ShelterBox is the inspiration, and perspiration, of a Rotarian, Tom Henderson, a retired British Royal Navy search and rescue diver. Tom convinced his Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, UK to take on this project in 2000. During the 12 years plus of operations, ShelterBox volunteers have delivered over 125,000 Boxes to disasters around the world, serving more than 1 million people with shelter, warmth and dignity.
The project mission is to deliver humanitarian disaster relief, ShelterBoxes, anywhere in the world in response to natural or man-made disasters. Each Box is intended to serve up to 10 people for at least 12-18 months and typically includes a 10 person tent, thermal blankets or sleeping bags, water carrying and purification capabilities, a cook stove, cooking and eating utensils, basic tools to aid in recovery and rebuilding, and some basic materials to interest young children. The goal is to get Boxes, and a team of trained Response Team volunteers, to the site of the disaster within 48 hours of the event.
Calendar 2010 was a pivotal year for ShelterBox, delivering over 45,000 Boxes to 22 disasters in 17 countries. Two US-based Response Team members arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 14, 2010, following the earthquake that struck about 5 PM EST on January 12. Teams were in Haiti until November, having distributed over 28,000 Boxes to aid approximately 280,000 displaced persons. It costs $1,000 to sponsor a complete Box, including the cost of materials, warehousing and storage in Cornwall, transportation anywhere in the world, and the expenses incurred by the Response Team volunteers. Donations are tax-exempt and gifts of any amount are gratefully appreciated.
By way of background Mark Dyer, a ShelterBox Ambassador in the Chicago area and Response Team Member, lead the SB effort resulting in a formal working agreement with the national BSA leadership in 2010. As a result one of our first efforts at outreach with the Scouts involved a full display during the Jamboree in late July 2010. Today a major portion of the Young ShelterBox section on the main USA website, www.shelterboxusa.org, is focused on Scouts. This should provide information about how Scouts may become involved. Mark may be best positioned to work with Eagle Scout advisors.
You may get more information about this program at www.shelterboxusa.org where you can link to the Latest News to read reports from active and past deployments.
ShelterBox is available to work with any Scout group that might be interested in learning more about the organization. Please contact Wayne Chiles if you would like additional information: Wayne Chiles, firstname.lastname@example.org.