top of page


West Sumatra, Indonesia, earthquake, 2009 In late 2009 the Indonesian island of Sumatra was struck by two earthquakes in less than 24 hours. The first earthquake caused buildings to collapse and fires to rage in the city of Padang. A second earthquake then hit the island, causing further devastation.
West Sumatra, Indonesia, earthquake, 2009 In late 2009 the Indonesian island of Sumatra was struck by two earthquakes in less than 24 hours. ShelterBox rapidly deployed resources in response to the devastation.
Because…disasters don’t wait!

ShelterBox is an embodiment of what it means to live with a sense of global responsibility, fellowship, and commitment to serve. Imagine losing your home, your sanctuary, in an instant—be it from a natural disaster like a hurricane or from human conflict. That's a devastating reality for millions of people around the world.

But that's where ShelterBox comes in, like a beam of light in utter darkness. Founded in 2000 by Tom Henderson, a fellow Rotarian, and his wife Joan, this organization has reached into the corners of the world to provide shelter and, more importantly, hope.

Tom's realization was sparked by something as simple yet profound as watching a news report. He saw the gaping hole in humanitarian aid—speedy, efficient delivery of shelter. It wasn't just about throwing together some goods; it was about creating a well-thought-out kit designed to offer displaced people the basics of living. A tent, sleeping bags, blankets, tools—each item selected for its essential role in helping someone survive another day. And then staging thousands of them in strategic locations around the globe to be delivered within hours.

Through the years, ShelterBox has stood front and center in responding to some of the most soul-crushing disasters humanity has faced. Take, for instance, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake in 2010, or the continuous heartbreak of the Syrian conflict. ShelterBox wasn't just there; it adapted and innovated its kits to suit the unique needs of each affected community.

Being a partner of Rotary International isn't merely a badge of honor for ShelterBox; it's a testament to the values both organizations share. Fellow Rotarians contribute more than just funds. They lend their vocational expertise to pack and ship these lifesaving kits and even go as far as deploying response teams to disaster zones. Their actions, guided by ethics and integrity, make ShelterBox's mission possible. When you put your expertise and leadership into something as meaningful as this, you don't just feel good; you feel fulfilled.

The beauty of ShelterBox is its global embrace. The diversity of its supporters and volunteers is proof that the need to shelter and protect is a universal human calling. We're talking about an organization that has touched the lives of 1.5 million people in more than 100 countries. Let that sink in. It shows you that lasting solutions to systemic problems aren't just pipe dreams; they are achievable through perseverance and shared effort.

There's an incredible ripple effect of being part of something like this. It's not just about the individual you help; it's about the community you uplift and the global narrative you reshape. It's about showing that when diverse perspectives come together to address a common problem, monumental changes happen.

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Oct 16, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Shelter Box is incredible. No wonder they partner with Rotary.

bottom of page