ShelterBox donations on Tuesday get 100% match

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ShelterBox volunteers set up this emergency village in Peru after landslides.

Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo, but it also is “Giving Tuesday” for many charity and public service groups around the world.

One of the participating organizations is ShelterBox, which will match 100% of dollars donated by individuals and groups. up to $20,000. So, any donations you make will have a double impact on that day only. And, 100% of what you donate is tax deductible.

As the Rotary-affiliated organization says in a news release: “ShelterBox is a charity that delivers practical emergency aid to families who have lost everything because of natural disaster or conflict. We aim to provide safe shelter as quickly as possible, and the tools that will help communities to rebuild.

“Our global network of supporters, staff and volunteers make it possible to deliver aid to some of the most remote communities in the world. Most recently, we’ve been delivering tents, mosquito nets and water filters to Indonesia, in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami at the beginning of October.

” ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a moment of conscience and celebration that brings fundraisers together. ShelterBox is a very family-focused organization, so we love the idea of becoming part of a global tribe of charities, all visibly working together on the same day.”

SRC traditionally is a strong financial supporter of ShelterBox. So, if you would like to help maintain that practice at any level of donation, just do it on Tuesday by going to the ShelterBox website and clicking on “DONATE” in the upper right corner.

ShelterBox’s rating by Charity Navigator, an organization that analyzes the trustworthiness of charitable organizations:

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How are we doing with our Clynk project?

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ShelterBox to the rescue.

At just a nickel or so per container, it takes what seems a loooong while to accumulate sizeable dollar amounts for our ongoing ShelterBox financial support project. But, that doesn’t mean we’re not making progress. We are, slowly but steadily.

SRC already has raised more than $400 from collecting reclaimed deposits on glass, plastic, and aluminum beverage containers this year, plus $2,050 in member-and-friend pledges collected by our ShelterBox coordinator, Bill Dowd. And, for every package of free market coffee sold by Phil Kellerman during the holidays, we get another $5.

Pennies make dollars, and the citizens of the world who are victims of natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, civil war, and the like are helped by SRC’s support of ShelterBox’s international aid efforts.

If you can help with any dollar amount small or large, please let Bill known ASAP. And, thank you all for your generosity and humanity. Each cumulative $1,000 we raise pays for one ShelterBox that contains a tent housing up to 10 people — sometimes for several years each, water purification items, emergency tools, cooking equipment, first-aid kits, sleeping bags or cots, and other basic life-sustaining items.

For more information about ShelterBox, click here and be inspired.

Here’s where ShelterBox is providing ongoing aid

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ShelterBox’s continually shifting emergency aid operations continue as one disaster after another hits around the globe.

The organization not only arrives as a temporary help in areas hit by tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, and the like, it works in a number of areas on an ongoing basis. Here is the latest of its periodic reports on the latter:


Monsoon Flooding: Since July 7, heavy monsoon rains have triggered flooding in low lying areas of Bangladesh, leaving one-third of the country under water. Four distributions have been carried out, sheltering 745 families this year so far. ShelterBox has responded to Bangladesh five different times for flooding and/or displaced populations. We’ve sheltered more than 9,100 families here.


Conflict: ShelterBox has been responding to Syria since 2012. We’ve helped shelter more than 50,000 families, and we now are preparing winterized distributions.


Conflict: Millions of people have been forced to flee their homes because of violent conflicts and climate change. ShelterBox has responded to Ethiopia three times due to complex emergencies, sheltering more than 3,500 families.


Drought: Severe drought is devastating thousands of families in Somaliland. The drought has killed up to 80% of the region’s livestock, forcing families who rely on farming them to leave their homes in search of basic services and alternative livelihoods. ShelterBox has sheltered more than 4,000 families since 2017.

• LAKE CHAD BASIN (Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon)

Terrorism: The violent rise of the insurgent terrorist group Boko Haram began in Nigeria in 2009.  Since then, 2.4 million families have fled their homes.  ShelterBox has sheltered more than 11,000 families since 2015.

ShelterBox in action in Bahamas, elsewhere

Here’s the latest activity report from ShelterBox regarding Hurricane Dorian and the resulting confusion in the aftermath of such a devastating occurence, and other disasters around the globe.

