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Monday 21 June 2010

Rotary International Convention and ShelterBox
Rotary International Convention and ShelterBox

The 101st Rotary International Convention is taking place in Montreal, Canada this week and ShelterBox representatives from around the world are on hand to help spread the word about the charity and the work it does.

As ShelterBox has grown, so has its supporters. As well as the general public, ShelterBox now receives incredible support from schools, Scouts and businesses. However, the global support from the Rotary network is the cornerstone which ShelterBox is built on.

Rotary has been instrumental in the growth of ShelterBox, as Tom Henderson, ShelterBox Founder and CEO, notes: ‘Without our Rotary friends around the world, none of this would be possible. 1.2 million Rotarians, 32,000 clubs in 200 countries, there’s no doubt about it, Rotary is the cement that binds ShelterBox together. Without this support, we couldn’t do what we do.’

In ten years ShelterBox has grown from one club’s adopted project to the largest Rotary Club project in the 100 year history of the organisation. The Rotary Roundel now appears on every ShelterBox, on every ShelterBox tent, on the items within the box and on all the clothing worn by ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members.

Since ShelterBox was launched more than 5,000 clubs worldwide have supported ShelterBox. This support comes in many different forms. The fundraising efforts by Rotarians make up the largest proportion of donations received by ShelterBox. Alongside this, Rotary Clubs provide invaluable logistical support to ShelterBox’s operations.

Service above self

Rotarians will often be the people who ensure ShelterBoxes can be delivered into a country, acting as consignees for the aid. These essential acts mean ShelterBox can deliver aid to people in need as quickly as possible. More often than not, it will be Rotarians who are the first point of contact for the SRT members when they arrive in a country that has been devastated by a disaster.

The global Rotary network has been key in ShelterBox’s international growth. The charity now has affiliate offices in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. There are many more countries who are going through the process of setting up affiliate offices in their countries including Sweden, Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal.

At present, ShelterBox’s affiliates have all been set up by Rotarians or Rotaracters and the growth has been phenomenal.

Lasse Petersen, ShelterBox General Manager, added: ‘Increasingly, what we’re seeing is just how true the global Rotary club project designation is. Not only in the worldwide nature of our disaster relief efforts but also in the growth of the organisation.

‘Rotarians around the world are now engaging with ShelterBox on an unprecedented scale. The benefits to ShelterBox and, in turn, to Rotary, are enormous. We receive incredible support from Rotary and, equally, ShelterBox is acting as a catalyst in encouraging more people around the world to become involved with their local club.

‘The relationship between ShelterBox and Rotary is beyond value. We sincerely hope that it will continue to grow, continue to strengthen and that, together, we can continue to make the difference to thousands of peoples’ lives.’

The below video is from Rotary International. Watch out for ShelterBox at the end...

       

RI Convention opens from Rotary International on Vimeo.

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