As we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence this week we take stock of our freedoms, comforts, and safety. Although serious global threats exist, as Americans we generally feel secure on a day to day basis. As individuals, however, that sense of security varies with finances, health, the economy, the people, animals, toxins around us, and the environment.
It wasn't long ago that I needed a new roof. I was lucky. The tattered shingles never leaked. Yet, with each rainy, windy or snowy nor'easter more shingles appeared on the lawn and shrubs and the threat of expensive damage loomed large. Currently, more than 85 million people live not only with that threat but also with the reality that they have been uprooted from their homes by a natural disaster or conflict. Eighty five million people -- adults and kids -- currently have been displaced.
We've seen the effects of Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Maria, Katrina, Andrew and, locally, Bob. In many places we can still see the damage. This year turbulent volcanic activity displayed a power untamable by people. When a volcano speaks we listen -- and move away from its path. There is no land sharing with a volcano.
I was fortunate to be able to replace my roof. Others are much less fortunate, which is why I selected Shelter Box USA this month as my fundraising campaign's recipient.
When disaster strikes and people need to evacuate their homes (or what was left of them) Shelter Box responds with a very large box of life saving goods. The containers are customized for each disaster. Most kits contain: family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements, cooking sets, solar lights, mosquito netting (where needed), activity and/or educational sets for kids, water purifiers and containers and, frequently, tools, fasteners and tarps to begin protecting and repairing damaged homes.
Shelter Box's response teams travel by whatever method necessary to reach remote communities devastated by conflicts, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other home wrecking disasters.
I've followed Shelter Box for a while now. It consistently receives high marks on Charity Navigator for transparency.
It was also important that this cause be non-partisan. Happily, I report that friends across the political spectrum have supported this campaign. For that, I am deeply grateful.
There is much trying to divide us these days. Neither compassion nor indifference is restricted to one party or the other. Many may argue otherwise. However, I've known caring people from both sides of the aisle, and I am pleased that many good deeds unite us still, in donations and in action.
Thanks to my friends who have joined me in this campaign by contributing or by promoting awareness of this nonprofit's mission and works. Together we are helping displaced families with a safe place and a place to call home. There really is no place like home.
At this time Facebook is not assessing any processing fee for its part in funneling funds directly to Shelter Box USA.
I set this up a month ago and only announced it twice. Through the goodness of many friends we're within each real of my goal to raise $1,000 for Shelter Box USA. The smallest amount able to be processed is $5.00 (entered simply as "5"). Only the behind-the-scenes Facebook staff and I will see the amounts people contribute. I'm grateful to those who donate and share the good work of a very busy nonprofit. Thank you.
* UPDATE: We're grateful to announce that we exceeded our fundraising goal. Our fundraiser in closed. You can still donate to ShelterBox USA directly through this donation link
"Roofing Day" was juried into the North River Arts Society's "Festival of the Arts" this spring.
@2017 Connie Drapeau Kennedy, www.thewelcomegallery.com when our roof was finally replaced. :-)