Shelter Box is a grassroots Rotary club project which has rapidly grown to an international level.

The Shelter Box project was conceived and developed by Tom Henderson, a member of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, Cornwall District, in Great Britain as their Millennium Service Project. Struck with the urgent world-wide need for a self-contained emergency shelter unit when disaster occurs, Tom designed a tent, researched suppliers and, through trial and error, developed the Shelter Box.. The international relief agency Feed the Children, has called Tom's Shelter Box 'the best disaster relief tool they have seen in their 20 years of experience'. Working primarily through UK Rotary clubs, Tom and his Rotary club has succeeded in exposing the Shelter Box project to over 25 million Brits and, as a result, distributed provided shelter for approximately one-third of a million people in the last six years.

In March, 2002, Tom approached the newly formed Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch (near Sarasota, FL) to become the primary Rotary administrator for the Shelter Box program in the United State, known as Shelter Box USA. This commitment involves promoting Shelter Box not only through the established US Rotary club network but to other community groups, corporate groups and individuals, as well. ShelterBox USA became a non profit 501(C)(3) organization, with a Board of Directors, in 2005. The purpose of Shelter Box USA, Inc. is to provide victims of disaster with shelter, by supporting the efforts of the Shelter Box Trust. The function of Shelter Box USA, Inc. is, within the USA, to raise the money that provides the shelter for disaster victims.

As a result of exhibiting at the 2003 Rotary International Conference, Shelter Box USA was responsible for initiating two other national affiliates: Shelter Box Down Under (in Australia) and Shelter-Box Canada. Shelter Box Japan is the newest global partner.

Humanitarian aid is delivered in iconic green ShelterBoxes. Each one contains a disaster relief tent for up to 10 people, a stove, blankets and other items essential for survival. ShelterBox responds to disaster as quickly as possible with the aim of helping the people who are most in need.

Every box is individually numbered and can be tracked by donors. Each box costs $1000, including the cost of all materials, packing, storage, transport worldwide and distribution to the needy.

For the latest in photos from the Peru deployment are now on Flickr -