“It’s looking increasingly likely that we will be supporting families in the Bahamas with aid such as tarpaulins and shelter kits.

T”he team still is working hard to clarify where the gaps are and understand who needs help, where those families are, and what kind of support is most needed. This includes traveling to the worst-affected areas and coordinating with other organizations.

“Understanding the number of people who need help and being sure about where they located is a complex task. With so many organizations working to help people in the Bahamas, damaged infrastructure and crowded ports, it is taking time to ensure that we make the right decisions and are able to help people in the best way possible for their future recovery.

“As well as a team in the Bahamas, we also are active right now in Bangladesh, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Syria, and across the Lake Chad Basin in Africa.

“While we are not accepting designated donations for Hurricane Dorian at this time, we are asking Clubs to support ShelterBox generally.  Contributions allow us to respond rapidly when disasters strike.”



How our Clynk recycling account works

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 2.09.50 PMSRC now has a registered account with Clynk, the recycling company that partners with Hannaford to handle glass, plastic, and aluminum drink containers.

All refunds from container deposit fees that are redeemed through this account will go to SRC as part of our ShelterBox support efforts. There is no charge to individual club members using the service.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1 — Place all containers on which you have paid a deposit in one of the Clynk bags provided by the club. (No other types of bags may be used.) No need to sort them.

Step 2 — Affix a barcode sticker to the bag where indicated.

Step 3 — Take the bag to a Hannaford supermarket container-return area, use the hand-held scanner there to read the barcode, and drop the bag in the space provided.

That’s it. It can’t get much simpler.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) :

Q: Where can I get the Clynk bags and barcode stickers for the SRC account?

A: Bill Dowd is our liaison with Clynk and will obtain them for club members. Initially, he will be distributing only a limited number of bags until we ascertain the level of participation by SRC members. Hopefully, he will have to quickly increase the number distributed if member participation is strong.

Q: I already have a Clynk account. Can I still use it but have my refunds go to SRC?

A: No. We initially thought that was possible, but Clynk now tells us that option is available only to high-volume major fundraising organizations, which we are not. Of course, you can simply stop using your own account and begin using the SRC account to participate in our fundraising effort. Just be sure you have the correct barcode sticker.

Q: Can I include non-deposit containers in what I drop off?

A: Yes, although of course there is no monetary benefit to SRC.

Q: Do containers have to be rinsed out and any screw tops removed?

A: No and no.

Q: Can I use any type of recycling bags?

A: No. Clynk accepts only its own, which are 100% recyclable.

Q: What happens if I forget to tag and scan a bag of containers?

A: Our account gets no money for that particular bag.

 Q: How long will this in initiative go on?

A: As long as Clynk and Hannaford offer the service.

ShelterBox responders active throughout Caribbean

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Rotarians from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands move ShelterBox equipment.

After winding along their destructive routes through the Caribbean, a series of devastating Category 5 hurricanes finally has relented. In their aftermath, flooding and destructive storm surges have laid waste to virtually every island.

While President Trump’s visit today to Puerto Rico is garnering virtually all the news media attention in the region because U.S. aid efforts are concentrated on PR and the American Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John), relief efforts quietly but effectively continue throughout the Caribbean.

According to ShelterBox officials, for example, hundreds of sets of tents and ShelterKits have been distributed from an operations base on Antigua to the islands of St. Kitts, St. Barts, Barbuda, Dominica, St. Martin, the Dominican Republic,  the British Virgin Islands, and elsewhere.

“We have a variety of aid in the Caribbean, so we can tailor our response to best support different communities,” ShelterBox says. “On some islands, there will be the natural resources available to quickly rebuild homes with the help of a ShelterKit. Elsewhere, our tents will be the best option, creating a warm, safe home while the long clean-up process takes place.

“But, it’s not just the Caribbean that has been affected by extreme weather. Torrential flooding in places like Bangladesh, and quakes, high winds and other natural disasters in various parts of Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, have left communities in urgent need of aid.

“Our teams are on the ground in both countries now, but the need is overwhelming. We’re impatient to respond wherever we’re needed in the world, but we need your help.”

Any members of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club who are interested in donating to ShelterBox’s general fund to support its disaster relief work is asked to contact Bill Dowd, the club’s ShelterBox Liaison Officer, for details on how to do so.


