No Ordinary Books. No Ordinary Book Club.

Book Club-2

These are tough times for everyone. We hope you and your familiy are keeping well, both physically and mentally, as you rise to meet the challenges of social isolation.

Could you do with a distraction from the news? Are you stuck at home with time on your hands? Bored with endless TV and Netflix?

Introducing ShelterBox Book Club – a unique community membership designed for Australians who share the love of a quality read.

Each member can vote on the next book – a shortlist of 3 books carefully selected by our Head Bookworm, who is always on the lookout for compelling stories from around the world; and strong characters with depth.

Join the ShelterBox Book Club community today with a monthly payment to ShelterBox, and you can look forward to delving into a new, exciting book every 6 weeks. Read along at your own pace and join the discussion online, via our private Facebook group.

And with every story you read, you’ll be transforming the lives of disaster-hit families around the world.

 

  • Join today with a monthly payment – we recommend at least $10 to support our work around the world
  • Receive a welcome email from our Head Bookworm
  • Join our Facebook group where you will get to vote on the next shortlist of 3 books – chosen by our Head Bookworm
  • Purchase your copy of the winning book, or take it out on loan from your local library. – receive exclusive member discounts from our partner book shop

 

The Book Room

 

 

  • Read along at your own pace – whenever suits you best.
  • Take part in the online discussions held on our Book Club Facebook Group – no spoilers!
  • Receive regular news and, updates on how your membership is helping the lives of disaster hit families.

 

Unique Sories3

 

Join today to vote on our first book ……

From Kosciuszko to Kathmandu – ShelterBox Australia’s newest board member trains for the Trek

Paul Roger is a Rotarian, a ShelterBox Australia Ambassador and was recently voted on to the board. A member of the Jerrabomberra club, in Queanbeyan, south-eastern New South Wales, Paul was the first person to sign up for the Nepal Trek. The Trek is a fundraising initiative run in conjunction with Inspired Adventures that will see a team of ShelterBox supporters trek the Annapurna range and experience the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.

Paul said, ‘As part of my preparation for the Nepal trek in September I had an idea that I should put a tick in the box for the highest place in Australia.

‘People told me the Mount Kosciuszko walk was a nice pleasant 13 Km round trip after taking the chairlift up from Thredbo village to the Eagles Nest terminal.  However I also heard that the more adventurous could leave out the chair lift and instead hike up the Merritts Nature Track which basically ascends 600 or so metres. Merritts track is classed as ‘strenuous’ over 4km and estimated to take 2-3 hours. We did it in 1hour and 50 minutes and it was indeed a steep and strenuous climb. After a short rest at Eagles Nest we joined the rest of our party who had (sensibly) taken the chairlift and off we went on the trek to the summit, a pleasant 6.5 Km gradually ascending another 300 or so metres.’

The gallery below shows some of the Merritts trail within the bush and then the amazing scenery once we were above the tree line. Yes we took lunch and a bottle of red, and enjoyed a picnic before the return journey, where we all took the chairlift down the last phase.  All in all the day saw us walk over 21 Km, do almost 30,000 steps (8,600 of which registered climbing up the Merritts Nature Trail) and apparently climbed 269 floors or just under 1000 metres.

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There are still places available to join Paul on the Nepal Trek, which departs in early September. Seven other adventurers will discover the majestic Annapurna region of the Himalaya’s, including Peter Pearce, OAM, a veteran of 20 deployments with ShelterBox as a Response Team member and Johanna Johns, ShelterBox District Chair for Rotary District 9685. You don’t have to be a Rotarian to join us, you just need a sense of adventure and a desire to help those affected by natural and manmade disasters around the world.

For details visit: https://inspiredadventures.com.au/events/ShelterBox-Nepal-Trek-2018/

Like Paul, you will find it a life-changing experience.


Raising funds in Burra – one bite at a time!

Young scout Trystan Readman made a promise way back in February to raise enough money to house a family in need of shelter after a disaster – Trystan achieved that goal and more as part of his Promise Badge as part the 1st Burra Scout Group in Burra NSW.

