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Bungay Haiti challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:04 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:09 01 August 2010

A CHALLENGE has gone out to the community of Bungay to raise £10,000 within the next three weeks in response to the earthquake disaster in Haiti.

Leaders in the town have got together to issue the challenge as the catastrophic scale of the disaster, and its aftermath, highlighted on news bulletins, continues to strike a chord.

A CHALLENGE has gone out to the community of Bungay to raise £10,000 within the next three weeks in response to the earthquake disaster in Haiti.

Leaders in the town have got together to issue the challenge as the catastrophic scale of the disaster, and its aftermath, highlighted on news bulletins, continues to strike a chord.

Now the call from town reeve John Groom, the mayor, John Warnes and Rotary Club president Terry Reeve is for townspeople to get behind the challenge to raise the money which will be used specifically to provide Shelterboxes for those made homeless.

Each one provides a 10-person tent, groundsheet, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, water purifiers and other items, such as hammer, axe, saw and pliers, to help families re-establish an element of privacy and dignity in a country which is one of the most undeveloped anywhere in the world.

A target of £10,000 would provide 20 shelter boxes and because their shipment and distribution will be handled by Rotary volunteers, they will get directly to those who use them.

The appeal already has impressive initial response. One person has promised £500, the Rotary Club is providing £1000, the mayor and town reeve each promised personal donations of £100, Bungay Inner Wheel is planning a fundraising event at the Fisher Theatre, and last week Bungay High School was holding a non-uniform day in return for donations from students. Churches are also supporting the appeal.

“We are backing this appeal 100pc. This is an achievable target,” said Mr Groom. “Time is of the essence and we have set a deadline of February 13 to achieve it, but with the support of the town it can be done.”

Mr Warnes said it was important that Bungay responded to the emergency, as it had done five years ago following the tsunami which hit Sri Lanka, Thailand and other far eastern countries.

Mr Reeve added: “Around 200,000 people died in that disaster and the death toll in Haiti could be the same. Hundreds of thousands more are homeless and left with nothing, and it is those who need help.

“Bungay as a community has shown its compassion and active response in the past and I know it will rise to the challenge again. Once again it is distressing images of orphaned children and heartbroken parents that are driving the desire to do something positive.”

Organisations, businesses and individuals are being encouraged to organise events such as coffee mornings or lunches, or hold collections at meetings, and individuals are being asked to do the same. Donations can also be made, while there my be those prepared to organise house-to-house collections in their own street or road, though they would need to contact the town reeve, mayor or Rotary president first to put it on an official footing for security reasons.

People can take donations or money raised to John Groom's butchers in Wingfield Street or New Beginnings Florists in Earsham Street any time from now until February 13. They should be put in an envelope, with brief details of how the money was raised, and marked Bungay Haiti Earthquake Appeal. Cheques should be made payable to Rotary Club of Bungay Haiti Appeal.

Mr Reeve will be at the Fisher Theatre tomorrow morning from 11am-1pm to receive any donations.

Meanwhile Bungay Inner Wheel Club is supporting the appeal by holding a ploughman's lunch at the Fisher Theatre next Thursday from 12 noon - 2pm. Lunch will be £5 per person and everyone is welcome.

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