Blog, Coronavirus

Six reasons why we love Giving Tuesday

In this blog from 2020 we share inspiration from some of the brilliant aid workers, volunteers and fundraisers supporting ShelterBox through the coronavirus crisis.

23 November 2020

Man running along box carrying green ShelterBox on his back

In 2020, lockdown life has got us all peering at our calendars, never quite certain what day it is. Giving Tuesday is right around the corner – and this year, it is more important than ever.

Usually December’s antidote to Black Friday’s spendy excess, Giving Tuesday is a day to recognise and celebrate the generosity and compassion growing through the coronavirus crisis – and you can get involved too. Read on to get inspired:

1. The humanitarians

First a reminder of why we all do it: this year, despite the challenges, humanitarians have been delivering ShelterBox aid around the world. This includes our partners from IEDA Relief (Cameroon), the International Organisation for Migration (Ethiopia), ACTED (Nigeria), ActionAid (Somaliland), HELP (Burkina Faso), ReliefAid and Bahar Organisation (Syria).

They’ve been working on the frontline in places where coronavirus could be more devastating than anything we have seen so far. They’re dedicated, selfless, and endlessly adaptable, finding the best ways to keep themselves and the communities they serve safe.

Get the latest on how we’re responding to coronavirus here.

ReliefAid aid workers wearing facemasks in Syria

ReliefAid workers take care to protect themselves and the communities they’re supporting with shelter

2. Veg box… or ShelterBox?

A big shout-out to one new supporter, who mis-dialled us while trying to reach her veg box company.

Instead of checking the status of her lettuces, she heard all about ShelterBox and decided to donate anyway. A wonderful gesture, which we’re sure made that salad taste all the sweeter.

A basket of lettuce
Green ShelterBox containing emergency shelter and essential aid items

One kind caller’s misdial almost converted a veg box into a ShelterBox

3. LEJOG-on

Meg and Alice walked from Lands End to John O’Groats. The route may have been virtual, but the exercise was very real. Using a challenge app to record their daily wanders near home, they’ve walked their way to a 1084-mile hike.

‘We both love walking, but in lockdown we can’t visit the mountains in nearby Snowdonia,’ they say. ‘Our challenge will help us keep fit locally and support families who lack even basic facilities to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.’

Virtual postcard sent by ShelterBox fundraisers
Supporters Meg and Alice wearing rain jackets while doing the virtual LEJOG hike

Meg and Alice have been sending virtual postcards from their virtual hike

4. Box-packing for the NHS

There’s been a surge in volunteering during this crisis, especially as we try to stay busy and help communities during furlough. And when it comes to putting great stuff in boxes, we’ve got it covered.

At our former warehouse, ShelterBox volunteers helped Volunteer Cornwall and the NHS on a box-packing mission with a difference.

Martin explains: ‘We packed special boxes with care and hygiene items to help keep people comfortable at the end of their lives. They were delivered to hospitals and doctors’ surgeries across Cornwall, and helped many who’ve spent their last days at home.’

Cardboard boxes being packed with care items in the ShelterBox warehouse

Martin has worked with other volunteers to pack end of life care boxes

5. An un-London Marathon

Back in April, Alex was planning on pounding the pavements of the Big Smoke, running the 26.2 with a ShelterBox on his back. Alex had been training through an outrageously rainy winter – even by Cornwall’s standards – including a flooded Eden Project Marathon, where he had to stop to empty the pile of gravel washed into his trainers.

With the London Marathon postponed, Alex took to his local beach to run instead (more grit in the shoes, we imagine), and his children Barnaby and Harriet made some spectacular London landmarks for a heroic finish line. He’s raised over £2,000!

6. Birthday gifts

We don’t know about you, birthdays seem to fall a little flat in lockdown. But what if you could convert yours into an entire shelter? Lydia created a ShelterBox fundraiser for her special day, to bring friends and family together.

She says: ‘I hoped we could share some love and support across the world in this trying time. We raised £64 through various small donations. That’s enough for a shelter kit, and I couldn’t be happier.’

Woman wearing a while t-shirt with the ShelterBox logo on it
Home constructed with tarpaulins and shelter kit in the Philippines after Typhoon Mangkhut

Lydia’s birthday gifts could turn into a shelter like this!


Shelter saves lives. But we can’t make a difference without support like this.

Find out how you can get involved with the ShelterBox family from home.