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 ……

ShelterBox and Rotary celebrate the power of partnership

Emergency shelter charity ShelterBox is celebrating signing up for another 3 years as Rotary International’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief. For almost 20 years, this unique humanitarian alliance has supported families with a place to call home after disaster.

ShelterBox provides emergency shelters and other essential items to support families who have lost their homes in disaster. Rotary is a global network whose members take action to make a lasting difference in their communities – and worldwide.

Working with Rotary in the Philippines

What began as a local connection with one Cornish Rotary Club has led to an international movement that’s has responded to over 280 disasters in 95+ countries.

First adopted as a millennium project by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in 2000, the support of Rotary members and clubs around the world saw ShelterBox become Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief in 2012. Since then, the partnership has helped transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognised disaster relief charity, supporting families with emergency shelter after disaster.

ShelterBox and Rotary in the Philippines

The partnership extends far beyond financial support. Around 1,000 Rotary members are involved in ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or response team members. And clubs worldwide offer valuable, practical assistance to help ShelterBox reach more families fleeing disaster or conflict.

This has recently included support for families in Malawi flooded from their homes by Cyclone Idai and communities in Lombok devastated by the 2018 earthquake and tsunami (quotes and details at the end of this release).

Caroline White, interim Chief Executive at ShelterBox, said: ‘Whenever disaster strikes, Rotary is beside us. From the earliest planning stages to final evaluations, Rotary members help ShelterBox make community contacts, organise logistics, and reach disaster-affected families in remote areas who might otherwise go without.

‘This partnership has helped ShelterBox become who we are today. Our global network of 17 ShelterBox affiliates, who raise funds and awareness worldwide, evolved from Rotary relationships.’

At the Rotary International Convention, Toronto 2017

Speaking about the partnership renewal, General Secretary of Rotary International John Hewko said:

ShelterBox has been Rotary’s Project Partner in Disaster Relief since 2012, and we are excited to renew the partnership for another three years.

Through this project partnership, Rotary members around the globe can collaborate with ShelterBox to support communities in desperate need of emergency temporary shelter and vital supplies following natural disasters. Additionally, Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to expand cooperation efforts through preparedness training and stockpiles of prepositioned aide in disaster-prone regions.’

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.’

Lombok 2018

After floods triggered by Cyclone Idai left tens of thousands homeless in Malawi this March, Rotary members connected ShelterBox with communities in the Blantyre region, helping them understand local needs and culture. Members helped deliver emergency shelter to almost 2,000 families. And ShelterBox supported the Rotary Club of Limbe to join the wider disaster response, enabling the club to deliver food to communities whose entire crops had been destroyed by the floods.

Rotary Club of Limbe President Eric Chinkanda said: ‘It was a great experience to work with ShelterBox. We have not only walked a mile in reaching out to the many Malawians who faced hardship, but we restored confidence in the displaced people that all was not lost!

ShelterBoxes collected by beneficiaries. The delivery lorry can be seen in the back ground.

James Kingston, Club President of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, in Cornwall, said: ‘The members of Helston-Lizard Rotary are delighted that Rotary International continues to recognise ShelterBox.

I joined the club a few months before the Millennium Project began, and I’m so pleased we’re still involved. It has been wonderful to see the charity grow into an internationally recognised, professional disaster relief organisation.’

Last year ShelterBox Australia received support from 279 Rotary Clubs throughout Australia

Rotary International Convention 2015, Sao Paula

Rotary International logoShelterBox had a strong presence at the Rotary International Convention, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. ShelterBox HQ staff, affiliate and Response Team volunteers were on hand to answer questions from Rotarians from around the world.

Throughout the weekend, a video was played to demonstrate the relationship between ShelterBox and Rotary and how the partnership has helped to reach and shelter people following the Nepal earthquakes. You can watch it here:

Rotary International Extends Its Project Partnership With ShelterBox

Rotary International logo

ShelterBox is proud to be Rotary International’s only official project partner worldwide. Now, with the relationship being extended into 2016, Alison Wallace explains why this is such a strong ‘circle of friendship’

In 2012 ShelterBox received the accolade of becoming Rotary International’s first-ever official Project Partner. Now it has heard that this unique partnership will be renewed until at least March 2016.

