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Thursday 23 February 2012

ShelterBox Canada Celebrates International Rotary Day
ShelterBox Canada Celebrates International Rotary Day

‘Service above Self’ with ShelterBox

ShelterBox began in 2000 as one UK Rotary club’s adopted project and soon gained the support of Rotary clubs worldwide. They have been key in the charity’s international growth as many set up some of ShelterBox’s affiliates. ShelterBox would like to use International Rotary Day today to thank them and reflect how its global Rotary community has been helping the charity.

Rotary clubs across the world have supported ShelterBox in countless different ways, one being their fundraising efforts that make up a significant proportion of donations received by the charity.

Slave Lake Support

During the East Africa appeal to support families facing drought, famine and conflict, ShelterBox Canada received immense Rotary support, including a very special donation from the Rotary Club of Slave Lake.

Slave Lake, Alberta was devastated by forest fires in the summer of 2011, with nearly one third of the city destroyed by the fire and 95% of the city evacuated. The community faced their own circumstances of displacement leaving many families without permanent homes for up to two years. Gloria Le Forte, President of the Rotary Club of Slave Lake, was one of those who lost her home in the blaze.

Amidst local challenges and moved by the collective support to help rebuild the fire ravaged community,  Gloria and the Rotary Club of Slave Lake raised $5000 for the relief efforts in East Africa, firmly demonstrating the commitment of service over self.

Youth in Action

The ShelterBox Rotary Youth Exchange Challenge provides an opportunity for youth to leave their mark and give back to local and international communities.

This February, a group of Rotary Youth Exchange students in Calgary led a highly successful event to raise funds and raise awareness about ShelterBox Canada.  

Registration took place in a ShelterBox tent, allowing guests to experience first-hand where their donor dollars go.  With 190 guests, the students hosted a dinner as well as provided entertainment and desserts from their home countries. These Rotary Youth Exchange students have raised close to $18,000 for ShelterBox Canada which will help to sponsor ShelterBoxes for families in need.

Rotarians in Hawaii

Following the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March last year displacing hundreds of thousands of people, Rotarians in Hawaii worked with ShelterBox USA and ShelterBox International to raise awareness and money for ShelterBox.

Ann Goody, a Rotarian and ShelterBox supporter, contacted her Rotarian friends asking them to help fundraise for ShelterBox after the disaster struck Japan. Three Rotary clubs of Kona in Hawaii responded to Ann and they all set up the ‘Kona Aloha for Japan Project’. In just three days they raised over US$40,000 and overall more than US$65,000.
Some displaced families in Japan also contacted Anne through her Rotarian friends and indicated a need for emergency shelter to help 300 people in Minami Sanriku, a town on Japan’s north east coast that was 95 percent destroyed after the disaster. Anne informed ShelterBox Operations who contacted a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) already on the ground in Japan. They headed to the coastal town to assess the need for emergency aid and found a need there. Consequently, thirty ShelterBoxes were distributed bringing shelter, warmth and dignity to hundreds of people.

With thanks to Rotarians worldwide

There are many examples of how Rotarians also provide invaluable logistical support on ShelterBox’s deployments, helping bring hope to families made homeless by disasters around the world.

Rotarians helped ShelterBox Response Teams set up ShelterBox camps on its latest deployment in the Philippines, following floods and mudslides that began in December.

‘Since day one of the deployment Rotarians from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan have been vital to our work in the field,’ said ShelterBox Response Team volunteer Abner Tayco (PH). ‘They have provided much needed logistical support like transport, storage facilities for ShelterBoxes, manpower and security.’

ShelterBox would like to thank the global Rotary community for its continuous support that has been instrumental in the work that ShelterBox does around the world.

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