Newsletter of the Needham Rotary Club for September 21st, 2021
Our Speaker on Tuesday, September 21st: Bill Tobin, Rotary Relations Manager, ShelterBox (photo below).
ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and tools to families displaced by disasters and conflicts around the globe. Currently, there are 113 million displaced persons with about a third displaced by disasters and the balance by conflicts. ShelterBox is recognized in the humanitarian sector for its world-leading expertise in emergency shelter. Each ShelterBox contains a family sized tent to provide temporary shelter and a safe space to recover from physical and emotional trauma. Each ShelterKit provides the tools necessary to rebuild a more permanent home. Both aid-boxes are customized depending on the disaster and the climate to include essential items, like: solar lights, cooking utensils, water purification and storage equipment, blankets, mattresses, building materials and tools. 
Our Speaker: Bill, Tobin, is Rotary Relations Manager with ShelterBox. There's a long and deep relationship between Rotary and ShelterBox. ShelterBox was founded by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, England in 2000. In 2002, the American affiliate was adopted as a project of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, Florida. The first disaster response was 143 boxes sent to the Indian State of Gujarat after an earthquake in 2001. Last year, ShelterBox provided shelter to 220,000 displaced people in 11 countries. To meet the financial and logistical challenges of delivering aid globally, ShelterBox partners with Rotary International, Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity to pool resources to meet the needs of displaced families efficiently. In fact, ShelterBox is Rotary International's only project partner in disaster relief. Rotary clubs around the world help ShelterBox to connect with local communities quickly when disaster strikes. They have contributed a cumulative $68mm to ShelterBox, and there are over 1,000 Rotarians who work with ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or Response Team members.
A $1000 donation funds the cost of a complete ShelterBox; $500 funds a tent. Our club has been a regular supporter, a fact celebrated by Bill in the call. If you'd like to contribute, there's a "Donate" tab within their website: http://www.shelterboxusa.org 
Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming Speakers at our regular (Zoom) meetings at noon on Tuesdays):
  1. October 5th: Lisa Vergara, Founder, Storytime Crafts. Her organization promotes literacy by creating diverse, book-rich environments for children. This will be a hybrid, Zoom and in-person meeting with Bill Paulson, Holly Brown and Kathy Whitney attending in person and broadcasting to the rest of us on Zoom.
  2. October 12th: Jody Labossiere, CEO West River Hospice. Jody will describe hospice care.
  3. October 19th: State Representative Denise Garlick will update us on the legislative agenda at the Statehouse.
    Our Next Meeting: No Zoom meeting Tuesday September 28th at noon. Instead, we're having the Needham Rotary Club Fall Picnic that day at Claxton Field at 5:30 (BYOE)