ShelterBox CEO Alison Wallace says, ‘I’ve often thought that the phrase ‘what goes around, comes around’ suits Rotary ideally. Rotary has a circular emblem, and the notion of life having a circular karma – that personal acts of kindness will be returned to you via the kindness of others – seems to capture Rotary’s global spirit.’

‘The ShelterBox team shares that spirit, because there is no greater calling than helping people in distress. Time and again Rotarians work alongside ShelterBox – many of them within it. So I am delighted that Rotary International has extended our official project partnership, further strengthening a circle of friendship that reaches around the world.’

The agreement offers opportunities to collaborate and combine resources to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.

L-R ShelterBox Australia Ambassadors, John Hale, June Wade and David Brockway are all Presidents elect for their respective Rotary Clubs

L-R ShelterBox Australia Ambassadors, John Hale, June Wade and David Brockway are all Presidents elect for their respective Rotary Clubs

Fundraising efforts by Rotarians and their clubs worldwide make up a large proportion of the donations received by ShelterBox. Rotary clubs also provide invaluable support to field operations in disaster zones, by acting as consignees for aid, helping with transport, accommodation, providing vital local knowledge and an ability to cut through red tape. Many ShelterBox Response Team volunteers are Rotarians, and every one of ShelterBox’s international affiliate organisations was set up by Rotarians or Rotaracters.

Alison adds, ‘The importance of Rotary to ShelterBox can’t be overstated.  Just a handful of examples – it was a Rotary contact that alerted us to the monsoon floods in Malaysia this Christmas, and introduced our team to the country’s Prime Minister. We are one of very few western agencies able to operate in North Korea, due largely to liaison through a Rotary contact in Shanghai. Rotarians in Jordan have been essential to our work there helping Syrian refugees, and in May 2014 local Rotarians helped us to reach flood-stricken families in isolated parts of Serbia.’

Image of  SRT and Rotarian, Tony Williams

SRT member and Rotarian, Tony Williams exchanges a club banner with Rotary in Jordan

‘The list of our collaborations is continuous and endless. But I also think it is the individual acts of support that exemplify this special relationship, such as Medway Rotarian Ann Livings, who recently walked up Snowdon  despite having severe arthritis, raising funding for two ShelterBoxes.’

Back in 2012, Iquitos Rotarians in Peru alerted ShelterBox to Amazon River flooding. They worked with ShelterBox Response Team Malcolm Shead and Rachel Simpkins, provided translation, funded transport of ShelterBoxes up the river, and helped get aid to remote communities. By the end of the deployment ShelterBox and Rotary had provided 171 boxes to families in this inhospitable landscape.

Photo of SRT volunteers Alan Monroe (US), Bruce Heller (US) and Derek Locke (US) outside Iquitos Rotary Club, Peru, May 2012

SRT volunteers Alan Monroe (US), Bruce Heller (US) and Derek Locke (US) outside Iquitos Rotary Club, Peru, May 2012

For nearly a century Rotary clubs in the Philippines have been creating positive change. The first Philippine Rotary club was created in Manila in 1919, and in 1979 Rotary funded the immunisation of six million children to help eradicate polio. Now the Philippines’ 800 Rotary Clubs have stood alongside ShelterBox and its charity partners in a year-long response to Typhoon Haiyan, helping to create more resilient shelter so communities become less reliant on international aid after tropical storms.

Alison says, ‘In 15 years ShelterBox has grown from one Rotary club’s adopted project to become the largest global partnership in Rotary’s 100-year history. Last October I welcomed RIBI President Peter King to our Helston HQ. We both felt that the alliance of 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide with ShelterBox’s international reach had built a major force in humanitarian aid.’

‘It is great to see our partnership flourishing, and its official endorsement continuing for another year.’

