Posted by Allison Kingston, Community Fundraising Coordinator, ShelterBox Canada and Member, Rotaract Club of Sarnia-Lambton

In her December 2020 Newsletter, Allison Kingston, Community Fundraising Coordinator, ShelterBox Canada and a Member of the  Rotaract Club of Sarnia-Lambton, discusses Hurricane season and Shelterbox readiness to respond. The coronavirus pandemic means that it will be more challenging for response teams to travel to hurricane-hit countries But their links with local partners and Rotary worldwide means they can provide aid in new ways that keep families safe  . Here's more of her newsletter.....

20 YEARS OF GRATITUDE: Home for the Holidays

As the calendar year comes to a close and we reach the half-way point of the Rotary year, families all over the world are gathering in new ways to find gratefulness in being together, however that may look. Thank to our supporters in 2020, ShelterBox has been able to ensure that over 25,000 families have a home for the holidays. Home is the center of all that we do at ShelterBox, the same way as home is central to our lives, families, and communities.

“For Filipinos, home – or ‘bahay’ as we call it – really is where the heart is. It’s the centre of our family life, our social life and very often our working life too. At Christmas especially, being able to get together in our own homes means everything to us.”
                                                                                                                – Rose Placencia, ShelterBox Operations Philippines

The pandemic did not stop natural disasters from affecting the Philippines this year. Most recently a series of typhoons, including Typhoon Goni, the most powerful storm since 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan, devastated many communities in the region. In 2020, before Typhoon Goni struck, ShelterBox had responded twice to the Philippines, in response to the Taal Volcano eruption and Typhoon Vongfong. As we deploy in response to this new wave of tropical storm destruction, Alejandro and his family are just one of many recovering from Typhoon Vongfong who now have a home for the holidays.

Typhoon Vongfong (known locally as Ambo) devastated communities across Eastern Samar in the Philippines earlier this year. The destruction caused by the typhoon and the torrential rain that it brought with it affected nearly half a million people.

26-year-old Alejandro lives with his 25-year-old wife Jennifer and their 3-year-old child Keth in the Eastern Samar region. They have lived in this region for four years, but unexpectedly, Typhoon Vongfong destroyed their home. ShelterBox was able to support Alejandro and his family with materials to rebuild.

We asked Alejandro what items that he received were most useful to his self-recovery, ‘the tarpaulin and the solar light. We used it as roof and wall. The solar light is a very big help because we only have one bulb for the entire house, It’s not dark anymore. We feel safe because we are covered with these tarps already, we have our privacy now. Our daughter is smiling more often now because according to her we have a new house.’

Support from Rotary Clubs and Rotarians all over the world make supporting families like Alejandro’s possible. This holiday season we are so grateful for your support knowing that because of you, more families can light up their own homes for the holidays.

Join ShelterBox Canada Response Team Members and Rotarian staff December 11 via Zoom to ask your questions and learn more about our work in the Philippines. Register at:

Learn more about the ShelterBox Rotary partnership and how you can get involved at:

ShelterBox Book Club International

Are you a Book Worm or an aspirational one? ShelterBox has launched their Book Club International and wants you to join them!  Each month, ShelterBox teams carefully select a compelling story from around the world for book club members to read. You can join the ShelterBox Book Club community on Facebook for interactive discussion, Q&A with authors, highlights from response team members and more!  Read along at your own pace and join the discussion online. You’ll participate in discussion about the book and what you’ve just read, but you’ll also get to learn more about the people and places inspired by these books. You’ll hear from different authors about different perspectives and experiences. And you’ll receive firsthand stories from ShelterBox members who’ve travelled around the world, visiting these countries to deliver aid. Read more about how you or your club can volunteer with us:


Read our Current Operations to see more countries your support is working in.

For more information about ShelterBox and to learn more about where we are responding, visit us at

Click here to read a story about what it takes to train for a ShelterBox Response team. 

