Five Rotary Clubs of Monroe County joined forces to donate $200 each to help purchase a Shelter Box, thanks to the efforts of West End Rotary Club 's Joan Loveless. She contacted the other clubs and asked for their participation in this latest venture.

The other Rotary Clubs included are: Stroudsburgs, Mount Pocono, Jim Thorpe and the Smithfields.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide and it's total cost is $1,000.

Shelter boxes weigh 110 lbs. and has approximate dimensions 2'3" x 1'4" x 11." They are sealed and banded for transit and security. Box contents vary depending on the nature of the disaster requiring their use. It is a 49 gallon container used for delivery of the materials included. Once delivered, it can be used as a water tank, food storage, cot, table, etc.

The contents of the box includes:

*One ten-person tent, with two fabric interior privacy partitions, outer flysheet and repair kit. These tents are considered 'winter suitable' by international relief standards.

*Vinyl insulated sleeping mats and lightweight thermal blankets. More compact than sleeping bags, these mats and blankets have multiple uses. The blanket can also be fashioned to catch water, as a tarp, etc. while the mat also serves as a ground 'table' for meals, or tent rugs.

*One pack of 180 water purification tablets or a water purification kit and one 5 gallon flat-pack water container (Each tablet will purify a full container of water providing 1,800 gallons of clean drinking water which should be sufficient for a family of ten for up to three months).

*Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.

*One collapsible trenching shovel

*Rope, 164 foot

*Repellant-treated mosquito netting

*Ten PVC Ponchos/ ten HD plastic bags

*Tool kit in canvas bag: hatchet, jackknife, screwdriver, hammer, hoe head etc.

*Multi-fueled cook stove

*Eating utensils: enamel plates/cups

*Children's activity kit-simple school supplies, stickers and coloring book

The contents are under continuous review. A small stock of wind up radios (short-wave and FM) has been obtained to substitute a sleeping bag in every tenth box should such a requirement arise.

This is the West End Rotary Club's second Shelter Box that it has sponsored. The first one was deployed last year in South Africa.

Joan Loveless, relief organizer of WERC, said that she has been tracking this second box and learned it had been sent to Haiti to help the recent earthquake victims. The first ShelterBoxes for Haiti arrived in Port au Prince on Jan. 19.

"It makes you feel good that you know you're helping someone else in need," she says.

To learn more about Shelter Box, visit www.shelterboxusa.org.