Thank You Rotary For Your Help With The Philippines

Bill Decker (US) is one of our Rotarian Response Team members helping bring shelter to families in need in the Philippines, November 2013.

Bill Decker (US) is one of our Rotarian Response Team members helping bring shelter to families in need in the Philippines, November 2013.


In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, a call for Rotarians to help ShelterBox in the Philippines has gone out from the USA, where Rotary International President Ron D. Burton is urging 1.2 million members and 34,000 clubs worldwide to contribute to the charity’s relief programme.
With ShelterBox and Rotary International being global project partners, it is no surprise that Rotary Clubs across the world have risen to the call since Haiyan struck the Philippines. Within days of the greatest storm to make landfall ever, ShelterBox experienced a huge surge in fundraising donations, and Rotary Clubs worldwide were lead players in this response.
‘This disaster is exactly why we entered into our partnership with ShelterBox,’ said Ron. ‘It gives concerned Rotary members the opportunity to respond immediately and in a very meaningful way to life-threatening conditions faced by the people of the Philippines. 
‘Change lives for the better’
‘On Friday, I visited their website and sponsored a ShelterBox to help a family in need, and I encourage you to do the same if you’re able to do so – any level of support will help to change lives for the better.’ 
Becky Maynard, ShelterBox Director of Fundraising and Communications, replied, ‘It has been astounding to see Rotary clubs and Rotarians around the world mobilising so quickly to support the people of the Philippines. 
Every ShelterBox tent displays the Rotary Roundel to highlight the global project partnership between both organisations, Philippines, November 2013.

Every ShelterBox tent displays the Rotary Roundel to highlight the global project partnership between both organisations, Philippines, November 2013.


‘We are working directly with Rotarians in the Philippines and we have Rotarian Response Team members on the ground. The partnership between ShelterBox and the global Rotary family really demonstrates how, through service and support, we can make a real difference to people in their greatest hour of need.’
And, to top all the overwhelming fundraising activity and work in the field, has now had an official commendation from the Philippines Government via its UK Embassy. Gladys Corbett, Honorary Consul to the Philippines, was visiting the Rotary Club of Braids last Saturday to help out with a collection for ShelterBox in the city of Edinburgh. Clubs in this district have already raised enough for 30 ShelterBoxes.
In a message to Rotary District Governor Kate Keter, Mrs Corbet said, ‘I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the ShelterBox. I was pleased to lend my, albeit brief, support today and will inform the Embassy in London about your fundraising effort.’
‘ShelterBox is spot on’
‘ShelterBox is spot on with what they do to relieve the suffering of those who have lost homes and possessions. On behalf of the Philippine Government and the Philippine Embassy in London I send my sincere gratitude to all members of the Rotary Club of Braids for their support to help those who have lost everything in the Typhoon Haiyan disaster.’
From everyone at ShelterBox, a huge thank you to every Rotarian around the world who is supporting our disaster relief work in the Philippines. Together we are making a difference. Thank you. 


ShelterBox at 104th Rotary International Convention

ShelterBox Global Scout Partnerships Coordinator Melissa Casagrande with Rotarians from Krasnodar, Russia who assisted with ShelterBox's deployment in Russia in 2012.

ShelterBox Global Scout Partnerships Coordinator Melissa Casagrande with Rotarians from Krasnodar, Russia who assisted with ShelterBox’s deployment in Russia in 2012.


Approximately 25,000 Rotarians and Rotary supporters from all over the world gathered in Lisbon, Portugal on 23-26 June 2013 for the 104th Rotary International (RI) Annual Convention.

