Our program featured Saucon Rotarian Linda Mayger who is the new ShelterBox Ambassador for District 7430. Immediate disaster relief has been historically problematic for Rotary. Most of our efforts are long-term and take a while to develop. We have always been known as the ones who are there after the cameras are gone. Rotary found a solution to that problem in 2012 when they formed a partnership with ShelterBox; a partner that has Rotary roots.
ShelterBox began in 2000 as a millennium project of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall. Thanks in part to the Rotary partnership, this international movement has provided over 140,000 family tents and 390,000 ShelterKits. Right now, more than 88 million people around the world have been made homeless by natural disaster and conflict. The people at ShelterBox are working to change this. They don’t believe that one size fits all. They work hard to understand the impact of each emergency and the need this creates within individual communities.
They provide five different tents to families affected by disaster, depending on the context and the individual needs. Made to withstand severe conditions, these shelters see roaring winds, beating heat, and freezing circumstances. They are made of well-proven, durable humanitarian tarpaulin to help make families feel safe and protected from the weather. The tent is well insulated to keep families cool in hot climates. The tents have the power to transform lives. They’re more than just canvas and pegs - they can become a home. A place where family and friends come together. An anchor in your community.
The tents adapt and change over time. New Boxes are equipped with sanitizing and hand-washing components to help mitigate the Covidl9 spread. ShelterBox is currently active in many places including Tanzania, The Philippines, Nigeria, Vanuatu, and Cameroon. Their longest running response has been in Syria where millions have been displaced. The organization has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 and 2019.
Easton Rotary has been a steadfast supporter of ShelterBox and achieved “Silver Supporter” status last year for our $3,000 donation. Our District was the number 1 contributing District in the United States in 2019-20. Each full ShelterBox costs $1,000 but smaller donations are always welcome. There is even a ShelterBox Book Club that generates donations.