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Frequently Asked Questions

About ShelterBox

What is ShelterBox?

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that specializes in emergency shelter, supporting people that have been devastated by conflict or disaster. We provide durable shelter and tools to rebuild communities.

Our global network of supporters, staff and volunteers make it possible to deliver aid to some of the most remote communities in the world.

What aid does ShelterBox provide?

Each disaster is different, and so is every community, so we spend time talking to affected families to make sure we provide the right support at the right time.

For some disaster-hit communities, our family-sized tents are the best solution, for others heavy duty tarpaulins, ropes, and nails are needed to create customized shelter or patch-up damaged buildings.

ShelterBox aid packages also contain items that make a shelter into a home, like solar lights, water filters, blankets and much more. Explore our ShelterBox aid in depth.

Who funds ShelterBox Canada?

ShelterBox is funded by public donations, Canadian individuals, companies and groups. We do not receive government funding.
We rely on your support to help to ensure no family goes without shelter when disaster strikes.

Who supports ShelterBox Canada?

ShelterBox Canada is supported by generous Canadians across the country who believe that shelter is a human right, and no one should go without shelter. ShelterBox is internationally supported by our global network of ShelterBox affiliates and a range of partners, including Rotary International.
Find out more about our partnerships.

How do you decide where to send aid?

When disasters and conflicts occur, our ShelterBox operations team make careful assessments to ensure that ShelterBox aid is right for the situation.
We will consider the type of disaster and the level of damage, as well as the needs of the community and their ability to recover, before selecting the right type of support. We are then able to quickly transport items from our positioned hubs around the world to exactly where it is needed.

Find out more about how we make the decision to deploy.

How do you deliver aid?

We deliver aid to some of the most vulnerable communities after disaster and conflict. We work closely with local partners and community leaders to deliver aid to get aid where it needs to go.

ShelterBox aid is carefully prepositioned in warehouses around the world which enables us to respond faster to crisis. Find out more about how our aid is delivered.

How do you source your aid items?

Our items are specially sourced and designed to ensure that the families we support have exactly the aid they need. The aid is designed to withstand extreme conditions, from torrential rain to hurricane winds, and to last for a long time – until communities are able to rebuild their homes.
For this reason, we are unable to accept donations of items.

ShelterBox also locally sources items from the communities we work in, ensuring that materials and shelter supports are locally appropriate and easier to adapt.

Do you work with other aid organizations?

ShelterBox often collaborates with local community organizations, local aid organizations, as well as community leaders to make sure we are reaching all of the families in need of shelter. Find out more about how our aid is delivered.

About your donation

How can I donate to ShelterBox Canada?

You can donate online to ShelterBox Canada on our donate page. To make a donation over the phone please call our office at 647-352-1930. You may also mail in a cheque made payable to ShelterBox Canada, or fill out the following form with your credit card information and mail it to our Canadian office at 200-2010 Winston Park Drive, Oakville ON, L6H 5R7
Download our donation form here

You can also donate your vehicle to ShelterBox Canada to raise funds for us. Click here to find out more.

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

All individual donations of $20 CAD or more will receive a charitable tax receipt. ShelterBox is a registered Canadian charity. Charity number #46283208 RR0001

I made a mistake, can I get a refund for my donation?

As a registered Canadian charity, ShelterBox Canada is unable to refund or return donations made to our organization. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) prohibits donations, whether made mistakenly or not, from being returned to a donor once it has been gifted to a charity.

Please see the following two pages from the CRA Website for more information. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Returning a Gift to a Donor
Consequences of Returning Donated Property

Can I give donations for a specific location or disaster?

In order for us to react quickly when disasters do take place, and to prepare for future disasters by positioning aid around the world, we are not usually able to accept time or location-specific donations.

In times of a major disaster or crisis where there is an extremely high humanitarian need for shelter, we will be able to take donations designated for those specific countries. Any additional money raised over what is needed for our response will help us provide emergency shelter to families affected by disasters around the world. Outside of these crises, donations will help us prepare and respond wherever we are needed most.

By giving ShelterBox a general donation, you are helping us use your money to make the most difference to families in desperate need of shelter.

A note about our financial statements

ShelterBox works very hard to ensure your generous donation makes the biggest impact possible. We keep our expenses as low as possible while maintaining professional systems that ensure your donations are processed and used responsibly. Due to the nature of disaster relief, we see large influxes in funding when a major disaster is in the news. Our expense ratio therefore also fluctuates, but we aim for a rolling three year average of 80% of donations directly funding aid. If you have any further questions about how your donation is spent, please call our office anytime and we would be happy to discuss this with you.

General questions

How can I contact ShelterBox Canada?

Visit our Contact details page for more information.

How can I raise money for ShelterBox Canada?

There are lots of ways in which you can raise money for ShelterBox, from creating your own event to setting up an online fundraising page.
Participating in an event for ShelterBox makes you part of the ShelterBox team – a team that is determined to see the day that no one is without shelter after disaster.

How can I get involved with ShelterBox Canada?

Volunteers are an integral part of the ShelterBox Team.

Volunteers are vital to helping raise awareness in their communities as well as vital funds that are needed to ensure we can support as many people as possible after disaster.

Join the ShelterBox Team by becoming a volunteer.