The Rotary and ShelterBox Local Connection

Brian Glenn shows a smaller version of the 40-gallon ShelterBox.

Brian Glenn shows a smaller version of the 40-gallon ShelterBox.

Karen McDaniels

Inside every 110-pound ShelterBox is a temporary home for a family that has lost everything. Whether by natural disaster or armed conflict, families need shelter, light, water, and help, so they can rebuild. This is the mission of ShelterBox.

Twenty years ago, a Rotary Club in Cornwall, England, had a vision to establish an international disaster relief organization that provided the essential tools so families can rebuild their towns and lives after a disaster.

Today, ShelterBox has staging areas along the Equator so their Emergency Response Teams can arrive anywhere in the world with boxes within days. They have helped 1.5 million people in 97 countries rebuild after a disaster.

Brian Glenn of Argyle is a member of the ShelterBox Emergency Response Team and a Rotarian. He was our guest speaker at the Oct. 9 Pilot Knob Rotary Club meeting at the Wildhorse Grill.

Brian was first introduced to ShelterBox in 2007, when his Rotary Club sponsored a box as an international Service Project. In 2011, he trained for and was accepted to the Global Response Team. As a member of this elite team, he has responded to disasters in the Philippines, Fiji, Argentina, Paraguay, Haiti, Indonesia, and Oklahoma.

Brian shared stories about families in very remote areas that he and his team helped when no international relief organization was available. He talked about the rugged tents they provided (not your typical camping tent), taught children how to use solar lights so they could study at night and how to operate a ShelterBox water purification system so it can provide 1800 gallons of drinking water for three months.

Emergency Response Teams are not always welcomed by countries affected by disaster. This is when being a Rotarian changes the conversation with governments and leaders. “We work with the local Rotary Clubs in that country and they use their connections to clear the way for ShelterBox to provide assistance,” said Glenn. “It is Rotary’s global reputation that governments and people know and respect.”

Pilot Knob Rotary Club supports ShelterBox. If you are interested in learning more about Rotary membership, we meet at noon on Fridays at The Wildhorse Grill. To be our guest at a meeting, please contact us at [email protected] or 940-262-3382.