Summit County reaches out to Haiti |

Summit County reaches out to Haiti

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Shelter Box USAThe Summit County Rotary Club is raising money to send Shelter Boxes to Haiti. The boxes contain 10-person tents, food, water, cooking supplies, tools and other items people can use right away.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Rotarians, the Summit School District, and even a fourth-grader and her mom are fundraising to help the millions of people displaced after last week’s earthquake in Haiti. With an average magnitude of 7.0, the quake struck about 10 miles southwest of the country’s capital – Port-au-Prince. There are currently millions of Haitians living on the streets.

The Rotary Club of Summit County is raising funds for 10 shelter boxes – blue bins that contain 10-person tents, food, water, cooking pots, cots, basic medical supplies and blankets – to go to homeless families in Haiti.

According to Rotarian and humanitarian worker Deb Hage, shelter boxes are key components to aid the devastated country because “they’re incorruptible. There’s no diversion.” In other words, the boxes go straight to people who need them.

“In unstable times, it’s a way to help individual families,” she said.

Hage added that homelessness is such an issue because the earthquake left most building structures with significant damage.

“This is going to help quell the anarchy,” Hage said of the shelter boxes.

If Rotarians are able to send 10 boxes to Haiti, up to 1,400 people could have shelter. They’ve so far raised enough money for four shelter boxes – each box costs $1,000.

To help its fundraising efforts, the Summit County Rotary Club is putting on a Saturday dinner – all funds collected at the meal will go directly to purchasing shelter boxes. The fundraising event will be held at the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne, and the bar will open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner – a BBQ buffet – starts at 6 p.m., and the cost will be $15 per person, and $10 for children 12 and under.

People who can’t attend the fundraiser but still want to donate can write checks to Summit County Rotary Charitable Fund. “Shelter Box” should be written in the memo line. Checks can be sent to the Rotary Club of Summit County at P.O. Box 415, Frisco, CO 80443.

For more information about shelter boxes, visit

When fourth-grade Frisco Elementary School student Noelle Reimers heard about the earthquake in Haiti, she wanted to help. So, she – along with her mother Yvette – are hosting a fund drive to benefit the American Red Cross. Together, they will collect cash and checks until Friday, and then they’ll send the funds that afternoon.

All checks should be written directly to the American Red Cross, Yvette Reimers said. She added that she will mail the checks to the Red Cross on Friday, and cash will be sent through an online donation.

“100 percent of all donations will go straight to the Red Cross for this relief effort,” Yvette Reimers said in an e-mail. “This is such a horrible tragedy. Thank you so much for your support!”

Call (970) 668-0724 for more info on how to donate cash or checks.

All Summit School District schools are currently in the process of organizing a variety of fundraisers and awareness events.

“As part of our mission to develop caring learners, the tragedy in Haiti is an opportunity for our students to serve the global community in their time of need,” said school district spokeswoman Julie McCluskie. “It’s a good opportunity for students to think about the world, and how they can respond and support communities in need.”

Here are several fundraising events already under way:

– Dillon Valley Elementary: Third-grade students have organized fundraising efforts through a movie night held last Friday and selling some healthy snacks at Optimist Basketball games – they raised $275. They hosted a meeting with the Red Cross and are directing their funds to them.

– Frisco Elementary, Upper Blue Elementary, Silverthorne Elementary, Summit Cove Elementary: These three elementary schools are taking up penny and coin collections in many classrooms. At Summit Cove, the students are encouraged to donate what they spend on meals for the day.

– Breckenridge Elementary: The PTSA is hosting an “80s Prom” at Beaver Run this Saturday – 10 percent of the funds raised will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

– Dillon Valley Elementary: Mrs. Sherve’s second-graders discussed the disaster in Haiti and talked about how the earthquake survivors need help. Ethan Casias and Avry Stroeve brought in medical supplies, including bandages, arm slings and gauze. These supplies were picked up by the Red Cross and will be used to help the people in need.

“We know that the need for help in Haiti is going to extend for months and even years,” McCluskie said, noting that the school is also looking at ways the school district can help the earthquake survivors long-term.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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