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shelterboxWe in the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary Club help support the relief of suffering from natural and man-made disasters by financially supporting ShelterBox. The purpose of ShelterBox USA, Inc. is to provide victims of disaster with shelter, by supporting the efforts of the Shelter Box Trust.

ShelterBox is a grassroots Rotary club project, started in England, which has rapidly grown to an international level. Shelter Box’s mission is to deliver immediate relief to victims of natural and other disasters anywhere around the world. Disasters to which they have responded include earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, floods, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and typhoons, including the hurricane that struck New Orleans. They achieve their mission by providing rugged 10-person tents to be used as emergency accommodation and other survival essentials as required.

As of January 2008, ShelterBox has sent aid to over 40 different countries, providing shelter for approaching 500,000 people. Each ShelterBox is a large, rugged, green plastic container that holds a 10-person tent and a range of other equipment. In general, typical box contents could include:

  • Thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets
  • Waterproof ponchos and bin bags
  • A multi-fuel stove that can burn anything from diesel to old paint!
  • Cooking pans, utensils, bowls and mugs
  • Collapsible water containers and water purification tablets
  • A basic tool kit – hammer, axe, saw, pliers, hoe head, trenching shovel, rope etc
  • A small, children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons, pens etc.


However, a range of equipment is kept in stock. This allows ShelterBox to be flexible and adjust the contents of the box according to local conditions and what is most urgently needed. Sometimes, particularly if other resources are available locally and the overwhelming need is for shelter ? they will just send tents and pack two in each box.