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Frequently Asked Questions

About ShelterBox

What is ShelterBox?

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief organization that hand-delivers aid to families devastated by conflict or natural disaster, to give them safe shelter and the 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?

We provide aid that is tailored to meets the needs of a community after a specific disaster.

The aid we supply comes in the form of ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits.

Our sturdy green ShelterBoxes contain family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements and provide people with temporary shelter until they are able to start the process of rebuilding a home.

Our ShelterKits contain all of the essential tools people need to start repairing and rebuilding homes straight away.

Our kits and boxes also contain the items that help transform shelter into a home – like cooking sets, solar lights and activity sets for children.

We also provide extra aid items, such as SchoolBoxes that contain everything needed to get lessons up and running after a disaster, depending on the situation. 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 us hasten the day where 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 no family 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 natural 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 wherever it is needed, by any means possible. Our teams travel by foot, boat, helicopter or even tuk-tuk to get there. Whatever it takes.

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 families are able to rebuild their homes.

For this reason, we are unable to accept donations of items.

Do you work with other aid organizations?

We often collaborate with other aid organizations, as well as with organizations within communities, to make sure that 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 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 no. 846283208 RR0001

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 response 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. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we saw a dramatic decrease in donations. Despite scaling back expenses as much as possible, our administration ratio has been higher than our standard. This year, due to donations made in response to the Haiti earthquake, we are on track for 80+% of donations to go directly to 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 family is without shelter after disaster strikes.

How can I get involved with ShelterBox Canada?

Volunteers are an integral part of the ShelterBox Team.

They not only help to hand-deliver our aid to communities, but also help to raise awareness and funds for ShelterBox too.

Join the ShelterBox Team by becoming a volunteer.