WEST POINT – West Point High School's newest service organization-the Interact Club sponsored by the Rotary Club of West Point-is off to an auspicious beginning. After a school-wide presentation on the ShelterBox program by Rotary District 7610 ShelterBox chairman Wayne Childes, the newly formed WPHS club set out to raise money to buy ShelterBoxes to aid victims of the recent Typhoon Haiyan in The Philippines. Led by club vice-president Willow Pedersen-who created donation boxes and a video promoting the ShelterBox campaign shown throughout the school-the club raised over $3000 toward the effort.
ShelterBox, a 501(c) (3) charity was founded in 2000 on a very simple principle: the right to life and dignity. In other words, what would a family need to survive if they lost their home and possessions? This question became a quest to provide a compact, universal tool kit to families displaced by disasters. ShelterBox would afford dignity, self-sufficiency and most importantly, human survival in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.
Each box supplies an extended family with a tent, cooking supplies, water filtering devices, and life-saving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value. The donation amount to sponsor each box is $1,000, which includes delivery direct to those who need it. Help does not end with the delivery of the box however. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and a global network of volunteers.
Sponsored by local Rotary clubs, Interact is a club for young people ages 12-18 who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about. Through Interact, students carry out hands-on service projects, make international connections, develop leadership skills and have fun! The WPHS Interact Club is developing more projects to continue throughout the year.