ShelterBox was present at the House of Friendship, an integral part of the Convention and a space to share ideas and to learn about opportunities of service for Rotarians. Volunteers and staff members from ShelterBox and six of its affiliates spoke to visitors about the charity’s disaster relief work worldwide as well as chances for Rotarians to get involved.
ShelterBox’s Chief Executive Alison Wallace met with RI’s incoming President Ron D. Burton during the Convention and discussed the joint work between the two organisations. He expressed his admiration and support for ShelterBox’s work.
Alison also met with RI’s Secretary-General John Hewko and said:
‘The Rotary Convention is very important for us as we have the opportunity to meet a great range of people and share the latest information about our work with very motivated supporters.’
Thousands of Rotarians came to have a look at the ShelterBox equipment and share their fundraising stories along with details of where their ShelterBoxes had been sent. Members of the Interact Club of Sintra, a town 30km west of Lisbon, were amongst those who visited the stand. The Club has just been formed and these Interactors very first project is to fundraise for a ShelterBox.
Richard Horrell, a Rotarian from West Scotland, was one of the volunteers who helped ShelterBox raise awareness about its work at the Convention.
‘I was pleased to have been able to help at the ShelterBox stand and to share the story of disaster relief with many Rotarians,’ commented Richard. ‘It will also help me in my District role of spreading the ShelterBox message.’

Rotarians play integral role

A particular highlight for all of the staff and volunteers was to meet so many Rotarians who played an integral role in delivering ShelterBox aid following disasters. From Haiti to the Philippines and Lebanon to the Russian Federation, these individuals weave together every step of the work ShelterBox does: from the Rotary clubs who raise funds, the Rotarians who help pack boxes and those who assist with logistics and advice following a disaster helping ShelterBox bring aid to the families who so desperately need it.
In 2012, RI and ShelterBox signed RI’s first ever project partner agreement formalising the 12-year relationship between the two organisations.



Rotary Project Partnership One Year On

A year has passed since ShelterBox became Rotary International's first Project Partner.

A year has passed since ShelterBox became Rotary International’s first Project Partner.


This agreement enables both organisations to collaborate more closely to bring relief and temporary shelter to survivors of disasters worldwide. The project partnership builds on both our strengths in responding to disasters all over the world.

Throughout 2012, and going into 2013, the benefits of this partnership have presented themselves time and time again:

Thank you to the global Rotary network for not only assisting ShelterBox on deployments but also for your efforts in raising vital funds and awareness for families affected by disaster.

ShelterBox and Rotary International sign project partnership

ShelterBox and Rotary International (RI) have formed a project partner agreement this month, signed by John Hewko, Rotary International’s General Secretary, and Tom Henderson OBE, ShelterBox Founder and CEO.

Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko with Tom Henderson

The formalisation of this partnership cements a 12-year relationship providing emergency shelter and life-saving humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of families around the world, who have been made homeless by disaster.

ShelterBox began as a Rotary Club Millennium Project in 2000 and today continues to have a significant input from Rotarians in its governance Board, senior management, operational capacity and international development.

‘Rotary and Rotarians have been integral in the operational development of the organisation, from being eyes and ears on the ground during deployments, to providing logistics, accommodation and translation services, right to assisting with the pitching of tents,’ said Tom. ‘Many of our global Response Team volunteers are Rotarians.  Others have joined the Rotary family having seen the difference that Rotary and ShelterBox make on the ground. They have always helped us in endless ways.’

Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee with Lasse Petersen

Not only have Rotary clubs and Rotarians historically contributed a significant percentage of ShelterBox’s income but members of the Rotary family have also founded each one of its 21 affiliates. This support remains key for the charity to be prepared for a disaster of any scale and to be in a position to assist the most vulnerable families at the time when they need it the most.

Through the new partnership, the two organisations will assist Rotarians to be part of a critical solution at times of disaster through providing humanitarian service when disasters occur in their area; engaging with ShelterBox in disaster preparedness initiatives within their country or District; and supporting ShelterBox readiness, awareness and capacity building.

‘For more than ten years, ShelterBox has given light to over one hundred thousand families worldwide in their darkest hour,’ said John. ‘This project partner agreement represents our mutual goal of helping those in need. It gives RI a forward-facing approach to immediate disaster relief.’

‘It’s an historic moment for us to become a Rotary project partner,’ said Tom. ‘It’s the first of its kind and is a great opportunity for us to engage with our Rotary friends around the world to increase awareness of what we do with Rotary and, of course, an opportunity for Rotarians to increase our avenues of service worldwide.’