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Bowen Islanders can help earthquake victims

It has been over a week since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan. Since then, the death toll keeps rising, a nuclear reactor is leaking, and thousands of people have lost their homes.

It has been over a week since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan. Since then, the death toll keeps rising, a nuclear reactor is leaking, and thousands of people have lost their homes.

As images and stories stream into the homes of Bowen Island residents, many are asking what can be done to help.

Islander Eric Sherlock works at the Japanese consulate in Vancouver. He says, "The best way to contribute at this time is by donation to the Canadian Red Cross."

The Red Cross has set up a specific fund to aid the victims of the disaster in Japan. You can donate on-line at www.redcross.ca, by phone at 1-800-418-1111, or by mail.

Other islanders are taking action. The Bowen Island Rotary Club is working together with ShelterBox Canada to bring much-needed supplies to the affected areas. The 130-pound, green boxes contain 10-person tents, water purifying systems that can purify 3,000 litres of water, blankets, cooking utensils, activity packs for kids and more.

ShelterBox is currently active in Japan, Madagascar, Bolivia, Peru, and New Zealand. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, 250,000 people lived in tents provided by Shelter Box.

A sample box will be on display this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, at the Snug Cafe between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Rotary Club members and friends will be available to take donations.

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