Don Crost and his "little blue truck" in front of Rotary HQ in Evanston.

This is about a fund drive.


Evanston native Don Crost, who now lives in Florida, drove his blue, 1953 Chevy pickup truck from Naples, Florida to Evanston to raise awareness and money for the ShelterBox campaign.

ShelterBox is just as it sounds. Shelter, packed in a box, delivered to areas of natural disaster or “conflict zones, like Ukraine and Sudan,” Crost explains. Mostly overseas, “where they don’t have FEMA,” he adds.

ShelterBox in the back of Don’s truck.

The green boxes contain a large tent, along with blankets, tools, and even a solar-powered charger so people can fire up their cell phones.

“The objective,” Crost says, “is to keep families together, and provide shelter at the worst time of their lives.”

This tent actually fits, folded up, of course, in the ShelterBox.

Rotary, the worldwide service organization, is based in Evanston, and Don, a Rotarian himself, pulled in Friday afternoon, following two weeks on the road, stopping at Rotary clubs along the way, hoping to reach a goal of $20,000.

A fully-packed Shelterbox costs $1,000, although the supplies that go inside cost less individually.

While most contributions came from those in the Rotary, Crost says others have helped as well.

“I met somebody at a wedding,” he adds, who gave money after learning of the project.

Crost, a member of the Bonita/Naples Rotary, spoke with those in the Evanston Lighthouse club as well as with members of the national staff outside the Rotary building after his arrival.

The heart of his message: besides the tent, and the supplies, “in every ShelterBox, there is always hope.”

For more information on Crost’s fundraising effort, go to

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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