Tending the urgent need in East Africa – Shelterbox Canada

The refugee camp in Dadaab, described as one of the largest refugee camps in the world, approximately 100 kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border.

I decided to take a sick day due to an ear/nose/throat bug that got the better of me last night. Realizing that sitting in an air conditioned office at a computer all day might prolong my illness (and that no one else wants to be around a sicky), it seemed that being at home and getting some extra sleep was a good plan.

Upon stirring from my nap and getting ready to do a little catch-up from home, I found a request in my inbox that really stirred me. My mortgage broker is a Rotary member and is raising funds for Shelterbox Canada – an organization working with other relief organizations to provide much needed supplies to drought/famine refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

I just couldn’t help but feel silly for desiring the comfort of my home to ease a minor illness when HUNDREDS of thousands have no home at all (besides lacking food, water and sanitation).

I’ve copied an excerpt from his appeal below for the details. What is important to highlight is that the Government of Canada is matching donations. Please consider giving to this cause.



From Troy Alexander

Good day everyone,

As many of you are aware, in addition to being a mortgage broker, I am an avid volunteer and am involved with a number of different non-profit organizations. One of the non-profit organizations I work with is ShelterBox Canada and I have recently taken on a role with them  as an Ambassador for Southern Vancouver Island. Who is ShelterBox Canada you may ask? ShelterBox Canada is a subsidiary of ShelterBox International, a Rotary affiliated organization that specializes in providing emergency relief to victims of natural disasters worldwide.

Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox International has distributed over 107,000 ShelterBoxes to victims of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and tornados on every continent on earth. Each ShelterBox provides shelter, dignity and warmth to an extended family of up to 10 individuals (see picture attached). At the heart of each ShelterBox is a specially designed tent to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall. They also contain blankets and ground sheets; a basic tool kit including a hammer, saw, axe, rope and pliers; a wood burning or multi-fuel cook stove along with pots, pans, bowls, mugs and utensils; a childrens pack containing coloring books, crayons and pens; and water purification tablets. The Box itself is also tough, lightweight and waterproof and can serve many purposes from food container to cot.

Each ShelterBox costs an average of $1,000 including all materials, packing, storage and distribution to disaster relief recipients worldwide.

ShelterBox Canada is launching an appeal to raise funds designated to East Africa. The Canadian Government will match donations to the ShelterBox Canada appeal for East Africa up to September 16 by setting aside funds that will also be dedicated to humanitarian work in East Africa.  ShelterBox is working in partnership with Save the Children, UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) and IOM (International Organization for Migration) to provide shelter for refugee families fostering orphans and unaccompanied minors. There are currently 1,600 ShelterBoxes on route to Ethiopia and a further 2,000 ShelterBoxes on route to Kenya to provide aid to those fleeing the drought stricken areas but much more aid is urgently needed.

I am sending this appeal to everyone of you in the hopes that you might be willing contribute some money to this worthwhile cause and help those who need our help in Africa. I personally have committed to purchasing a ShelterBox in my own name but am hoping that perhaps you may be willing to contribute to the cause as well. The more money that is raised, the more people that can helped…and don’t forget we get matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian Government. All amounts over $20 will receive a Canadian tax receipt. You can either make donations by visiting www.shelterboxcanada.org or through the Giving Page I have setup with CanadaHelps.org.

Here is the link for that page http://www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=13755. Please feel free to share this with friends, family or work colleagues.

If you have any questions that you would like answered, you may respond to me via this email or talexander@shelterboxvolunteer.org.

Thanks so much for your support in advance – your efforts will truly make a difference to the people in East Africa that so desperately need our help.


Troy Alexander, PFP, AMP

Mortgage Consultant

Branch Manager

VERICO Select Mortgage


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