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

In her February 2021 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.....

SHELTERBOX: Getting Our Aid Where it is Needed Most


In the era of COVID-19, the challenges of transporting aid around the world are greater than ever. But as the world around us is constantly changing so too is how we get our ShelterBox aid to the families who need it most.

You may remember when all our aid was shipped from our ShelterBox operations headquarters warehouse in Cornwall, England to disaster zones across the world. Over the years our ways of working have adapted so we can provide the most effective aid package in the most efficient way. One of those changes was introducing prepositioning hubs into our supply chain. This means that we have moved to a system storing aid items in strategic locations around the world. This pre-positioned aid makes it quicker and cheaper to move the aid to where it is needed when responding to a disaster.

Our Logistics and Procurement Team constantly monitor stock levels in each of our storage locations. After stock is allocated to a response, we place orders to replenish the warehouse immediately which is why Rotary support is so important. There are many considerations when it comes to prepositioning aid, including: – Manufacturing times – Transit times – Frequency of stock use – Space and container optimisation.

Our continual improvement at ShelterBox means that over the years our aid range has developed and evolved to provide better solutions for people. Certain types of tents no longer fit in the boxes, but that doesn’t mean we stop providing the very best items we possibly can. The box is still a central part of who we are – the most important bit is that we provide the emergency shelter items that people need to help them recover.

We also often ship our boxes and stock separately rather than prepacked and this too has huge advantages. An empty box with items separated will clear customs much more easily and takes up much less space in a shipping container.

When it comes to transporting our aid after the arrival to the affected country, many of our Rotary connections become invaluable. Rotarians and Rotary Clubs not only often help us to move aid through customs, their connections and support often helps to get our aid from the port to the communities and families that need it.

After Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines in November 2020, it was these Rotary connections that helped our team secure navy ships, trucks and forklifts to get our aid from one of our prepositioned warehouses in Cebu to the most hard-hit communities in the nation. Our team is constantly handed new and ever-changing logistics challenges, but just as Rotarians don’t turn back when faced with a challenge, neither do we at ShelterBox.

Looking to learn more about Rotary and ShelterBox’s impact around the world through our annual partnership report. Visit:



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




2020 was an impactful year for ShelterBox thanks to you! 

While 2020 was definitely a difficult year, your dedication and compassion ensured that families around the world got the aid they urgently needed. Coronavirus added challenges to families facing disaster and conflict. Fleeing home to overcrowded collective centres added a crisis within a crisis to many families. But thanks to your generosity, families were able to leave these centres and isolate and recover in their own private shelters.

Operations teams faced difficulties getting aid into countries, and into the hands of families. Border closures and strict covid regulations have added lots of complications. But thanks to your support, teams have been able to adapt to the challenges. Working with partners has enabled your aid to get to those who need it most!

Thank you for being a part of the ShelterBox family. Together we accomplished so much in this wild year, and we look forward to seeing what we can do together in 2021!

Click here to read more about your impact on families




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:






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