Cowlitz County Rotary Clubs donate supplies to earthquake victims
|Courtesy of Kelso Rotary Club/ShelterBox|
ShelterBox says that it has provided tents to four hospitals in Kathmandu that were devastated by the earthquake. Tents will be used for carrying out minor operations, changing dressings and as mobile health clinics.
Donations made to ShelterBox after 12 p.m. on May 1 will be matched by Latika & Rajiv Jain Charitable Foundation, up to $100,000. Visit www.shelterbox.org to donate.
As thousands of Nepali people struggle to find shelter and food, Cowlitz County’s four Rotary clubs are combining efforts to offer relief to the region ravaged by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
Both Rotary clubs in Longview, as well as clubs in Kelso and Woodland, have teamed up to donate $8,000 to purchase eight boxes filled with survival supplies bound for Nepal.
“It’s pretty impressive that we can, as a group, come together and figure out how to donate … because we’re all really pretty small clubs,” said Bill Marcum, of the Longview Early Edition Rotary Club and president of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce.
Each 120 pound box contains disaster relief gear that could last up to six months, including: a large tent, solar lamps, water storage and purification equipment, a thermal blanket, cooking utensils, a wood-burning stove, a basic toolkit and children’s activity kits.
“They are designed to have the essential survival items that a family needs, and a family can be as many as 10 people,” said Marilyn Young Skogland, Silver Lake resident and member of the Kelso Rotary Club.
Young Skogland is the regional ambassador for the international nonprofit, ShelterBox. The U.K.based organization was able to quickly mobilize boxes that were already stored in the country before the earthquake hit, she said. It also sent 500 smaller kits to region and it is aiming to send more boxes.
The compact nature of the boxes makes it easier for ShelterBox’s response teams to distribute supplies to remote areas, Young Skogland said.
“(Red Cross) is going to go into where the large populations are first, because they come in with big responses … Our unique solution is going out to those remote areas where it’s difficult to get equipment out,” she said.
Planes carrying food and other supplies have been steadily streaming into Kathmandu’s small airport, The Associated Press reported. But Nepali officials are having difficulty directing the flow of emergency supplies, and the distribution process is somewhat chaotic.
The U.N. estimates that the disaster has affected 8.1 million — just shy of a third of Nepal’s population of 27.8 million. Thousands of people are homeless and 1.4 million are in need of food assistance. The death toll rose to more than 5,500 Thursday and more than 11,000 people are injured, according to the U.N.
Rotary Club International is coordinating with all of its 34,000 clubs to donate to ShelterBox to Nepal.
Here, local clubs are encouraging individuals to contribute even if they cannot afford to purchase a $1,000 box. “Even a $20 donation to a ShelterBox would help purchase one,” Marcum said. Visit www.shelterboxusa.org/ for more information.
Marissa Luck covers business, economy, ports and minorities for The Daily News. Contact her at 360-577-2539 email@example.com.