Students Camp in Cold to Promote Fundraiser; Earthquakes, Floods, Tornadoes, Typhoons and Drought. [Derived Headline]

By Hanz, Joyce | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 4, 2016 | Go to article overview

Students Camp in Cold to Promote Fundraiser; Earthquakes, Floods, Tornadoes, Typhoons and Drought. [Derived Headline]


Hanz, Joyce, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons and drought.

Not your usual weather occurrences here in Western Pennsylvania, but for millions, natural disasters and conflicts globally cause devastation for families who are often left homeless.

Leechburg Area High School Interact Club students are exploring that unthinkable prospect with their latest fundraiser -- ShelterBox Project -- raising $1,000 to purchase a Shelterbox that will one day be shipped somewhere on the planet to a family made homeless by disaster.

ShelterBox, founded in England in 2002, is a global disaster relief nonprofit charity, working in conjunction with Rotary International. They provide emergency shelter and vital supplies to help communities worldwide overwhelmed by humanitarian crisis and natural disasters.

Brushing away snowflakes on a frigid Sunday morning, students worked under the guidance of husband and wife ShelterBox Ambassadors Tom and Marie Grant, setting up a tent and supplies from a packed green ShelterBox.

Within twenty minutes a large durable tent, the heart of every donated ShelterBox, was erected and the club began prepping for their 48 hour charity camping awareness event.

Students will camp out in shifts alongside teacher volunteers, accepting donations through 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

A pancake and sausage breakfast on April 9 at CrossRoads Community Church in Leechburg is planned, with all proceeds benefiting their ShelterBox Project.

Club sponsor Michelle Ferretti said Interact was looking for a charity with an international aspect.

"Our Leechburg Rotary suggested ShelterBox, and I am excited about this project," said Ferretti. "We are promoting awareness on ShelterBox, and the kids participating are not using electronic devices while camping and are experiencing what it would be like to live in a ShelterBox tent."

"I think it is crazy that families have to live in tents," said Madison Walker, a seventh grader in Interact. "I'm glad we are doing this, and I have learned through our research that some families (like in Haiti) have lived in ShelterBox tents for years."

One ShelterBox costs $1,000.

ShelterBox USA was started by the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch, Fl. in 2002. To date, it has responded to over 240 major disasters in more than 95 countries, including the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the Syrian Conflict/Refugee Crisis, Thailand Flooding in 2011, and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010. …

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