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Samaritan’s Purse chooses Mickey to aid in disasters

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Samaritan’s Purse body by Mickey.

When disaster strikes, it’s always comforting – and sometimes lifesaving – to have a Good Samaritan nearby. Eighteen times last year Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization based in Boone, NC, was on the scene providing spiritual and physical aid to victims of various natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms and wildfires.

Samaritan’s Purse mobile disaster recovery teams and equipment are strategically placed at partner support churches throughout the nation so they can respond quickly and efficiently to natural disasters. “We want to reach the people who need help as quickly as possible and get them cleaned up, back on their feet and back into their homes,” says Luther Harrison, Vice President of Samaritan’s Purse North American Ministries.

Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm that devastated the Florida Panhandle last October, was the first time a Mickey van body was deployed by a Samaritan’s Purse disaster recovery team. The organization took delivery on 20 of the Mickey units last year and has 20 more in the pipeline. Before the Mickey units, Samaritan’s Purse rented vans from local dealers. “Now were deploying trucks with our own brand in full display and fully upfitted and equipped with the tools we need to get to work,” says Luther, singling out generators, tarps, chain saws, shovels as some of the necessities for disaster recovery efforts. “All of our spending is with donated funds, and the rentals were a significant amount of money. Rental companies don’t discount. Forrest worked with us in our competitive bidding process so that we could purchase our own bodies. Any of our volunteers who have their hands on one of our trucks know that they have, in some way, helped in the relief effort.”

[Forrest Howard is Mickey Truck Bodies’ Van Sales Account Manager. Samaritan’s Purse is required to solicit three bids prior to making a purchase.)

The Samaritan’s Purse 12-ft Mickey bodies are mounted on Ford Transit 350s with four tires on the rear axle, two on each side. The customer designed a special “walk-up” bumper that enables the volunteers to lift heavy items out of the back without having to lean over a conventional step bumper, Forrest explains. A synthetic floor with drain holes, custom-formed scuff liners and Kemply walls allow for the inside of the body to be easily cleaned following disaster recovery. The bodies are upfitted with undermount stainless toolboxes help to keep fuel and other combustible items separate.

“We’re looking forward to these trucks lasting a long time,” says Luther. “We’re happy to be working with Mickey – another North Carolina company. We know they’ll be close by if we need them.”

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