With 26,000 children around the world dying every day from hunger, and thousands more from water borne illness, arguments about organic vs industrial and grass fed vs corn fed, tend to fade into the background. While those subjects matter in the big picture, there are life and death struggles going on in the now.
It is into this heart wrenching reality, that Samaritan’s Purse, from Boone, NC, has chosen to carry the fight. These heroes step into the void and quite literally are rescuing the perishing.
Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian Organization headed by a team of Faith filled directors and laborers, with Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist, Billy Graham, serving as President and CEO.
Many Americans know them best for their seasonal “Operation Christmas Child” drive, where they give Christmas boxes to tens of thousands of poor, orphaned and neglected children around the globe.
The service doesn’t end there, however. Far from it. Operation Christmas Child is only the surface of the many ways Samaritan’s Purse touches the most needy. They have a disaster relief arm, taking food, supplies and medical care to locations hit by a variety of natural disasters. Samaritan’s purse has a whole range of economic development programs, including many that are agriculture related.
Among my favorites, are the small livestock and sustainable gardening initiatives. Samaritan’s Purse employees and volunteers train families and individuals in small animal husbandry, like dairy goats or poultry, so that they are able to raise animals to feed themselves and build a small business selling milk, cheese, eggs and such. You can even go online and donate to animal specific projects. My wife and I have donated many goats, rabbits and chickens through our giving. Yes, we believe in Samaritan’s Purse enough to invest.
They train communities in sustainable gardening practices, too, so that those people groups can continue to feed themselves long after Samaritan’s Purse workers have left the region.
Brittan and I are very attached to the clean water projects in the Samaritan’s Purse portfolio. We have donated wells, water filters and more. As one who has had Giardia three times in my life, I understand the importance and value of access to clean water.
Before I finish, I would be remiss if I did not point out the Faith Based programs they manage, as well. Going well beyond campaigns and crusades, Samaritan’s Purse is involved in Church Planting and Evangelist training. These projects are dear to my heart and I have loved being able to partner in some of them.
I’ve only scratched the surface of all that Samaritan’s Purse does, but I think I’ve highlighted enough for you to understand why I consider these fellow Southerners as Heroes of the Good Food movement. Check out their website to learn more. And stay tuned, we’ll have more heroes next week.