Plaza Rotary Club Member, Jeff Deatherage, has earned a national award for efforts following Japan earthquake and other disasters.  He was recognized by President Obama and ShelterBox USA with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his efforts during 2011 to provide shelter, warmth and dignity for survivors of natural and other disasters worldwide.


In the aftermath of disasters such as the Japan earthquake and tsunami last March, many watched on the television wishing they could make a difference. Deatherage knew ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity, would be on the scene delivering it’s iconic green box containing a family tent, water purification, a cook set and stove along with other lifesaving supplies. Through Deatherage’s efforts of raising awareness and funds for ShelterBox, the organization was able to provide more than 17,600 ShelterBoxes to families throughout the world in 2011, including the tornadoes in the southern U.S., drought and famine in East Africa, widespread flooding in the Philippines and the subsequent earthquakes in Turkey.



“I am truly proud to honor our volunteers, who work hard year-round to support ShelterBox and our efforts to help families rebuild their lives across the globe,” said Emily Sperling, ShelterBox USA President. “It’s because of the continuous efforts of our volunteers such as Jeff that we are able to help so many vulnerable families each year.”


The President’s Volunteer Service Award is a special recognition presented on behalf of President of the United States. The award is part of a national recognition program created in 2003 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.


Since 2000, ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity following more than 170 disasters in 80 countries. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. Each iconic green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, stove, blankets and water filtration system, among other tools for survival. ShelterBox’s American affiliate, ShelterBox USA is nationally headquartered in Sarasota, Florida. Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at, (941) 907-6036 or via text message by sending SHELTER to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation. Location and time specific donations cannot be accepted. Jeff Deatherage serves as Chair for the District 6040 Shelterbox USA Committee.