Posted by Vince McCormack


Dear Rotarians,

You have undoubtedly seen the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey over the past few days in the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. The sad statistics continue to grow with each hour, and there is no question that this is an unprecedented natural disaster, among the worst in US history, with levels of damage expected to be near those caused by Hurricane Katrina.

As Rotarians who always place Service Above Self, your club's members are certainly asking "what can we do to help?". You've probably received pleas for support online, in social media, and perhaps even in direct emails, but who can you trust to respond in the way that is most appropriate and fair to all concerned?


The answer is simple: ShelterBox is Rotary's one and only official disaster relief Project Partner, selected for this role because the leadership of Rotary International knows that our highly trained response teams and support personnel share your values as Rotarians, and in many cases ARE Rotarians.

Our ShelterBox Response Teams (SRT), each of whom are Rotarians, are on the ground in Texas, and are in nearly constant communication with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in assessing the needs and potential solutions. We are in communication with each of the District Governors in the impacted areas. A large shipment of our ShelterBox tents are on route to the disaster area, and one possible solution to the needs of the thousands of displaced families is a "shelter-in-shelter" system that we've previously used in similar situations. These tents within an evacuation center offer families a private space to help preserve dignity, security and aid in the recovery process, particularly where extended stays are likely.

Our immediate response to Hurricane Harvey was made possible by the past support of Rotarians such as those in your club. If you'd like your club's members to play a role in our ongoing aid to families in need at this and other disasters (we are currently also active in Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Niger, Colombia, Somaliland and Nepal), we would ask that you share this information with your members, invite them to visit our Hurricane Harvey page:, or to immediately donate at where you will find a designated "Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund". You can also feel free to reach out to me as your local ShelterBox Ambassador if you have questions or need any other assistance.

Thank you for your interest and support!
Most sincerely,

J. Louis Turpin

ShelterBox Ambassador & Board Member
Member of the Rotary Club of Rhinebeck, NY
District Governor 2016-17

Rotary District 7210