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ShelterBox – for families made homeless by disaster

When disaster strikes, aid is needed in many forms: water, food, medical supplies and temporary accommodation. Lives can be irrevocably turned upside down in the event of natural disasters or ongoing conflict, and this is where the ShelterBox initiative comes into its own. What goes into any specific shelter box is governed by the nature of the aid required, but essentially, they are large green boxes (that can double up as water tanks) filled with a tent, sleeping bags and all the necessary equipment to provide shelter and aid for up to ten people while they are displaced or homeless.

A significant proportion of funds raised by The Rotary Club of Ruthin go towards the purchase and distribution of shelter boxes for families made homeless by disaster.

Rotary has helped raise funds to mobilise thousands of shelter boxes over the years, enabling their rapid despatch to anywhere in the world at a moment's notice. These boxes are essential in that they not only provide urgently required shelter from the elements, but they provide hope, comfort, stability and a degree of dignity for their recipients.

Where did this all start?

The concept of a shelter box had its humble beginnings in Cornwall back in 2000, in a small town called Helston. That same year the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard adopted it as its millennium project. They could not have known what the ShelterBox initiative would become in the years that followed, or that it would become a Rotary Project Partner with affiliates all over the world.

Schools and industry alike are encouraged to become involved in buying shelter boxes, which are stored ready for when disaster strikes. Hundreds are always ready to be flown out at a moment's notice and it's a sad fact that they don't end up being stored for very long!

ShelterBox currently has deployments in areas of conflict such as Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan. There are deployments in Sudan and Pakistan as a result of widespread flooding, and more recently in the Phillippines, having suffered the merciless effects of Typhoon Haiyan.

Click here for information about the work of Shelter Box and how to get involved.