‘When Trystan approached ShelterBox, and said he wanted to fundraise for ShelterBox we were immediately impressed by his passion and his determination. We’ve been watching his endeavours with great interest over the last few months and have all been amazed by his effort said Paul Roger, ShelterBox Ambassador from Jerrabomberra.

Trystan’s initial goal was to free the world from hunger but this admirable goal was scaled back a little to provide a home to at least one family affected by disaster. ShelterBox was chosen to support as a leading international disaster relief organisation that provides emergency shelter to families devastated by floods, landslides and disaster.

Trystan was determined that he could raise $1000 to buy a ShelterBox and decided to raise funds by baking cupcakes, fudge (his favourite), protein balls, and chocolate chip cookies. With the help of his sister Meisha, they baked their way to raising over $1200 in total from selling their baked goodies at $1 each.

“The cookies were a massive hit at my workplace and there was much anticipation each week by my colleagues.’ said his mum Elvira Readman.

Trystan with ShelterBox Ambassador, Paul Roger

Trystan’s recipe is a closely guarded secret but one that has brought much joy to his customers and soon to a family in need. ‘Trystan is a classic example of one person making a huge difference’ said ShelterBox CEO Mike Greenslade. ‘We are indebted to all our fundraisers across Australia that build community service into their busy schedules just like Trystan has done’.

After selling 1000 cookies Trystan realised his goal of raising $1000 for a full ShelterBox and with a morning tea at his mum’s workplace, Paul Roger gave a presentation on the real impact that Trystan’s money will have on families. ‘This huge effort by Trystan will make a lifelong difference to a family who has lost everything. By providing a home to someone who has absolutely nothing is the greatest gift in such a terrible time. We are all very grateful to Trystan and his customers’.

There’s no stopping Trystan – his next goal is to raise enough money for a ShelterKit!

Diane and baby Yokimi in front of their ShelterBox tent.

You can make a real difference to those affected by disaster!

Do you have a great fundraising idea? Do you want to help families affected by disaster and crisis? Start your won fundraising page here: https://nfp.everydayhero.com/au/shelterbox-australia

Laen’s ShelterBox bike ride raises over $1,000!

 

Laen with sponsor, Mike Latimer from Transition Cycles in Ballina, NSW

Laen with sponsor, Mike Latimer from Transition Cycles in Ballina, NSW

When 12-year old Laen Wilkin learned about the work of ShelterBox during a presentation at his local school, the Alstonville Primary student decided that he wanted to do something to help those affected by disaster and humanitarian crisis.

With the help of his mum Nell, he was soon planning a bike ride from nearby Ballina to Byron, towing one of the charity’s iconic green ShelterBoxes. In addition to raising money on his personalised fundraising page, Laen planned to stop off along the way a deliver presentations on ShelterBox to other primary schools along the way. The ride was to take place over three days, with Laen camping out at night, sleeping in a ShelterBox disaster relief tent and utilising the contents of a box to fetch water, cook and keep warm.

Come 1st August, Laen was all set and headed off from Transition Cycles in Ballina to speak to the children at Ballina Public School before riding to his first camp site at Flat Rock Tent Park.

Laen at Flat Rock Tent Park

Over the next day, Laen rode to Lennox Head, where he spoke at the local public school and received a boost to his fundraising when the staff at the Kiosk café and the Lennox Gelato & Coffee Co donated their tip jars! Then it was on the Byron Bay for another presentation at Byron Public School, before culminating his ride at Cape Byron’s iconic Lighthouse.

 

Lean at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse, at the completion of his ride

Laen said, ‘I created and completed my fundraiser because I thought it was the right thing to do’.

Laen received great support from his family along the way, his mum, Nell said, the experience ‘strengthened Laen’s independence, awareness and communication in how to practically create change for the better for all people in times of need. Determination, self-belief and compassion to support others are qualities I’ve been lucky to see Laen express during his ShelterBox journey

I think we can all admire the efforts of this impressive young man, determined to make a difference. Well done Laen!