SRC tops $7,000 in special ShelterBox push for Hurricane Harvey victims

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SRC’s ShelterBox liaison Bill Dowd (left) presents a fistful of checks to 7190 ShelterBox coordinator Jack Faddegon.

The latest major donation to ShelterBox from the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club was hand-delivered today.

Assistant District Governor Jack Faddegon accepted  individual SRC members’ checks amounting to $7,050 from Bill Dowd, ShelterBox liaison officer. The amount far exceeded the original $5,000 goal set for the two-week push. All money will go to ShelterBox’s special “Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund” to aid victims in Texas and Louisiana.

SRC has been honored several times at the national and local levels for its support of the ShelterBox emergency relief program. Last year, it was awarded the first District 7190 ShelterBox “Hero” pennant. This latest donation is separate from an annual SRC donation to the ShelterBox general treasury, which will be made later in the Rotary Year.

“Your club is just incredible,” Faddegon said. “Year after year you keep helping, and it is so appreciated.”

Faddegon said he has visited several clubs in his ShelterBox capacity, and he projects total contributions from throughout District 7190 may hit $20,000.

For details on the ShelterBox program, click here,


What ShelterBox is doing in the hurricane-ravaged Carribean

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A once-prosperous street in the business neighborhood of St. Maarten.

We have four ShelterBox Response Teams planning and overseeing relief activities in the Caribbean.

Our team based in Panama has moved to then island of Barbados to work in the coordination hub there (which includes organizations like DHL Disaster Response Team, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency). We will establish a ShelterBox hub on Barbados to work on the complex logistics of getting aid to the families who desperately need it.

A second team is working with Red Cross National Societies to start distributing the 500 ShelterKits from Panama. Location will be confirmed following completion of a needs assessment.

A third team is going to the Dominican Republic, and we’re hoping to provide another 500 ShelterKits from the Panama supply hub, along with training on how to use them, through partnering with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat oversees recovery efforts beyond this emergency phase, so that should ensure maximum benefit for the families we are helping.
A fourth left the U.S. this week to go to the British Virgin Islands to conduct needs assessments. Aid, including tents and ShelterBoxes, was packed in the United Kingdom, where ShelterBox originated, and are being shipped this week with the assistance of the airline Virgin Atlantic who stepped in to help with logistics.

Why does it take so long to get aid in?

As a charity, our resources are limited and we must go where the need is greatest. We have to take the time to get this right because giving the wrong aid to families could harm their recovery. Once they have received aid from one humanitarian agency they are unlikely to be a priority to receive any more, so it is essential to get it right.

There are a huge number of factors that the team has to deal with. All infrastructure has broken down, which means government processes have broken down, too; ports and airports are damaged, so we need to find other routes, and we need to be able to work with people on the ground to distribute once we are there. Experience has taught us that making informed decisions means we get the right aid to families sooner.


ebay effort to help our ShelterBox relief drive

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 9.55.37 PMSRC is in the midst of raising funds beyond our usual annual pledge for a special donation to ShelterBox to aid victims of domestic hurricane damage.

While we no doubt shortly will be called upon to help Floridians and Caribbean dwellers once we see what damage Hurricane Irma causes when it hits the mainland this weekend, right now we’re working to support ShelterBox’s “Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.”

That special initiative will funnel 100% of special donations directly to the areas of Texas and Louisiana that remain inundated and just beginning then years-long process of rebuilding. SRC members already have donated $3,600, and we’ll be asking for additional individual pledges of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 — or whatever you can afford — by next Thursday’s dinner meeting. Bill Dowd, our club’s ShelterBox liaison  officer, is coordinating that push, so please see him if you have questions about how to make out your checks.

Meanwhile, SRC member Phil Kellerman has offered to use his ebay business to help raise funds for emergency aid to ShelterBox. Here he explains that effort:

“For over 10 years, I have been a serious seller of mostly political and historical memorabilia on ebay.  As a result , I have raised funds for charities including the Oley Foundation at Albany Med via proceeds from the sales of donated material.

“I would like do the same for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund our club is working to support.

“What am I looking for?  Almost anything that sells on ebay but in particular, historical and political memorabilia, antiques, rarer dolls, comics, jewelry, watches, unique records, older toys, movie posters, sports cards.

“For more information please contact me at or call 352-262-5421.”