Rotary Opens Opportunities with Shelter Box
Last weeks meeting featured a presentation by our own Donna Gulley. A true Rotarian, Donna is committed to supporting fund-raising goals for all our initiatives. But one initiative, that is clearly close to her heart, is Shelter Box. Her passion about this project is contagious! She shared key points about its importance with the club.
 
Shelter Box’s impact is vast: serving over 100 countries; responding to more than 300 disasters and sheltering over 1.5 million people (this is about the population of San Diego, CA).  The purpose and mission of Shelter Box is to provide emergency shelter to families who have lost their home to disaster, enabling them to rebuild their lives in hard to reach communities’ – in places often overlooked.
 
But we have seen Shelter Boxes distributed in USA disasters as well.  “Hurricane Harvey was a Cat 4 hurricane when it first landed in northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas on Aug. 25th, 2017. Sustaining winds up to almost 130 mph, Harvey made land fall three separate times dropping a staggering 27 trillion gallons of water 2 in the Houston area. Heavy rains resulted in a storm surge in coastal areas and produced catastrophic flash and river flooding downstream. With it, nearly 200,000 homes were destroyed or damaged while area shelters swelled to 43,000 people. An estimated 13 million people were affected by the storm. Causing an estimated $125 billion in damage, Hurricane Harvey is the second costliest storm in US history. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, residents needed food, water, and shelter to care for their basic needs to survive. In the long-term, residents needed support in rebuilding their homes and their lives. Thank you for supporting ShelterBox in our efforts to hand-deliver emergency shelter for children, women, and men devastated by Hurricane Harvey.”
 
When Hurricane Harvey happened, Donna jumped into action to secure additional donations for this effort.
 
Shelter Box helps people rebuild their lives after disasters. Chief Sonjeka, from Mulanje, Malawi shared this, “When I received a shelter kit, it gave me the courage to start rebuilding my house because I knew I had the materials I needed for the roof.” 
 
Perhaps you don’t know much about Malawi - other than the singer Madonna having adopted four children from there. But it’s closer to home than you think– the recently unseated President of Malawi’s daughter is a Northbrook resident!  This is the beauty of our Rotary partnership – we have literally helped a “neighbors” community half a world away!  Rotary opens opportunities.
 
Shelter Box is a ‘project partner with Rotary International, a global community of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers. Their aim is to create positive, lasting change in communities at home and all over the world.  By working together with Rotarywe are able to collaborate and combine resources to ensure that we can support more communities in desperate need of shelter after disaster.  Rotarians and Rotary groups across the world support us in a variety of ways, from raising funds and awareness to providing support on the ground during our response to a disaster. This enables us to work more effectively and reach more communities around the world.’ Reach out to Donna Gulley to get more details or to help with the Shelter Box program.