Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

November 14, 2013

Local groups aid typhoon victims in the Philippines

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

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When Mike Kruse heard about Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), which struck the Philippines Nov. 8, he felt "shocked and saddened at the magnitude of it. It seems to me that the Philippines seems to get hit with everything ... That's an area in the world where there always seems to be some kind of natural disaster."

Kruse, the Batesville Memorial Public Library director, is a ShelterBox ambassador and Batesville Rotary Club member. He reports, "ShelterBox USA is responding to the recent typhoon and earthquake emergencies in the Philippines. The charity is supported locally by the Batesville Rotary Club and the Interact Clubs at Batesville middle and high schools."

Each iconic green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, stove, blankets and water filter, among other tools for survival, according to a news release from the international disaster relief organization. Each box costs $1,000, including shipping, Kruse says. "We among many other Rotary clubs in our district in southern Indiana are taking up collections."

BHS Interact Club members will be at the Nov. 23 holiday parade, perhaps manning a booth, to let people know about ShelterBox and accept monetary contributions, according to the local ambassador, who  "creates awareness and hopefully generates donations for a worthy cause."

With winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, the super typhoon is thought to be the largest storm ever recorded, surpassing Hurricane Camille, which struck the United States in 1969. More than 10,000 are feared dead and thousands have been left homeless.

ShelterBox currently has teams working in the country, responding to both the typhoon and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol Oct. 15. The teams will focus efforts in three of the badly affected regions, including Tacloban, Cebu and Bohol. The report notes, "ShelterBox is closely monitoring the unfolding situation and is currently moving thousands of units of emergency shelter and other vital aid already prepositioned in the Philippines and neighboring countries to the worst affected areas."

Kruse hopes area citizens "find a way to somehow help those people, whether it's through a donation to ShelterBox or other organizations providing humanitarian aid .... As a family is making Thanksgiving plans, think about being thankful for all that we do have and that we're not hit by a typhoon." Of donations, he points out, "Every little bit helps. It doesn't have to be a huge amount."

Tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made online at; by mail to 8374 Market St., No. 203, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202; by texting SHELTER to 20222 to make a $10 donation; or by calling 941-907-6036.