Start your own fundraiser here: Fundraise For Disaster Relief

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Laen would like to thank the following for their support: Transition Cycles (Ballina), Just Ride Cycles (Lismore), Northern Rivers Family Garden, Flat Rock Tent Park, The Kiosk (Lennox Head), Lennox Gelato & Coffee Co, North Coast Holiday Park (Lennox Head), Byron Holiday Park, Ballina Advocate, Northern Star

Tomorrow, 20th June is World Refugee Day – Dame Judi Dench endorses ShelterBox

Portrait of Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench. Image © Sarah Dunn http://www.sarahdunn.com

I support ShelterBox and the crucial work they do. Shelter and togetherness are stepping-stones to recovery.’ Dame Judi Dench on World Refugee Day

On the UN’s World Refugee Day (20th June) one of the world’s most famous Oscar-winners has given her backing to an agency that has helped hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Dame Judi Dench has generously endorsed the work of ShelterBox, saying that in a world on the run from disaster, ‘ShelterBox brings hope.’

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mother and son at a refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan © ShelterBox

Dame Judi Dench is celebrated from Hollywood to Broadway to the West End. She has followed the work of international disaster relief agency ShelterBox for several years. Tomorrow is World Refugee Day, held every year on 20 June, when the United Nations commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.

ShelterBox is an international charity that provides emergency shelter to families who have lost their homes through conflict and natural disaster. The charity is currently responding to refugee crises in Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Syria and Iraq. A team will also shortly be heading to Uganda, which has the world’s largest refugee camp at Bidi Bidi, home to 800,000 people, many fleeing war in South Sudan. ShelterBox works hard to understand the need created by differing emergency situations, and has created a flexible range of aid that includes tools, tents and tarpaulins for families to make urgent shelter or repair buildings where there is no other possible provision. The aid can be used to create a temporary base in communities or refugee camps, but it is also light and portable for people moving from one place to the next.

Dame Judi has supported ShelterBox in the past, and donated a signed and framed theatre poster for sale in 2011. Now, with World Refugee day being promoted by the United Nations next week, she has again expressed her support.

Dame Judi says, ‘When disaster strikes and families are left with nothing, ShelterBox brings hope. Responding to each situation individually, ShelterBox gives tailor-made support – a place to live, equipment to cook with and to purify water, mosquito nets in the summer, scarves and blankets in the winter and SchoolBoxes to provide young people with the stability of the classroom.’

Right now there are 85 million people worldwide on the move, forced to flee their towns and villages by conflict, or natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, flooding and cyclones. Hardworking volunteers in the ShelterBox warehouse pack the boxes, which are then delivered to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth by our dedicated ShelterBox Response Teams.’

Happy Syrian children in their ShelterBox tent, El Minie, Lebanon ©MIkeGreenslade/ShelterBox

Happy Syrian children in their ShelterBox tent, El Minie, Lebanon ©MikeGreenslade/ShelterBox

I support ShelterBox and the crucial work they do all over the world helping families who have lost everything. Shelter and togetherness are stepping-stones to recovery. If you are able, please give what you can via www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au  ‘‘

All donations above $2 are tax-deductible, please give generously.

 

Give The Gift Of Shelter This Christmas

This Christmas, families around the world will find themselves homeless and in desperate need of help. Whether they have lost their homes to a natural disaster, like the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti or have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict, like the millions fleeing the violence in Syria and Iraq, their needs are quite simple: Shelter, Warmth & Dignity.

Make a donation to the ‘ShelterBox Solution’ as a gift for a loved one and receive this special card to give in lieu of your present.

All you have to do is make a donation of $50 or more by clicking the button below and email us at sbaoffice@shelterbox.org.au to notify us that this is a Christmas gift and we’ll send the card out to you. The cut-off date to receive your card in time for Christmas is 15th December.

The ‘ShelterBox Solution’ is our flexible disaster relief fund, allowing us to respond more accurately to beneficiary needs. This might be in the form of a Shelter Kit, relief tent, SchoolBox, or a wide variety of non-food items, like water filters, mosquito nets and solar lights.


