SARASOTA, Fla.
3/5/2013

During its 2013 Annual Conference and Humanitarian Awards, international disaster relief organization, ShelterBox USA presented Airlink with a Nonprofit Partner Award.

Airlink, a humanitarian initiative that matches the cargo and passenger travel needs of organizations responding to disasters or other humanitarian crises with airlines that can provide transportation for free or at an extremely low cost, received the ShelterBox USA Nonprofit Partner Award for its outstanding commitment to ShelterBox and its mission.

ShelterBox provides humanitarian aid—emergency tented shelter and other supplies, such as stoves, blankets and water filtration systems, among other tools to help families rebuild their lives after losing their homes and possessions following a disaster such as earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict.

Airlink’s partnership expands ShelterBox’s ability to provide shelter, warmth and dignity to disaster survivors globally. Its first interaction with Airlink occurred during the organization’s response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake when a 727 cargo plane provided by Airlink flew ShelterBoxes to survivors within two weeks of the deployment. Since then, Airlink has helped the organization preposition equipment and deliver supplies in the immediate aftermath of disasters occurring around the world and secured passenger flights, allowing volunteers to attend training and staff to visit with stakeholders around the United States. 

“Through Airlink, we have provided emergency tented shelter to families in Haiti, Peru and the Philippines, just to name a few,” said Emily Sperling, ShelterBox USA president. “When I joined a team responding to flooded villages along the Amazon in Peru last May, Airlink, in a matter of a couple days, secured transport of our boxes from another part of the country thought to be inaccessible and ensured they arrived free-of-charge.”

"It was truly an honor to receive the 2013 ShelterBox Nonprofit Partner Award at the conference,” said Steve Smith, Airlink’s executive director. “From the beginning, our relationship with ShelterBox has been an asset and it has been a pleasure to work with everyone on the ShelterBox team.

“I hope as the year unfolds, we will be able to complete more humanitarian missions together. Our long standing relationships with the airlines participating in the Airlink program are key, and we will continue our efforts to engage the aviation community. We greatly appreciate being the recipients of this award; receiving it has given us even greater motivation to take the Airlink program further for our NGO community."

Other ShelterBox USA Humanitarian Award recipients included Baker & McKenzie, Centerline Digital and UPS.

ShelterBox is currently monitoring need after an earthquake and tsunami struck the Solomon Islands, and has teams responding to a tropical storm in the Philippines, as well as the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon.   

Since 2000, ShelterBox has responded to over 200 disasters in more than 85 countries. Its American affiliate, ShelterBox USA is headquartered in Sarasota, Fla. Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at www.shelterboxusa.org or 941-907-6036.