Thermal Belt Rotary, Landrum High Interact team up to provide critical items for disaster relief

Published 4:13 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who is ShelterBox? Who do you help? What&squo;s in a Shelter Box? Ask any Interact Club member at Landrum High School these questions and they can give you the answers.

This group of high school service club members has helped raise $1000 to purchase a Shelter Box. According to Rotarian Ann Crandall, on any given day, more than 12 million people lack adequate shelter; a shelter box provides for shelter and more.

Floods, hurricanes, wars, and earthquakes leave multitudes displaced and homeless every day. The traditional focus is on immediate needs. Local and international relief organizations react with initial aid of food, medicine and short-term shelter to relieve suffering and hardship. However, the need for shelter goes on ‐ often for months. Displaced and vulnerable people often have needs that persist long afer the relief agencies have gone.

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Tents, sleeping bags and clean water are invaluable while the local infrastructure is being restored until people are better equipped to cope. Recovery from disaster begins and continues with adequate shelter. An adequate place to sleep and live not only offers displaced people immediate protection from elements ‐ it represents a small step towards normal life.

Each Shelter Box contains critical shelter and warmth for up to 10 people. Boxes are packed disaster-specific and contain high quality, new items which remain the property of the recipients. The box itself is often recycled in use. Each Shelter Box goes immediately and directly to the people who need it most‐where need is not always defined by national boundaries.

ShelterBox response teams (Rotary Club members from around the world) partner with local organizations to help ensure that critical shelter arrives for victims in any geographic area, wherever it is, and when people need it most.

Shelter boxes contain thermal blankets, insulated ground sheets and sleeping bags; waterproof ponchos; multi-fuel stoves that can burn anything; cooking pans, bowls and mugs, collapsible water containers and water purification tablets; basic tool kits and small children&squo;s packs containing drawing books and crayons.

The unique ShelterBox concept was thought up and developed by ex-Royal Navy search-and-rescue diver Tom Henderson of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, England. ShelterBox is a service project of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard England. ShelterBox is funded entirely by donations from all over the world.

When the Interact students of Landrum High School saw a program on ShelterBox they knew this was their chance to make a difference in the world. Every ShelterBox is individually numbered and donors are advised of the ID number. The final destination of each box can be tracked via the web site:

If you are interested in this project ask an Interact Member how you can help.

‐ article submitted