Like everyone else out there, I have been shocked by the terrible earthquake in Haiti and the dreadful death toll which, according to the BBC, looks to be close to 20,000. We often forget just how lucky we are sat in our warm homes so I’m asking that if you haven’t already, you might consider donating whatever you can afford to the aid effort.

I have been bowled over by the support amongst the blogging community, who have been writing numerous posts to spread the word and donating too. English Mum and some fellow bloggers have set up a Justgiving page to raise money to buy Shelter Boxes. They have already raised £2000, which is enough to buy 4 of these boxes.

Each box contains:

  • A ten-person tent with privacy partitions that allow its occupants to divide the space as they see fit
  • A range of other survival equipment including thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, essential in areas where temperatures plummet at nightfall
  • 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.
  • A basic tool kit containing a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters.  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.
  • 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.
  • Each box can be adapted to the individual needs of the disaster area, 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 ShelterBox just sent tents, packing two in each box.  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.
  • And lastly, but I think just as importantly, each box contains a children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens.  For children who have lost most, if not all, of their possessions, these small gifts are treasured.

You can also donate via Save the Children or British Red Cross. So please do what you can, whether it is writing a blog post to spread the word or making a donation.

Thank you, x