In the UK we are very fortunate, by and large. True, disasters occur, but in general
they are small-scale, affecting tens or hundreds of people rather than tens or hundreds
of thousands. Since the devastation of the second world war we have not had to face
the problem of finding immediate shelter for whole towns and cities. But we should
always remember that other parts of the world are not so lucky. The tsunami of 2004
killed a quarter of a million people, and rendered millions in urgent need of relief.
The tsunami was one of the biggest disasters in recorded history, but every month,
every week, smaller disasters occur around the world: fires, earthquakes, storms,
landslips; but here is one area where size does not matter. For each individual,
the loss of family members, house and possessions is the ultimate disaster. So although
the problems created by disasters can be on a global scale, the solutions are really
on an individual scale.
In 2000, one Rotarian in the Club of Helston-Lizard, in Cornwall, had the brainwave
of pre-packing emergency supplies in robust plastic boxes, and sending these as quickly
as possible to areas of greatest need. In the short time since then, the idea of
ShelterBoxes has become the largest Club project in Rotary’s 100 year history.
Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving
equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored
depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing
every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value.
The cost of a box is £595, including delivery direct to those who need it. Each box
bears its own unique number so as a donor you can track your box all the way to its
recipient country via the ShelterBox website
Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working
closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront
of international disaster relief providing shelter and dignity following over 80
disasters in more than 50 countries. So far, some 55,000 boxes have been despatched.
You, Too, Can Sponsor A ShelterBox!
Schools, Clubs, Offices, Churches, Individuals...
Southport Rotary Club members are proud to have contributed to ShelterBox’s relief
efforts world-wide, and we will continue to do so. But the need is great, and on-going.
There will always be a requirement for more boxes.
Sponsoring a box, or donating towards the cost of a box, is easy. ShelterBox has
its own website, with the latest information about deployment of boxes, together
with the opportunity to donate on-line, or you can contact Southport Rotary Club,
and we will channel your donation in the right direction. Click on the ShelterBox
above to go staight to the ShelterBox website, or use the scroll to the right to
contact us directly.
Keep up to date: read the latest news from ShelterBox in their news feed, seen on
the right. Each headline is a link to a page on the ShelterBox website - just click
to go there!