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Tracking aid to Haiti

  • A ShelterBox aid box sent from England takes five days to reach Haiti
  • It went via Ireland, Canada, the U.S. and Dominican Republic
  • Box contents include tent, water, school kits and blankets

Tune into CNN for a special edition of AC360° to see the strength of Haiti's survivors, the hope of the people and how individual acts of heroism are helping to rescue a nation. "CNN Heroes: Saving Haiti," Saturday and Sunday at 8 & 11 p.m. ET

(CNN) -- Aid is getting to Haiti but it's not as simple as getting a direct flight to the quake-battered nation.

CNN followed one aid container from the headquarters of ShelterBox in Cornwall, England, to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to see the hurdles aid groups face.

Minutes after the earthquake struck on January 12, the ShelterBox crew sprang into action. The international disaster relief organization is the brainchild of Tom Henderson, who was recognized as a CNN Hero in 2008.

"If you've lost everything as they have in Haiti, it's all about shelter, warmth, comfort and dignity," says Henderson. "That's what ShelterBox is."

Video: ShelterBox helps Haiti
Video: ShelterBoxes sent to Haiti

A ShelterBox container -- containing relief supplies including a 10-person tent, water and blankets -- is designed to be easily carried by two people and stackable for easy storage.

To get to Haiti from Cornwall, the box went on four flights and one overland trip over five days before being distributed to a mother and her newborn baby.

Once in the Dominican Republic -- Haiti's neighbor -- there were delays because of security concerns and a national holiday that meant local help was limited.

The ShelterBox was one of 720 boxes eventually loaded into a four truck convoy in Santa Domingo for a U.N.-escorted drive to Haiti.

The drive from Santo Domingo to the Haiti border took about 11 hours because of poor roads and a puncture.

Twelve ShelterBoxes are being used to build an emergency field hospital at the airport, said Mark Pearson who is in Haiti for the charity.

Each ShelterBox contains individual survival equipment like water carriers, a tool kit and a children's pack containing drawing books, crayons and pens.

By February 1, Shelterbox hopes to have more than 7,000 boxes in Haiti, housing up to 70,000 people. But Henderson acknowledges there is much more to be done.

"There are thousands of people dying every day. That's what drives us forward. This is not a job for us. It's a passion."

Want to get involved? Check out ShelterBox's Web site and see how to help.

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