Shelter Kits kits provide families with to the tools to build their own shelter or repair a damaged home. Increasingly governments are wanting families affected by disaster to be part of their own recovery, building back better and stronger homes and more resilient communities.

Of course there will always be a place for ShelterBoxes, especially where families have lost everything. To sponsor a box costs $1,000 and if you do so as a gift for a loved one you’ll receive this special card.

Donate here to sponsor a box and give a gift that really makes a difference.

Thank you for your support and Merry Christmas from all of us at ShelterBox Australia.

Other ways to donate:
Phone: 1300 996 038
Post a cheque to: ShelterBox Australia, PO Box 254, Parramatta, NSW, 2124
EFT or direct deposit:  Westpac, ShelterBox Australia, BSB 032 189, account # 230 147. Please make sure you email sbaoffice@shelterbox.org.au to notify us of you donation and that it is Christmas Gift.

Nepalese Rotaract member witnesses ShelterBox aid from both sides

Anisha Thapaliya is a student from Nepal, studying nursing at Curtin University. Anisha was recently awarded a ‘Friends of Rotary’ membership badge by the Rotary Club South Perth-Burswood for her help with club projects, including attending every day of the recent Perth Royal Show representing ShelterBox.

Past District Governor D 9465, Melodie Kevan with Anisha and the President of the Rotary Club of South Perth- Burswood, June Wade

Past District Governor D9465, Melodie Kevan with Anisha and the President of the Rotary Club of South Perth-Burswood and ShelterBox Australia Ambassador, June Wade.

Below, Anisha tells her story of how she became aware of ShelterBox and how she experienced both sides of the disaster relief coin.

When two major earthquakes hit Nepal in 2015, I was working as a nurse in a teaching hospital. Everyone worked tirelessly to help people who were victims of the earthquake and who had suffered loss of family members and homes. I visited a couple of villages for distribution of relief materials through the Rotaract Club of Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences (KUSMS). It was amazing to see people working with great efforts to support each other. There were large numbers of international volunteers with great supplies of relief materials, food, tarpaulins and utensils, and health services. The incident left me with a question. “How do they get supplies to distribute for free to those in need? Are they that rich?’

ShelterBox ShelterKits being distributed in Nepal

ShelterBox ShelterKits being distributed in Nepal following the 2015 earthquakes

Then I came to Australia for my further studies and luckily got the chance to meet with Rotarians from the Rotary Club of South Perth-Burswood, Perth, Western Australia. I was very happy when I got the opportunity to volunteer for fundraising programme for disaster relief package – The ShelterBox. It was very special to me because I had heard Rotaractors mentioning ShelterBox during the earthquake relief programme in Nepal.’

‘My questions were answered at the Perth Royal Show when I volunteered for fundraising. I realised that people have big hearts and great empathy, which enables them to raise money to buy the stuff needed for disaster relief. They are not rich with money but with a feeling of wanting to help others.’

Anisha at The Perth Royal Show

Anisha at The Perth Royal Show

‘And ShelterBox, what a great idea and effort! Tent, stove, sleeping bags and a lot more that a family needs when displaced. I have no words to express how lucky I am to see the other end of the help offered.

I am very thankful to the Rotary Club of South Perth-Burswood for providing me with a great chance to know and volunteer for ShelterBox, a great way to help disaster victims restore their shelter and dignity.’

To learn more about ShelterBox or to donate, please visit: www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au

Central Coast Event Celebrates Women’s Achievement And Explores Issues

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ShelterBox Response Team volunteer, Peita Berzins with some young supporters

 

ShelterBox Australia attended another successful Central Coast Women’s Expo, held on Saturday March 5 at Ourimbah campus, which is part of Newcastle University. The event promotes awareness about women’s issues and uniting the community.

ShelterBox Response Team volunteer, Peita Berzins said, 

It is uplifting to see how much good is being done by volunteers in so many local organisations. These included WOW (Women of the Waves), Days for Girls, Central Coast a Capella, Breast Screening as well as many health related stalls. As well, seminars ran throughout the day. I attended a thought-provoking, well-presented one on Gender Equity.

