The Lacombe Rotary Club is currently collecting donations to bring more shelter boxes to Ukraine to provide aid and shelter to those who are currently facing challenges caused by the war against Russia. A ShelterBox contains a family-sized tent, and several tools and equipment such as water storage and purification.

“It has everything in it. There's a tent, the shelter itself, and then there are mattresses, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and a stove.  It all comes in a little container and off you go,” said Alvin Peck who is leading the project with the Lacombe Rotary Club

He says the tents also provide a sense of privacy to allow families the space to grieve and come to terms with their situation.

“We found in past situations is that you're in a spot where people have just endured something really harsh like an earthquake, monsoon, or a hurricane, or in this case, a war, and things have gone wrong in their lives. They've lost people, not just a shelter from the weather. It's a chance to be somewhere close with your family,” he explained.  

Depending on the crisis, some families end up living off the supplies from their ShelterBox for years at a time.

“They end up being almost like their permanent home while they're trying to rebuild.  It takes years to do that sometimes. This one might take a long time to rebuild. These tools and shelter will be well used for years to come,” explained Don Gullekson, Interim President of the Rotary Club.

If you are looking to donate to the crises in Ukraine the Rotary Club is ensuring the money goes towards the right purpose.

“There's a huge need for these shelter boxes to provide a place for these people to live and certainly with four million people displaced. There's a huge need for that type of thing. If you want to make a donation to the Ukrainian cause to help them, this is a really good way to do it. It's a safe way to do it. Rotarians take the shelter box to where the crisis is. It’s always taken care of through Rotary International and there's no risk of the money going somewhere else,” explained Gullekson.  

Already the Rotary Interact Club in Lacombe has given out three shelter boxes in Ukraine but Gullekson has a goal of sending three more. Each box costs around $1,200.

A shelter box is going to be set up at the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Show this Friday and Saturday (April 22 and 23rd) at the Gary Moe Autogroup Sportsplex. Donors will be able to see exactly what their donations is going towards. The Club is also looking to welcome some new members so the  Trade Show will also be a great opportunity to meet up with the club and learn more about them.

If you can’t make it the Trade Show, you can always reach out to one of their members through their social media page to donate.