Shelter Box Looks to Provide Emergency Help for Disaster Victims

Sep 13, 2017

An international organization is working to help people around the world following natural disaster and conflict.

Shelter Box USA partners with Rotary International to provide emergency shelter and tools for displaced families.

Phil Gillespie is a Shelter Box ambassador in southern Illinois. He says shelter boxes are 145-pound totes that include a tent big enough for a family, cooking utensils, a small cook stove, a water purification unit, school supplies, a thermal blanket with vinyl covering, mosquito netting, gloves and caps.
"All the things they need to provide them emergency shelter until they can get into something more permanent. They partner with people like the Red Cross or government or anybody of that nature to get those supplies into them."

Gillespie says they delivered 500 tents to Texas following Hurricane Harvey. But, he says they tried something new there since many of the storm victims already had shelter in community buildings, but they needed privacy.  So, Gillespie says they brought in lighter weight tents called a shelter within a shelter.
"They can use them for medical areas. They can use them for people who have incontinence. They can use them for mothers who are breastfeeding. They can use them for, say they have an older family that needs more privacy than they had in the group, they can set these tents."
Gillespie says assessment teams are in Florida and the Caribbean Islands to offer shelter for victims of Hurricane Irma as well for the victims of the massive earthquake last week in Mexico.

For more information or to donate to the privately funded organization, visit