Spirito! Singers proudly honors Elmhurst resident, Mark Dyer with its 2015-2016 Service Award for his volunteer work helping diaster victims around the world with ShelterBox.
ShelterBox is a world-wide humanitarian organization. When a natural or manmade disaster strikes, ShelterBox deploys two-to-four-person response teams within 48-72 hours to bring emergency shelter, aid, and hope to those who need it most. Specifically, ShelterBox delivers self-contained boxes with family-size tents, stoves, water purification equipment, and other emergency materials directly to families who have lost their homes as a result of major disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, typhoons, and war.
Mark Dyer: Disasters are terrible, but it is heartwarming to see people at their best amid the worst.
Since 2008, Mark has served as a ShelterBox field responder, personally delivering those lifesaving boxes to Haiti, Columbia, Somaliland, and other places around the world. The role is mentally and physically challenging. When deployed, Mark must respond to disasters on short notice and work in extreme conditions for two to five weeks at a time and often in some of the most dangerous and destitute locations around the globe.
The selection process to serve as a field responder is rigorous. Mark is one of only about 185 qualified field responders worldwide. Mark learned about ShelterBox through the
Rotary Club of Elmhurst, where he was a member. Two of his most memorable and rewarding experiences were (1) working with a young Nigerian man, who—after severe flooding wiped out his town and killed its mayor—jumped into the leadership role for his town and helped Mark make sure supplies were first distributed to the disabled, widows, and orphans most in need, and (2) seeing two Japanese women reunited after each thought the other had died in a tsunami.
Mark has served on 12 ShelterBox missions: Somaliland (war refugees, 2009), Niger (flood, 2009), Miami (logistics for Haitian earthquake, 2010), Haiti (earthquake, 2010), Colombia (flood, 2010), Japan (tsunami, 2011), Arkansas (tornado, 2011), Colombia (flood, 2011), Haiti (tropical storm, 2012), Nigeria (flood, 2012), Philippines (earthquake/typhoon, 2014), and Malaysia (flooding 2015). On eight of these deployments, ShelterBox designated Mark as the Response Team Leader, making him responsible for the overall field operation of the team. Few have served on so many ShelterBox missions.
Mark lives with his family in Elmhurst. When he is not on a mission around the world, Mark works as the Community Outreach Specialist for the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, which is owned and operated by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
Welcome to the Spirito! family, Mark!