Rotary Club sponsored Shelter Boxes go to disasters

ALBANY -- Haiti. Chile. Peru. Wherever natural disaster strikes, Albany and Dougherty Rotary Clubs send aid through an international program.

The program, Shelter Box, is a way to offer aid to countries such as the ones above, which were stricken by earthquakes recently. Shelter Box offers a tent and other equipment designed to enable a family of 10 to survive for at least six months, a pamphlet stated.

"We have raised $85,000 for 85 Shelter Boxes in our district," said Phyl Strawbridge, the Rotary Club District 6900 Shelter Box representative at an Albany Rotary Club lunch Tuesday.

"We have sent 7,000 boxes to Haiti, 480 to Chile and 200 to Peru," Strawbridge said, "with more to go on the way."

The Web site rotarydistrict6900.org shows more than 40 clubs on the map, with Atlanta as a hub. Strawbridge couldn't say how much the two Dougherty County Rotary Clubs contributed to the Shelter Box program.

The program started in 2000 and has responded to more than 80 disasters including earthquakes, floods and hurricanes in more than 50 countries.

Included in a Shelter Box in addition to the 10-person tent are:

- Thermal blankets;

- Mosquito nets;

- A multi-fuel stove and cooking utensils;

- Water purification kits and containers;

- A basic tool kit;

- A children's activity kit and more.

More details are available at the Web site: shelterboxusa.org.