The Rotary Action Toolkit

Are you looking for resources to support your fundraising and awareness activities for ShelterBox? Check out our new Rotary Action Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to provide information and tools you need to support the partnership between Rotary and ShelterBox in your communities. Access resources on how to fundraise, volunteer and access our training centre to use resources used by our ShelterBox Response Team members to help with your Club’s communication, goal setting and more.  Rotary club presidents around the world have also commented. Ace Robin, President of the Mataram Rotary Club, Indonesia, was caught up in the deadly earthquakes that hit Lombok in 2018. Her home survived, but many around her were destroyed. Through an agreement with the government-led response, Ace’s club was central to bringing ShelterBox aid to Indonesia. Thanks to their support, vulnerable members of the community received vital emergency shelter, including families with elderly relatives, pregnant women or new mothers. Ace said: ‘Working with ShelterBox taught us a lot – they showed us how to build shelter and select families to help. It also gave us a chance to show what Rotary is to local people.’ We are grateful for the incredible support and acts of partnership shown by Rotarians and Rotary clubs around the world. If you would like to learn more about the partnership or how your club can support ShelterBox Canada, please visit our Action Toolkit at

Yours  in Rotary,

Allison Kingston

Community Fundraising Coordinator, ShelterBox Canada

Member of the  Rotaract Club of Sarnia-Lambton


Celebrate the Rotary Family:

Here is a challenge to Rotary and Rotaract Clubs in District 7070: We encourage you to host a community event to celebrate the impact of Rotary and ShelterBox’s partnership around the globe. Invite a ShelterBox Volunteer to share stories from the field and learn how your club can become a ShelterBox supporter or volunteer.


GET CONNECTED: Join the conversation : 

Did you know that there is a Rotary and ShelterBox Support Group on Facebook? It is a group that brings together Rotarians, ShelterBox Supporters, Staff and ShelterBox Response Teams to discuss all things ShelterBox and Rotary. It is a great place to see the latest operations updates, Rotary deployment information and video content to share with your Rotary Club. If you would like to join the group and conversation, please search for “Rotary and ShelterBox Support Group” on Facebook and ask to join the conversation!



Looking for speakers this Rotary year? We would love to tell your club even more about ShelterBox and the impact Rotarians make. Request a speaker:





Violent attacks by armed groups in Burkina Faso have caused over 800,000 people to lose their homes. More than 2 million people are in need of life-saving assistance. Families have fled their homes and left their communities behind. There are very few camps set up for displaced families, so many people are residing in crowded, makeshift spaces like schools and other public buildings. But many others have had to seek refuge under just trees. The shelter needs are huge. Families are struggling to access food, water, and medical services as the violence continues to cut off significant parts of the country.  Violence against civilians continues to increase and humanitarian resources are depleting. ShelterBox is delivering aid, but we can't do it without you.

Tarps, thermal blankets, sleeping mats and other aid like water filters and solar lights are on their way to helping families. But they need our help today to ensure families affected by this crisis get the aid they need. Our compassion, and our generosity are vital to helping families recover and stay safe. Please donate today to help families in Burkina Faso.  Our support today will provide families with life-saving aid. Our donations will give families a new place to call home after fleeing everything. Our kindness will allow families to stay together and recover together. And our generosity will keep the situation from worsening by helping to slow the spread of coronavirus.



With the new Rotary year upon us there are so many ways to be the inspiration and make a difference in our communities and around the world. ShelterBox is looking for more dedicated individual across Canada to join our volunteer team. Whatever skills, knowledge or spare time you have, you can play a vital role in ensuring no family goes without shelter. Learn more about our various volunteer roles and how you can get involved in the 2019-20 Rotary year by visiting us at


About ShelterBox Canada: Canada is a registered charity that has been a part of the global ShelterBox network since 2010. We have a team of over 120 volunteers across the country who share their passion with us and help us raise awareness and fundraise across the country. There are ten Canadian ShelterBox Response Team members who work tirelessly with the rest of the International Response Team to deliver aid to families who need it around the world. To learn more about our board and staff click here .

ShelterBox and Rotary are official project partners in international disaster relief. ShelterBox is a registered charity independent of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation.  Since  2012, we have been neighbours, friends and community leaders. Their aim is to create positive, lasting change in communities at home and all over the world.project partners with Rotary International, a global community of 1.2 million. Rotary has supported ShelterBox from the start when a local club championed the simple idea to package up essential shelter items in our now-iconic ShelterBoxes. As ShelterBox grew, so did Rotary support, and we are now international project partners in disaster relief. This partnership has helped us to become who we are today. Our global network of ShelterBox affiliates, which provides all-round assistance, evolved from Rotary relationships.



E:        T: 647.352.1930

ShelterBox Canada – 159 Jane Street, Office 2, Toronto, ON M6S 3Y8

Is your club interested in having a ShelterBox Presentation at an upcoming meeting? Let us know at