Central Albertans can see for themselves what a tent from the charity ShelterBox Canada looks like at Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre on Friday and Saturday.
The charity has already deployed a response team to Guatemala and aid is standing by in Panamato to be shipped to those who lost their homes after the eruption of the Volcano of Fire on Sunday.
As many as 1.7 million people were affected by Guatemala’s biggest volcanic eruption in 44 years.
Wynne Bjorgan, Central Alberta ambassador with ShelterBox Canada, said ShelterBox Canada has set up five hubs around the globe to store supplies and quickly deploy ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits.
“Our intent is to provide them with temporary shelter so they can get back on their feet and back in their homes. That’s our goal. We believe no family should be without a home,” Bjorgan said on Thursday.
ShelterBox Canada supplies ShelterBoxes that contain family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements and some supplies. ShelterKits have all of the essential tools people need to start repairing and rebuilding homes.
A ShelterBox tent will be set up for the public to see at Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre, on Hwy 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It is an opportunity for us to showcase what we do and how we do it. The general public doesn’t really know,” Bjorgan said.
Bjorgan, a Red Deer East Rotary Club member, said the idea for a ShelterBox came from a Rotary club and members continue to support the charity.
“Rotarians volunteer to do this as part of our giving to the world.”
She said the ShelterBox Canada will be working with Rotary contacts Guatemala.
ShelterBox has deployed to Guatemala on four occasions – to an earthquake in 2012, to flooding and a tropical storm in 2010, and to flooding in 2005.
In 2017, ShelterBox’s busiest year ever, it helped 32,000 families, or 160,000 people, sending aid to 20 different countries.
ShelterBox is also currently helping Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation, where a volcano has directly affected 11,000 people on Ambae Island; in Kenya after severe flooding; and families affected by conflict in Nigeria and the Syrian region.
For more information or to donate visit www.shelterboxcanda.org.