Shelter Via Box


Ki Joon Lee

Freshman Ibtesaam Rashid donates to the cause.

Aaron Sha, Staff Writer

The social studies department introduced its own ShelterBox donation page in September in order to raise money for victims of this year’s hurricane season.

From mid-August until early October, the United States, particularly Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, was bombarded by a series of incredibly destructive hurricanes, leaving thousands mourning for their destroyed property or the 194 U.S. confirmed fatalities, according to CNN.

“ShelterBox is a charity that provides temporary shelters, supplies and food to disaster areas around the world,” social studies department chair Jon Resendez said. “ShelterBox came to mind because they just continuously do this. And now, there’s all the devastation in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria, and [Shelterbox is] there, providing shelter, providing food, providing people with something who have absolutely nothing.”

ShelterBox collects monetary donations to purchase necessary and suitable items for designated groups of people, in this case U.S. citizens who are in need of shelter due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria.

Social studies teacher Virginia Nguyen was the first to introduce the idea of the donation page.

“In my own teaching, I’ve always tried to bring current events into the classroom,” Nguyen said. “With the hurricanes that kept happening… we can feel really helpless seeing these kinds of things happening, and I wanted to empower my students in getting out of the feeling of helplessness to the feeling of action. ShelterBox was an opportunity to show action and to show empathy.”

Donating to ShelterBox is completely voluntary, although student participation is greatly encouraged. Currently, a total of $1,212 has been raised by the social studies donation page, about a quarter of the ongoing $5,000 goal.

“I hope that they [students] become more socially engaged in issues concerning the environment,” social studies teacher Natasha Schottland said. “The hurricanes aren’t a direct link to climate change, but it still is a link to climate change. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see more hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, all of that. It’s easy for us to forget because we live in Irvine. I want students to see that they can be the change.”

So far, the donations has come to a halt, but the damage caused by the hurricanes are far from repaired. If students are interested in donating, look for a link to the ShelterBox page in Google Classroom or a donation box in social studies teachers’ physical classrooms.