

 "Maybe even find an ultimate healing that comes in the form of Jesus Christ," said Willingham. "We're a ministry, and our first and foremost goal is to minister."

Gone, but not forgotten. As the cars pass by the old Coke factory that Samaritan's purse temporarily ran it's headquarters out of, the countless families who benefited from their work will be reminded of the relentless efforts.

"People from the community brought their own equipment out," said Willingham. "They brought their own skid-steer, maybe a tractor with a bucket or a grapple. So they were able to move those large volumes of debris out to the roadside for the county or city to come and pick up."

Hundreds of trees were cut and removed, and roofs were tarped for temporary protection.

That's what the non-profit served as—a temporary fix. Now they are passing the work along to the long-term recovery committee.

"Where we've gone and put a tarp on the roof, they'll go and actually try to fix the structural issues." 

Samaritan's Purse officials say 1,082 volunteers helped out since the first storm, and people came from as far as Washington to lend a helping hand.

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