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

In her July 2020 Newsletter, Allison Kingston, Community Fundraising Coordinator, ShelterBox Canada and a Member of the  Rotaract Club of Sarnia-Lambton, discusses leadership in Rotary and at Shelterbox and reminds us that as Rotary clubs around the world change leadership for the new Rotary year, ShelterBox remains a leader in disaster relief all over the world. Each year, Rotary helps us to go further, support more people, and access areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach. Here's more of her newsletter.....

20 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP: ShelterBox Remains a Leader in Emergency Shelter

As Rotary clubs around the world change leadership for the new Rotary year, ShelterBox remains a leader in disaster relief all over the world. Each year, Rotary helps us to go further, support more people, and access areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach.

ShelterBox is recognized in the humanitarian sector for our world-leading technical and specialized expertise in emergency shelter. Our staff and volunteers have specialist skills that many larger organizations don’t have. We are valued for being flexible enough to work side by side with partners, we provide training not only for the communities we support but also for local partners who provide longer-term support when we are no longer there.

At ShelterBox we listen to the families that we work with, ensuring they receive what they need for their self-recovery and ensuring that the community and their leaders remain at the center of the responses. Leading by listening, we are constantly adapting to the needs of the communities that we work with. COVID-19 has made clear our ability to lead the adaptation of the disaster relief sector, such as in The Philippines. ShelterBox Operations Philippines, one of our permanent operations offices, was approached by a local hospital in Cebu asking for support to make additional shelters for triage and testing areas. Their disaster, this time was COVID. Due to our reliable response in many areas in The Philippines, we are seen by the local community as leaders in shelter aid. We were able to respond, providing tarps and other shelter materials to meet this hospital’s needs.

Rotary is a leader in the international community as well, making change and opening opportunities. As local Rotary Clubs partner with other clubs around the world to execute life-changing projects, often too does ShelterBox. Local partners are also incredibly important to the lasting impact shelter can make. With COVID-19, travel restrictions have limited the ease of international travel. We have adapted and are still able to reach families that we are committed to by leading responses with local partners. This means that we are still able to reach families with shelter aid, but also work to adapt these responses to fit the communities even better.  

Strong leadership is important to any Rotary club as it is to us at ShelterBox. Each ShelterBox Response Team Member, who is on the ground in our deployments, is trained in how to be a leader in high stake situations that they may face. Using what we teach them, we have created the ShelterBox Training Centre, specifically for Rotary clubs to grow through leading together, building stronger clubs in our communities. 

We always welcome more leaders to join us. Become a Club Champion and lead the awareness of ShelterBox in your community and district. Lead fundraisers with your club or your community to ensure that more families are able to receive the shelter that they need after disaster or conflict. Leaders always continue to brush up on their skills. Access to the Training Centre as well as numerous other resources in our specially designed Action Tool Kit 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:

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!



Please contact Tess Widdifield and she will arrange a Shelterbox Ambassador to speak to your Rotary Club.  

Email:          T:  647.352.1930   

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






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