Shelter Box aiming to help thousands of families in the Phillippines

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MANATEE COUNTY - Employees and volunteers at Shelter Box USA have been extremely busy since Friday.

“Shelter Box is an international disaster relief organization currently responding to typhoon that struck the Philippines just recently,” said Alan Monroe.

Shelter Box was started in England but its U.S. headquarters is in Lakewood Ranch. “Shelter Box provides that emergency shelter for families to rebuild after the most devastating times of their lives.”

Monroe is Director of Volunteer Programs at Shelter Box and has been a volunteer at nine different disasters.

“This isn’t just a tent; it isn’t just equipment that we are providing…it is life-saving supplies, especially in the days and weeks following a major disaster.”

Kits include supplies like water purification kit, a stove, pots and pans and even supplies to occupy children.

Monroe was volunteering in Indonesia and witnessed first-hand how Shelter Box makes a difference after he looked inside a tent set up only a few minutes. “The wife was looking at the kitchen set and utensils, the child was playing with the teddy bear and the husband jumped out and grabbed me by my arm and shook me and said ‘makasih, makasih, makasih’, which is Indonesian for thank you.”

Monroe says Shelter Box is more than a box of equipment, it is a box of tools that help victims get back on their feet again.

ShelterBox responds to an average of 25 natural disasters every year. They currently have three teams on the ground in the Philippines and have a goal to provide shelter to 4,000 families.

If you want to help, go to www.shelterboxusa.org/typhoon.