In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 73

Discover more about ShelterBox If you would like to arrange for a ShelterBox speaker to visit your club, please contact Jackie: T: 027 690 2262 E: jstjohn.email@gmail.com W: www.shelterbox.org.nz F: facebook.com/ShelterBoxNZ# with Jackie St John What is the New Zealand arm of ShelterBox responsible for? ShelterBox has 19 global affiliates, including ShelterBox NZ, and we are all dedicated to raising funds for, and awareness of, disaster relief. The continued support ShelterBox NZ receives from Rotarians throughout New Zealand, as donors and as ShelterBox volunteers, is invaluable to our operations and is very much appreciated. As chair, what are your main objectives? To increase recognition of ShelterBox throughout New Zealand, and publicise the awesome work we do. To lead ShelterBox NZ to become the highest contributing global affiliate on a population percentage basis, which will maximise the resources available to leave no family without shelter. To ensure we have a great team around the board table making good governance decisions. And we do. We have a number of innovative and energetic professionals, and we have valued mentorship from past board members, and our savvy ambassadors. This means it’s a real pleasure to work on this board. When I hand on the role of chair, to leave ShelterBox NZ strongly positioned to continue to grow. Does ShelterBox have any major projects currently on the go? In winter, we will launch ‘Shine for ShelterBox’ – an opportunity to host a fundraising candlelit supper for friends and family. When disasters strike and power lines go down, families are left vulnerable, wrenched away from comfort and light. That’s why every ShelterBox we pack includes solar lights that dispel the dark and bring immediate safety. As you dine for Shine, you’ll be raising money to bring light and emergency shelter to families. Internationally, ShelterBox is working in partnership with ReliefAid in Syria at camps that have become homes for people displaced from Aleppo. The conditions are dire – no toilets, no water and mud everywhere. We are distributing 5000 blankets to help combat the cold, 4000 sets of children’s clothing and 4000 pairs of jeans and jumpers, 1000 tarpaulins and 4000 20-litre water carriers. Our solar lamps provide safety in the dark desert nights; hammers and fixings, duct tape and rope help repair shelter. And, in just the past few weeks, Shelterbox has also answered an SOS from Rotarians and the Red Cross in Colombia, in the wake of floods and landslides that have left hundreds dead and missing. When did you first become involved in Rotary, and what’s your journey been? I joined the Dunedin Rotary Club in 2005. I have been proud to serve my club as Youth director, club president and trustee of our club trusts. My district involvement includes serving as assistant governor, chair (now committee member) of the Rotary Australia New Zealand Student Exchange Committee, district director of RNZWCS Ltd, and as Group Study Exchange team leader to Texas. Rotary has provided me with massive personal development opportunities, for which I am truly grateful. And, there are always fun new adventures in Rotary – this year my family was introduced to the joys of being a Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) host family for the first (and probably not last) time!