From Saginaw with Love … to appropriately rework the title of a famed James Bond movie from 1964. 

Thirty-four individual members of the Rotary Club of Saginaw and some cool friends recently helped fund FIVE ShelterBoxes to aid the beleaguered country of Ukraine. 

Each box cost $1000 and contains a family-size tent and other aid items such as mosquito nets, water filters, water carriers, solar lights, cooking sets, tools, blankets, mats and activities for children, all packed in a sturdy green box.

We know that is but a drop in the bucket on what is needed in that country nearly 5,000 miles from Saginaw, thanks to an unprovoked invasion by Russia.  But we so desperately wanted to do something as a part of the internationally-focused Rotary, and anything is better than nothing.

The 34 people who donated include16 current members of our Rotary club. But even more heartwarming is that three former members of our club chipped in AND 15 members of the Saginaw Branch of the Woman's National Farm & Garden Association. 

In a ripple effect, one of our club members is a member of the garden club, and when she told them what we were doing they asked if they could join in our effort and began donating to us.

And actually that ripple effect began when one of our club members heard about the ShelterBox for Ukraine effort by attending a Rotary Club of Saginaw Sunrise meeting and watched as its members quickly raised enough money for three of the boxes.

She took her experience to our board, and they said let’s see what WE can do. The  Rotary Club of  Saginaw board voted to take $1,000 from our savings to fund the first ShelterBox and then challenged members to individually raise enough money for a second box.

It just kept growing. The checks from the 34 donors ranged from $10 to $500.

So that is eight boxes from tiny Saginaw.

We have $21 extra we will donate to somewhere needy.

ShelterBox was founded in 2000 by the small Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in Cornwall, England, as a project to mark the Millenium. It has since become an independent 501 (c) (3) but remains closely allied with Rotary International.

The boxes are sent to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tropical cyclones, tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions, and also provide emergency aid to families displaced by war or conflict.

Since 2000, ShelterBox staff and volunteers have helped to shelter more than 1.5 million people in more than 100 countries around the world.

The aid provided is tailored to the nature of each location and therefore it is not always the same. ShelterBox Response Teams distribute aid on the ground, working closely with local organizations, local and international aid agencies, and Rotary club worldwide. 

Charity Navigator rates this charity's score as 92.41, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity.

To those confused by the reference regarding the James Bond movie, that movie was titled “From Russia with Love.”