190910 Ned Morris.jpg

ShelterBox team and Walla Walla Noon Rotary member Ned Morris was in Kenya in 2018 to aid residents affected by disastrous flooding. In a YouTube video at the time, above, he said his ShelterBox team removed all single-use plastics from their ShelterBox kits and replaced them with cloth bags or cardboard, then repacked each kit, a monumental, complex task. Kenya banned single-use plastics to reduce pollution.

Ned Morris of Walla Walla is dispatched around the world as a member of a ShelterBox team that responds to people who have lost their homes to natural disasters or fled because of civil conflict. Ned is a member of Rotary Club, a project partner with ShelterBox.

One such trip was to Kenya in 2018 when Ned’s team worked with Kenya Red Cross Society to support families displaced by recent flooding there. 

ShelterBox USA and President Donald Trump recognized Ned’s contributions to humanitarian aid with a Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for his efforts in 2018 to provide emergency shelter and supplies.

Ned has spoken to a variety of groups about the program to raise awareness and funds for ShelterBox, which that year provided shelter and lifesaving supplies to more than 210,000 people in 17 countries, including Kenya after severe flooding, the Philippines after Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Syria to support families affected by conflict, and many others, according to a release.

Entering Kenya with the ShelterBox kits proved daunting because of the nation’s strict prohibition on single-use plastics. Each kit contains family sized tents as temporary shelter or ShelterKits to allow people to build or rebuild durable shelters, plus mosquito nets, water filters, water carriers, solar lights, cooking sets, blankets and mats, many individually packed in single-use plastic bags. 

Ned said in a YouTube video that his team removed all the plastic bags and replaced them with cloth bags or cardboard and then repacked each kit, a monumental, complex task.

“The lifesaving work of ShelterBox is only possible because of our inspiring volunteers like Ned Morris, whose service in their communities is ensuring families made homeless by disaster and conflict situations have access to essential shelter and supplies,” said Kerri Murray, ShelterBox USA president. “This distinction truly sets him apart as someone committed to serving others and making the world a better place.”

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is part of a national recognition program created in 2003 during George W. Bush’s administration through the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation for individuals of all ages who contribute a significant amount of time to volunteer activities.

To volunteer, fundraise or make a donation, visit shelterboxusa.org or call 941-907-6036. Legacy and corporate giving options are available, too. 

Started in 2000, ShelterBox USA is a four-star rated charity by Charity Navigator and has Platinum status from GuideStar, which reports on nonprofits. Based in Sarasota, Fla., and Santa Barbara, Calif., ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity following more than 300 disasters in more than 100 countries. 

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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