North Creek Rotary lends a hand to Haiti

NORTH CREEK - The North Creek Rotary Club, representing Rotary International, has joined with ShelterBox USA to aid Haiti victims.

ShelterBox is an international organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid in the form of shelter, warmth and comfort to people displaced by natural and other disasters. They send actual boxes designed to supply a family with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.

"Rotary Clubs have supported this effort for nearly 10 years," said Carl von Czoernig, president of the North Creek Rotary Club. "Each shelter box would help a family of up to 10 people."

ShelterBox is the only international disaster relief organization that provides shelter and lifesaving equipment and has responded to more than 100 disasters in more than 60 countries to date. It celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Boxes are assembled as a result of donations through individual gifts, foundations, and Rotary Club fundraisers. More than 85 percent of each dollar raised goes directly to services.

It is support from small organizations like the North Creek Rotary Club that allow ShelterBox to reach those in need.

"The need in Haiti is huge," said ShelterBox founder and CEO Tom Henderson. "Current estimates are that there are over a million people who have lost their homes. We continue to rely on the support of volunteers and donors to allow us to help them in the days and weeks to come."

ShelterBox has established three separate operational centers in and around Haiti to help distribute assistance to the estimated one million people left homeless by the earthquake on Jan. 12.

"This is the largest, quickest and most complex deployment in our history," said ShelterBox head of operations, John Leach. "We are now very well organized across four countries to get ShelterBoxes to the people of Haiti quickly. We will channel aid to those in need efficiently and effectively in the days and weeks to come."

ShelterBox prides itself in being a grassroots Rotary club project, which has successfully grown to the international level. To get involved with the efforts of the North Creek Rotary Club, visit www.ShelterBoxUSA.org.

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