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ShelterBox and Rotary International
Category: Service Projects | By RotaryGlobal, 1-Nov-2010 | Viewed 8622  Comments 0
ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide.

Each box supplies families 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.

ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

Starting as the brainchild of one Rotarian with the support of his Rotary club in year 2000 ShelterBox has grown to become the largest Rotary Club project in the 100 year history of the organisation.
ShelterBox and Rotary International

ShelterBox works closely with the Rotary club, and has grown to become the largest Rotary Club project in the world, with affiliates in eight countries as of August, 2009. Rotarian support currently contributes an estimated 50% of the organization's donations. Around 5,000 clubs worldwide have supported ShelterBox since it was launched. Recognising this worldwide support from the Rotary community, ShelterBox was designated as a Global Rotary Club Project in 2009.

History of Shelter Box

ShelterBox was founded by Tom Henderson, OBE, a Rotarian and former Royal Navy search and rescue diver, in the Cornish town of Helston. He believed that traditional first aid response, which concentrates on food and medicine, helped people survive the immediate aftermath of disasters but did not help them rebuild afterward. He formed Shelterbox with the intention of filling in this gap.

103_186289628_4.jpgThe first consignment of 143 boxes was sent to earthquake victims of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. Over the next three years the project matured and by the end of 2004 nearly 2,600 boxes had been dispatched, following 16 major disasters. The company significantly expanded its work in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
As of 2009, Shelterbox had provided help to more than one million people.

In 2010, the Australian and Canadian branch of Shelterbox split from the main organization and formed new organization called Disaster Aid Australia and Disaster Aid Canada, respectively. However, new teams in Australia and Canada were immediately put in place and the charity's work was unaffected by the breakaway groups

I can't help but think that the LifeStraw or Michael Pritchard's LifeSaver bottle wouldn't be an excellent addition to the ShelterBox. As Mr. Pritchard pointed out in his talk, it could mean the difference between a town of tents (where diseases spread) and the beginning of a rebuilding effort on or close to former homes. See: http://www.rotaryglobal.net/p/blogview.asp?bid=82
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