Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bloggers for Haiti - Pass it On

English Mum has been busy organising some proactive support for the victims of the Haitian earthquake. Media focus has been on the wounded and the death toll but there are over 300,000 disposessed people whose homes are no more. Naturally, there are hundreds of charities vying for your dollar/pound but I'm backing this one established by Bloggers for Haiti, why? Because they're providing immediate relief on the ground and donations can be accepted from several countries.

ShelterBoxes are not cheap. Each box costs an average of £490, (US$797.25, 554 Euro or AU$853) including all materials, packing, storage and distribution to individual recipients worldwide. Based on six months use only this equates to 27 pence per person per day. Already 1500 have been sent to Haiti, that's accommodation and supplies for 15,000 people! Right now when they need it most. The beauty of this magic box is in it's contents:

At the heart of every ShelterBox is a ten-person tent. It is custom made for ShelterBox by Vango, one of the world’s leading tent manufacturers, and is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall. Internally, each tent has privacy partitions that allow recipients to divide the space as they see fit.

A smile
Every box contains a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens. For children who have lost most, if not all,their possessions, these small gifts are treasured.

Warmth and protection
In addition to the tent, the boxes contain a range of other survival equipment including thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, essential in areas where temperatures plummet at nightfall. Where malaria is prevalent mosquito nets are supplied, as well a life saving means of water purification. Water supplies often become contaminated after a major disaster, as infrastructure and sanitation systems are destroyed, this presents a secondary but no less dangerous threat to survivors than the initial disaster itself.

Self sufficiency
A basic tool kit containing a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters can be found in every box. These items enable people to improve their immediate environment, by chopping firewood or digging a latrine, for example. Then, when it is possible, to start repairing or rebuilding the home they were forced to leave.

Fit for purpose
Every item is durable, practical and brand new. The box itself is lightweight and waterproof and has been used for a variety of purposes in the past - from water and food storage containers to a cot for a newly born baby.

A heart to the home
A key piece in every box is either a wood burning or multi-fuel stove - that can burn anything from diesel to old paint. This provides the heart of the new home where water is boiled, food is cooked and families congregate. In addition, there are pans, utensils, bowls, mugs and water storage containers.

Contents are adapted to a specific disaster. For example, following the Javanese earthquake in 2006, when some resources were available locally or could be salvaged from one storey buildings, the overwhelming need was for shelter – so we just sent tents, packing two in each box.

If you are in the UK, donate through JustGiving. It's simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - raise more while giving.

If you are outside the UK and want to avoid exchange rate fees, you can donate by clicking the appropriate tab here.

If you can't donate, please promote this
or put the widget on your sidebar for a few weeks.


VE said...

Good for her...everything helps.

unstranger said...

Thanks Baino, I sent it to my facebook and I'll blog it too

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Hey Baino, if English Mum says you're coolio then I'm over here like a shot!
Great that you're spreading the word and joining in the bloggy voice for good. x

rosiescribble said...

Wow. That picture says it all. So pleased to see another blog post supporting Haiti today. Together we can really make a difference.

Ces said...

Like any other catastrophe or calamity around the world, I hope the aid reaches the people not the pockets of the corrupt officials. This is truly a disaster of apocalyptic proportions and I pray that the children will survive. I am heartened by the many charitable activities being organized everywhere in our facilities and workplace.

laughingwolf said...

good stuff!

Vagabonde said...

I did not know about this charity. I went to their US site and donated. It does not list Haïti but I mentioned it in their comment box. I already donated and listed on my blog the site for Doctors without Borders. They need the money to get all the medicine and I know they are legit. It is hard to imagine the amount of devastation in Haïti. I wish I could go there to help but know that this is not practical. Helping by donating, even a small amount, is what we all need to do – must do. Thanks for your great post on this tragedy.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* Shall follow your link.

River said...

There's nothing I can do, I'm so sorry.

Baino said...

At least this one hits the ground running VE

Great work Unstranger. Thanks for the link

Tara I know you're on board, wonderful.

We can Rosie.

This particular charity is run by Rotary Ces, not sure if you have them in the US. Minimum outlay for administration and immediate relief. Do what you can honey.

Thanks Wuffa, get the cobwebs out of that wallet.

Neither did I Vagabonde, I had an email from my pal in England and thought it a great idea. Medicins sans Frontiers is also a wonderful cause. Until I researched it, I was a little surprised at the outpouring and news coverage but when you put it next to the Tsunami of 2004, it's about the same in an area a 100th of the size. They need help.

Thanks Annie, I knew you would.

River, you can spread the word. You're my unofficial marketing communications ambassador.

Megan said...

I don't know what is up with blogger tonight (or maybe it is just my machine) but I am having the toughest time getting around.

I'll be back tomorrow to try again to copy & paste your link.

Bravo mum!

babysis said...

Thanks Baino, this box looks unreal...wish I had one for my own camping kit!!

I have emailed them with a query regarding payment of the box - so hopefully will hear back soon.

In the meantime, I have emailed your links to all on my address book.

lettuce said...

looks like a good one - thanks for the link Baino.

Brian Miller said...

what a great way to help...thanks for the link. hope your weekend is well. smiles.

e said...

I can't afford a box on my own but will link this. Thanks Baino!

Baino said...

e I didn't mean to donate THAT much,nobody can afford a whole box! Just a small contribution towards one is fine! And thanks for linking.

Cinnamon said...

Well said Baino, thanks for the link x

Jay said...

I do like the Just Giving site, and shelterboxes do sound like the sort of great idea which is less likely to be hijacked than wads of cash entering the country, though I'm sure they'll need that too.

Dragonfly said...

These are great. I'm gonna go check it out. Thanks :-)

Marianna said...

Great post!

I already posted the pic and link on my blog. Thank you for this!

Have a great week

Jill said...

Oh yes! This is an amazing mission and will help MANY!

California Girl said...

great post Baino. I was trying to pass this on yesterday but computer acting up. going to see about posting the widget on my sidebar now. kit looks great. what concerns me is the relief items landing in Haiti are not being disbursed. one hears this over and over during relief's either govt corruption or disruption or who knows what?

日月神教-向左使 said...


文章 said...


Blogger said...

eToro is the most recommended forex trading platform for rookie and pro traders.