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

In her October 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 PREPARDNESS: Hurricane Season is Here

2020 has been a year like no other. While coronavirus continues to spread around the world, extreme weather events are now lurking as well. 

This year’s Atlantic Basin hurricane season is more active than usual. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has already recorded more powerful named storms than average since the start of the season.

But what does an extremely active hurricane season look like in practice? The 2020 hurricane season, which runs from June to November, is already off to a flying start. By early August, there have already been a record-high of nine named storms, including two hurricanes. The NOAA is forecasting 19 to 25 named storms, with between 7 and 11 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. We can remember how devastating the hurricane season was in 2017, particularly in the Caribbean. Rotary Clubs helped us prepare and we were able to respond quickly after Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept through the area, leaving significant destruction behind.

Thanks to our global network of supporters like you, we’re always ready and on standby, monitoring weather events using a number of alert systems. 

There are always challenges when responding to devastating hurricanes. This year, however, the challenges are very different. The coronavirus pandemic means that it will be more challenging for response teams to travel to hurricane-hit countries. But our links with local partners and Rotary worldwide means we can provide aid in new ways that keep families safe. This combined with our storage of pre-positioned aid in strategic locations globally, means we are still able to get shelter to families who are in a vulnerable position – no matter what.

Recently, ShelterBox has been able to support families in the Philippines who are recovering from Typhoon Vongfong. The only difference between typhoons hurricanes is the location where they form.  Heavy rains and wind-speeds of up to 165km/h caused extensive damage and destroyed thousands of homes across the islands. But thanks to Rotary Clubs and Rotarians around the world, ShelterBox was prepared to help!

Aid was delivered to 1,000 families in the Oras and Arteche municipalities, regions where no other shelter support was being provided. Families, such as Rodante and Nalcie’s in the photo above, have been given the tools they need to start rebuilding their homes, and move out of congested evacuation centres, providing the ability to isolate as COVID-19 still spreads.

ShelterBox responds to Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Typhoons all over the world, and being prepared for when they strike is the first step. Challenge yourself and those in your club to help us prepare for our hurricane responses before they strike.  Learn more 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