Feb 01, 2010 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
When disaster hit Haiti three weeks ago, Baldwinsville Rotarians felt a duty to help our Caribbean neighbors. Through Shelterbox USA, the service organization has provided shelter, supplies and tools for approximately 20 people.
“[Shelterboxes are] a great way to help in disaster situations,” said Ann Smiley, president of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club. “We had considered funds for food, water and more, but this is where the immediate assistance was going and we thought that the shelter boxes were a long term way for us to help.”
At a cost of $1,000 each, a single Shelterbox can provide a 10-person family with shelter, tools, supplies and water for up to three months. In December, the Rotary Club decided to donate a single Shelterbox, waiting to send the money until after the holidays. After the earthquake in Haiti, the club raised more money to donate a second with both Shelterboxes being designated for Haiti.
“When many of us feel so helpless during these difficult times, in some small way we know this is a help,” Smiley said, adding the club donated a Shelterbox after Hurricane Katrina in 2006. “One of our missions as Rotarians is to assist in many areas of health, poverty, hunger and education both locally and internationally. As Shelterbox USA is a Rotary based organization, this is a perfect fit for us.”
About Shelterbox USA
Sponsored by service clubs, school and church groups, businesses and individuals, materials for Shelterboxes are ordered from a range of suppliers. Materials are selected for general use, long-life, quality and price. Shelterboxes are prepared and packed using all new materials as delivered from manufacturers at the Shelterbox warehouse based in Helston, Cornwall. The standard Shelterbox weighs 110 lbs. and each is sealed for transit and security. Box contents vary depending on the nature of the disaster requiring their use and have been used by Indian Ocean Tsunami victims, Hurricane Katrina victims, refugees in Africa and many other areas across the world.
The Baldwinsville Rotary Club sent their contribution directly to Shelterbox USA and requested the shelters be sent to Haiti. For more information regarding Shelterbox USA or to make a donation to help surviving victims of the earthquake in Haiti, visit shelterboxusa.org.
“We as Rotarians have made our own personal contributions, some through Rotary, some through shelter box, some through the Red Cross and more,” Smiley said. “I think that if people are able, they should find an area to donate through that they are comfortable with.”
For more information regarding the Baldwinsville Rotary Club, visit rotarydistrict7150.org/Baldwinsville.
Contents of a Shelterbox
A 49-gallon container, can be used as water tank, food storage, etc., after delivery.
A 10-person tent including two privacy partitions, outer fly-sheet and repair kit. Tents are considered ‘winter suitable.’
Vinyl insulated sleeping mats and lightweight thermal blankets. Blanket can also catch water, be used as a tarp, etc.
One pack of 180 water purification tablets or a water purification kit; and one 5-gallon flat-pack water container (Each tablet purifies 10 gallons of water providing drinking water for 10 people for up to three months).
Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.
One collapsible trenching shovel
164 feet of rope
Repellant-treated mosquito netting
10 PVC Ponchos/10 HD plastic bags
Tool kit in canvas bag (includes hatchet, jack-knife, screwdriver, hammer, hoe head, etc.)
Multi-fueled cook stove
Eating utensils: enamel plates/cups
Children’s activity kit (simple school supplies, stickers and coloring book)