As Rotarians, we want to provide assistance to Haiti just as we did for the Tsunami, Katrina and numerous other natural disasters. Disaster relief teams are arriving daily, including many Rotarians.  Search and Rescue teams with rescue dogs from Canada and the United States are already hard at work searching for victims. 

Many have been rescued . . . others were not as lucky.   ShelterBox now has a team on the ground in Haiti with nearly 2000 ShelterBoxes scheduled to arrive shortly.  Windsor St. Clair has already sent $2000 to ShelterBox and plans are underway to send more.


This week club Past President Shelly Duben challenged the club to reach into their pockets and donate to ShelterBox.  After the dust settled at the end of the meeting over $2,200 had been raised, which will go directly to purchase two ShelterBoxes.  Additionally, she has issued the same challenged to the staff and schools of the Greater Essex County District School Board.


Many schools are actively raising funds to purchase ShelterBoxes. In the photograph, from Sandwich West Public School in LaSalle, Ontario, District 6400 Governor Nominee Michael Duben (left) Shelly Duben and Past President Ed Link erected a ShelterBox tent and discussed the vital role these boxes can play to assist displaced Haitians. By the end of the day, over $1100 was already raised at this school alone.

U.K. Rotarian Tom Henderson, with the support of his Rotary club in 2000 began ShelterBox, which has grown to become the largest Rotary Club project in the 100 year history of the organization. Rotarian support currently contributes an estimated 50% of ShelterBox donations. Around 5,000 rotary clubs worldwide have supported ShelterBox since it was launched.


Recognizing this worldwide support from the Rotary community, ShelterBox was designated as a Global Rotary Club Project in 2009. Henderson saw that the aid response to most disasters was in the form of food and medicine to help people survive the immediate aftermath. Little or no assistance was given in terms of proper shelter to help them through the first few days, weeks and months as they tried to rebuild their lives. ShelterBox was launched to fill that void. Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people 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.


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