News Front Page

Sunday 01 July 2012

Canada Day
Canada Day Photograph taken by Matt Stone.

On 1 July 1867, Canada celebrated the union of the British North American colonies into a single country. It is still being celebrated 145 years later - today is Canada Day.

ShelterBox is joining the global anniversary celebrations by recognising the amazing contributions that come from Canada in support of its disaster relief work. Canadian volunteers, including Ambassadors that represent ShelterBox in communities across the country and Response Team members that deliver ShelterBoxes to families in need, play an important role in supporting the work of ShelterBox around the world.

Don Wheeler and Tom Cook are Ambassadors for ShelterBox Canada. They have been spreading the ShelterBox message in North Bay, Ontario, to groups including seniors, Rotary Clubs and schools. Don and Tom have led ShelterBox presentations and fundraising events that have inspired the community to give generously to ShelterBox. Their recent achievements include a shopping mall event that raised CA$5,000 and a school event that raised over CA$3,000.

ShelterBox Canada Ambassador Tom Cook.

'Working together as an Ambassador team helps us to promote ShelterBox in our community and Rotary district 7010,' said Don and Tom. 'We bring different strengths and attributes to serve us well when planning and presenting the ShelterBox message. We know that our efforts to increase awareness are worthwhile because so often we hear the comment 'I’ve never heard of ShelterBox before'.

'And in addition to the satisfaction of knowing we are ultimately helping others in need, it is exciting to see how people react as they begin to understand the organisation that is ShelterBox. We are proud to be a small part of it!'

Active Ambassador

There are nine Canadian ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members, one being Jen Kormendy. She has been deployed several times, most recently in response to the flooding in Thailand in September 2011. She is also a very active Ambassador at home and ran the Vancouver Half Marathon in May as a member of Team ShelterBox.

Team ShelterBox at Vancouver half marathon: ShelterBox Response Team members Per Dahlstrom (CA), Jane Kormendy (CA) and  Dave Achtemichuk.

Jen commented: 'I have always been drawn to helping people in need, and to other cultures, so when I learned about ShelterBox it felt like a match made in heaven. I have become incredibly passionate about the organisation because of the calibre and dedication of the people involved and the immediate difference it makes in the lives of those affected by disasters.'

'The common thread in all my deployments is the outpouring of gratitude and appreciation expressed by the recipients of the ShelterBoxes. The privilege and honour of being part of the Response Team has allowed me to see with my own eyes and feel with my own heart the difference we are making and it is very real!'

Her Royal Highness

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall visited Canada in May to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Lisa Salapatek, Executive Director was honoured to meet The Duchess at a royal reception in Toronto. ‘She told me she was pleased to be part of ShelterBox, being the President and Royal Patron, and was impressed by the effectiveness of the organisation.'

Photograph taken at a ShelterBox Canada Ambassador workshop. Chris Loat, Per Dahlstrom, Lisa Salapatek, Neil Wylie, Jen Kormendy, Dave Achtemichuk and Chris Everett.

'But it all comes down to our committed donors and volunteers – they never cease to amaze and inspire me. We are honoured and grateful to have such tremendous support across Canada.'

ShelterBox Founder and CEO, Tom Henderson, toured Canada in May to meet these supporters, he said: 'Without the support that ShelterBox receives from supporters, volunteers, and Rotary Clubs around the world, we couldn’t do what we do. It’s as simple as that.'

Happy Canada Day from everyone at ShelterBox!
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