Nanuet Rotary members planned to take turns staying
overnight Friday in a tent set up alongside Route 59. They want to bring
attention to the plight of Syrian refugees forced out of their homes. Nanuet
Rotary members hope to raise funds to purchase ShelterBoxes to provide
temporary housing for displaced families and individuals.
35-year Rotary member Jim Damiani said the 10-person tent and supply kit was developed by a Rotarian in England to help victims of disasters. Damiani said 130,000 ShelterBoxes have been distributed in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami, Haiti after the earthquake, Arkansas after tornadoes and to other parts of the world.
“This is basically survival gear,” said Damiani, who explained the tents are designed to last for one year.
Rotary members began setting up the large white tent on Friday for their campout and expect to stay until 8 p.m. Saturday. They hope people traveling on Route 59 will stop, ask questions and donate as well as those heading to the nearby Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Fest at Growler & Gill.
Nanuet Rotary President Joseph Modafferi said people can also donate to help buy a ShelterBox by writing a check to ShelterBox or the Nanuet Rotary and sending it to: Nanuet Rotary, Box 281, Nanuet, NY 10954.
The items in the ShelterBox are adapted to different climates and can include thermal blankets, a stove, pans, utensils insulated ground sheets, treated mosquito nets, water purification equipment, basic tools, children’s drawing pads and crayons. Each ShelterBox costs $1,000, which includes the cost of shipping to the location where it is needed.