ShelterBox stake out in Falmouth

Weekend fundraiser a great success

Local organizations raise over $8,000

   Volunteeers braved the cold this weekend to raise funds and awareness for the ShelterBox project. Photos by Samantha Pearsall.

By Samantha Pearsall

The sunny and mild weather this weekend certainly was a plus for the dozens of community members who camped out at Peg Noonan Park on Main Street in Falmouth to raise money and awareness for the ShelterBox project. The fundraising event began Saturday at 11 a.m. and the campers were packed up Sunday afternoon by 4 p.m.

Brandon Gordineer provided some soulful sounds Sunday morning.

A community comes together

Led by the Falmouth Rotary Club, other local groups like the Falmouth Young Professionals and Police Athletic League set up camp with the same ShelterBox tent and survival items that are being being shipped to Haiti. ShelterBox is an affiliate of Rotary International, which has so far sent about 1,000 kits to the devastated country where thousands have been left homeless.

What is a shelterbox?

The kit comes with a tent to sleep 10 people, complete with sleeping bags, mosquito nets, water purifying equipment, a stove that runs on really anything from diesel fuel to paint, cooking and eating utensils, as well as school supplies for children. Each relief kit, that is packed perfectly into a plastic container, costs about $1,000.

Donations flow in on Saturday

On Saturday alone more than 100 people had donated $3,197 which is enough for three relief kits, according to Amy DellaPosta, vice chair of the Falmouth Young Professionals. The group’s goal was to raise enough money to fund at least four ShelterBoxes and was hoping to receive about $1,000 more by the end of the event Sunday afternoon.

Upon final tally, the organizers and participants in the weekend event raised over $8,000--enough to purchase 8 shelterboxes to be shipped to Haiti.

Overnight in 20-degree weather

DellaPosta had stayed overnight along with about a dozen others in the chilly but dry 20-degree weather. “As the sun went down all of a sudden the temperature just dropped,” she said, adding with a laugh that the public bathrooms were then closed and in the early morning the sprinkler system came on at the park.

Despite having a rough night, donations keep coming in all shapes in sizes. One woman, who chose to not to have her name mentioned, dropped off a bulging bag of change while another family slipped George Pelletier, treasurer of the Falmouth Rotary Club, a crisp bill with Andrew Jackson’s face. Another anonymous donation was made in the generous amount of $1,000 Pelletier said. Many chipped in smaller bills and change as well.

Event organizer Amy DellaPosta (in pink) tossed around a football with Dougy during the event.

Good people and a good idea

“It was really one good idea with more than a dozen good people behind it,” explained local Rotarian Jack Rosenbaum who helped organize the fundraiser. He said he and Steve Clay, Falmouth Rotary president, brainstormed the plan last Monday and then emailed town officials with their idea. “Oddly and luckily it came together,” he said, praising Selectwoman Mary Pat Flynn for “fast tracking” permission for the groups to set up camp. “This would usually take a couple of weeks to get approved,” Rosenbaum said.

All kinds of support

He and DellaPosta also thanked those who donated food and beverages to the campers, including La Cucina Sul Mare, Pie in the Sky, Windfall Market, and countless families and individuals. A disc jockey also donated his time on Saturday. Brandon Gordineer, a Falmouth resident, played the guitar Sunday morning providing some soulful entertainment. “I just want to help Haiti. People really don’t understand the magnitude of earthquakes,” Gordineer explained. “This is just a small step towards a giant leap.”

   Materials showing what shelterboxes contain. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on