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Actor Judi Dench is the latest celebrity that ShelterBox's brand of aid has impressed. ShelterBox provides, literally, shelter boxes to victims of disaster. The current target is East African refugees who are fleeing into Kenya from the drought in Somalia.

ShelterBox ships their 110-pound plastic boxes containing the equipment most urgently needed for the vulnerable refugees. A sturdy, weather proof, family-sized tent with internal divisions, thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets, mosquito nets, water purification equipment, a tool kit including axe, saw, shovel and wire cutters, a wood or multi-fuel burning stove, cooking and eating utensils, and even a children’s pack of books and crayons are all possibilities to fill these boxes according to the disaster at hand, as well as the lightweight, waterproof boxes themselves that can be utilized as food storage containers.

“This is a very effective and immediate way of helping those in extreme distress,” said Dench according to a report in the This Is The West Country paper.

According to ShelterBox’s news page, in one week in August, 1,750 new tents were set up and in one day 900 families were moved in. Besides the basic necessities, though, there is something else that the big green boxes seem to be supplying. When one 14-year-old girl’s family moved into their tent, she said, “It was so nice last night I cried with happiness and went to sleep.”

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