I’ve been dreaming about canoeing the entire Mississippi River, from the headwaters at Lake Itasca all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, for as long as I can remember and I have been actually planning it for quite a long time. The plans took on a different meaning when I decided to use this trip to raise awareness and money for an organization whose mission holds a special place in my heart. ShetlerBox USA is an International disaster relief charity that responds rapidly with life saving equipment to help restore shelter, warmth, and dignity after natural and other disasters. As Rotary International’s Global Project Partner for disaster relief, ShelterBox works closely with Rotarians for both funding and other types of support.
I’ve been traveling around the US and Canada this past year meeting with Rotarians and giving presentations to share the mission and the story of ShelterBox and to talk about the Mississippi Expedition. I frequently am asked “How long do you think it will take you?”. The answer is “I know exactly how long it will take me.” 90 Days. According to scientists it takes a drop of rainwater 90 days to travel from the headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. We will be tying that into the message during the trip because water quality is so important, especially after a disaster. As much death can be caused after an event by disease and infection due to poor water quality and sanitation than the actual disaster itself in some cases.
I could complete this journey much faster but giving myself 90 days will allow me to have time to give presentations and meet with people to spread the message about ShelterBox. It’s also going to allow me time to really take in the experience and have some fun. I hope you stay tuned to our blog and like us on facebook at Mississippi Expedition so you can follow along and be part of the fun!