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ShelterBox group sending help to Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan

10:05 PM, Nov 11, 2013   |    comments
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Shelterboxes gilled with disaster supplies, including a heavy-duty tent, water, tools, cooking equipment, and even toys for children, are sent to Filipinos in need after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated their homeland.

Lakewood Ranch, Florida - High winds, storm surge, heavy rains-Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the island nation of the Philippines. The storm killed perhaps as many as 10,000 and left thousands more homeless. And that's when the charity ShelterBox kicks into high gear.

"When a disaster of this magnitude happens, we're there on the ground within 72 hours," explains ShelterBox spokesperson Erin Holdgate.

So what is a ShelterBox? It's a large rubber box crammed full of disaster supplies, including a heavy-duty tent, water, tools, cooking equipment, and even toys for children. 

"It can be really traumatizing for kids," says Holdgate, standing inside a shelter tent erected outside her Lakewood Ranch office.

See also: Locals learn of relatives among typhoon victims

ShelterBox started in the United Kingdom and boxes are still assembled and shipped from there, but the group's U.S. headquarters is in Manatee County.

When the typhoon hit, a ShelterBox team was already in the Philippines helping victims of last month's big earthquake. And fortunately, additional ShelterBoxes had already been shipped to the Philippines, to prepare for any future disasters.

"As much as possible, we try to get them pre-positioned in different positions around the globe," says Holdgate, adding that two more ShelterBox teams are now enroute to the Philippines to help distribute the supplies.

The disaster relief of this group is global. Since the group's inception 13 years ago, ShelterBoxes have gone to 90 different countries. Each box contains both shelter and hope. 

"That's why we do what we do," Holdgate says.

See also: Desperate Typhoon survivors plead for help

A donation of $1,000 is required to sponsor a complete ShelterBox, but the group takes donations of any size. 

You can donate on their website www.ShelterBoxUSA.org

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