I think most of us in the "developed" world forget sometimes how good we have it, focusing on what we want rather than what we are lucky to have. Shattering cataclysms like the Haitian quake can really drive this home when you see people who had very little be reduced to people who have nothing.
Recently, a friend clued me in to Shelter Box, a nonprofit org supplying shelters and supplies to people in desperate need. Every $1000 they get buys one "Shelter Box", containing the following:
• One ten-person tent, including two fabric interior privacy partitions, outer fly-sheet and repair kit. These tents are considered ‘winter suitable’ by international relief standards.
• One 49 gallon box (The ShelterBox) initially the container for delivery of the materials listed below. Once delivered, the box takes an all kinds of uses and can be used as a water tank, food store, table, even a cot.
• Vinyl insulated sleeping mats and lightweight thermal blankets. More compact than sleeping bags, these mats and blankets have multiple uses. The blanket can also be fashioned to catch water, as a tarp, while the mat also serves as a ground ‘table’ for meals, or tent rugs.
• One pack of 180 water purification tablets or a water purification kit; and one 5 gallon flat-pack water container (Each tablet will purify a full container of water providing 1,800 gallons of clean drinking water which should be sufficient for a family of ten for up to three months).
• Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.
• One collapsible trenching shovel
• Rope, 164 foot
• Repellant-treated mosquito netting
• Ten PVC Ponchos/ ten heavy duty plastic bags
• Tool kit in canvas bag: hachet, jack-knife, screwdriver, hammer, hoe head.
• Multi-fueled cook stove
• Eating utensils: plates and cups
• Children's activity kit-simple school supplies, stickers and coloring book.
A place to live and the means to provide some self-sufficiency amid devastation is a priceless thing.
In this day and age when people are afraid to give because so many so-called charities are skimming too much off the top for "administrative" purposes, it's refreshing to find a solid organization that takes a different tack.
Any size donation is acceptable and will help: http://www.shelterbox.org
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