Our ShelterBox stall was comfortably ensconced right near the entry between various local Rotary club stalls and it was very nice to see friendly faces like Christine Owen and Tina Latham from Kincumber Rotary, Joan Redmond from Woy Woy Rotary as well as Sandra Davies from Terrigal Rotary.

Many attendees were interested in the recent Fiji cyclone and people gave generously, almost $150 was donated.

We are also pleased to welcome more people to become ShelterBox Ambassadors on the Central Coast – anyone who may be interested, please contact me at berzinspj@westnet.com.au

Urgent Appeal For Winter Aid

Image of North Korean girl with ice on the tips of her eyelashes

 

When a family loses its home, it’s devastating. But when a family loses its home in the depths of winter, with temperatures as low as -25°C, it’s a matter of life and death

  • Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather
  • Temperatures of -18 °C with a wind speed of 15mph will cause frostbite in just 30 minutes
  • Children lose heat faster and are more vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite
  • Winter temperatures in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea fall below -25 °C
  • When you cry in temperatures of -25 °C, your eyelashes freeze together

In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the DPRK), families are facing the bite of winter with nowhere safe or warm to sleep. Year after year, floods and severe storms have smashed through the countryside, tearing homes in two and destroying crops. This means no building materials and little hope of rebuilding again.

Alf Evans, ShelterBox Operations Manager, visited the DPRK after the country was struck by Typhoon Bolaven. His video diary shows the desperate conditions people are living in, and the difference ShelterBox can make to a freezing family this winter.

We urgently need your help to reach the remote communities suffering in the DPRK. Cutting through red tape is not easy due to the complex political situation, but we won’t let these families be forgotten. We are in the process of distributing ShelterBox aid in the DPRK right now, but we need your support to make sure that here, and elsewhere in the world, no family is left without shelter.

Five Ways A Parade/ Festival Unites The Community

ShelterBox Response team member and ShelterBox Australia Ambassador, Peita Berzins reports from The Tuggerah Lakes Mardi Gras on the Central Coast of NSW.

Shelterbox volunteers at the Mardi Gras

L-R Peter Pearce, Con Bartos, Margot Caulfield, Torben Neilsen, Peita Berzins

Yesterday ShelterBox ambassadors and The Entrance Rotary participated in the Tuggerah Lakes 63rd Mardi Gras Parade and Festival. What a great day it was, and our interactions had many mutual benefits:

1. Fun…seeing children and families and friends enjoy the parade, and the rides, stalls and entertainment. There was the visit from Santa, and later the traditional lighting of The Memorial Park Christmas Tree and the favourite renowned fireworks display.

Santa sitting on a ShelterBox

2. Belonging…the parade and festival reinforces our web of relationships, through friendship, community groups, business, schools, hobbies, sport.

The parade lines up

3. Celebrating diversity… different cultures and races, beliefs and customs on display from indigenous dancers to gym fitness instructors to surf life saving clubs to beauty queens to dance troupes to a high school marching band.

local indigenous dance troupe

4. Familiar figures the crowds love…Batman, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, Sponge Bob and of course Santa Claus.

Super heroes!

Super heroes!

5. Music…everyone lives to tap their feet and even join in the performances.

We put up a tent, gave away helium balloons to the children and pamphlets to the adults, held a raffle and made lots of new friends, spreading the word about our disaster relief charity.

A big thank you to President Torben Nielsen from The Entrance Rotary, and his band of willing helpers Margot Caulfield, Con Bartos and Carrol and Allan Coats. Ambassadors Joan Redmond, Peter Pearce and myself couldn’t have done it without them. A big thank you to Ivor Berzins who donated generous prizes to the raffle – four rounds of golf at Shelly Beach Golf club, and a cricket bat signed by Michael Clarke. Thank you to for The Entrance Majestic Cinemas and The Italian Cake and Coffee Shop for their sponsorship. “

www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au