Samaritan’s Purse, the Boone-based Christian aid organization headed by Franklin Graham, airlifted 90 tons of supplies from Charlotte on Monday, bound for Iraqi and Syrian refugees fleeing Islamic State militants.
The supplies included winter coats, blankets, socks, sleeping bags and materials for shelters. With temperatures falling in northern Iraq, where the aid is headed, Graham said refugees need help urgently.
The rapid advance of Islamic State fighters, also known as ISIS, has displaced thousands of Iraqis and Syrians fleeing the violence.
“We are trying to do what we can to get ahead of the winter that will be coming in just a few months,” said Graham, speaking at Charlotte Douglas International Airport while crews loaded a Kalitta Air Boeing 747 cargo plane with the supplies.
“It will be cold, and when I say cold, I mean getting down into the 20s with no heat,” Graham said. “Many of these refugees, when they fled, were only able to flee with the clothes on their back, and they were not prepared for this winter.” Ely Portillo and Mark Hames