Donna Lee Reports...


At Tuesday's meeting Donna Lee will provide an update on ShelterBox. Below is their current news.
  • Rotary International and disaster relief charity, ShelterBox, announce three-year partnership renewal 
  • Humanitarian alliance supports people who lose homes to conflict and disaster 
  • Partnership enables ShelterBox and Rotary to support more people, in more places, in more ways 

HOUSTON, Texas — Rotary International and the disaster relief charity, ShelterBox, today announced a three-year partnership renewal that will help the organization support more people, in more places, in more ways. 


ShelterBox was founded by the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard in the United Kingdom in 2000, forming a special humanitarian alliance has made a tangible difference to the lives of people around the world. Based in the U.K. and with offices around the world, ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to people who have lost their homes to conflict and disaster. 


With growing collaboration with Rotary members and clubs across the globe, ShelterBox became Rotary’s official project partner in disaster relief in 2012. The partnership has helped transform ShelterBox into an internationally recognized disaster relief charity, together supporting more families when they need it most. 

“Rotary has been beside us on our journey from day one and we are reminded of the significance of the partnership each time we mobilize,” said ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan. “What began as a local connection with one Cornish Rotary Club has led to an extraordinary international movement that has provided emergency shelter to millions of people around the world.” 

The official partnership has been renewed for another three years. The agreement will be announced at the annual Rotary International Convention, this year hosted in the USA, where ShelterBox chief executive Sanj Srikanthan will give a keynote speech to more than 10,000 Rotary members.  


“Rotary members are involved in ShelterBox as volunteers, staff or response team members. Our responses can stretch us logistically and often it’s the Rotary network that help us navigate the import challenges that delay our lifesaving aid or provide us with warehousing space while we wait to distribute shelter kits,” Srikanthan added. “Rotary members also help ShelterBox response teams make vital community contacts and reach disaster-affected families in remote areas who might otherwise go without.” 

Most recently, in addition to their own significant response to the Ukraine crisis, Rotary members have supported ShelterBox’s relief effort. Using their networks in Poland, Moldova and Ukraine, Rotary members have provided invaluable situational awareness and connections enabling ShelterBox to provide aid to those in need.  

Rotary has been beside us on our journey from day one and we are reminded of the significance of the partnership each time we mobilize.”

– ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan

The charity is providing mattresses to people in collective centres; tarpaulins, rope, tools, and other essentials to help people living in damaged buildings; in addition to supporting women and children fleeing into Moldova. 

The Rotary partnership often gives ShelterBox the flexibility and scale to respond in fast changing emergencies, including in the Philippines after Typhoon Rai made landfall in December 2021. 

The Philippines is ravaged so often by tropical storms that ShelterBox has adapted the way it works – pre-positioning aid in the country with a team on the ground ready to go when the next disaster strikes. With the help of the Rotary Club of Cebu, ShelterBox provided emergency shelter aid to 100,000 people in the aftermath of the super typhoon. 

“Rotary is a global network whose members make a lasting difference in their communities – and worldwide. We are people of action, which is why our disaster relief partnership extends far beyond financial support,” said Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko. “Rotary clubs worldwide offer valuable, practical assistance to help ShelterBox reach more families fleeing disaster or conflict.” 

Hewko added: “In Haiti last year, the Rotary Club of Les Cayes provided situational updates and helped ShelterBox understand local context so they could start work sooner. In Honduras, the Rotary Club of San Pedro Sula, helped to find the communities where ShelterBox could make the biggest difference following Hurricanes Iota and Eta. They unloaded shipping containers, travelled to remote communities to distribute aid, and delivered shelter training.” 

ShelterBox has a global network of 14 affiliates, who raise funds and awareness worldwide, that evolved from Rotary relationships. 

“Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to collaborate, better supporting communities in need by improving preparedness, and prepositioning aid in areas prone to disaster,” Hewko said.  

The renewal of the partnership comes at a decisive time against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact it has had on communities worldwide. But that crisis will be dwarfed by the impact of a changing climate in the years ahead, with ShelterBox research highlighting how 167 million homes could be lost to climate change in the next 20 years.   

Flooding will be a leading cause of weather-related disaster, warming oceans will bring heavier rain to places that can’t cope with it,

and other parts of the world will face ever more deadly droughts like the one East Africa is currently confronting. 

Rotary and ShelterBox will continue to collaborate, better supporting communities in need by improving preparedness,

and prepositioning aid in areas prone to disaster.”

-Rotary International General Secretary and CEO John Hewko

To better meet the needs of the people who need support, ShelterBox is continuously evolving to find durable solutions. It no longer provides aid only in boxes, instead providing combinations of aid, packaged in a variety of ways to make a tangible difference.  

A tarpaulin is the difference between a family staying dry in their makeshift home or not. Solar lights help families spend time together when electricity supply is impacted. A mosquito net helps families worry less about their children’s health in areas known to have malaria or dengue fever. Cash empowers local communities to hire skilled labour or buy the materials they need to rebuild their houses. 

ShelterBox currently has teams working to support communities in Ukraine, Yemen, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, the Philippines, Syria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, and Nigeria. 

To find out more about ShelterBox visit 

For more information contact the press office at ShelterBox via or Rotary International via 

  • Interviews available with ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan, Kerri Murray, President of ShelterBox USA, and Alex Youlten, Rotary Partnership Manager for ShelterBox.
  • Images and captions included. More images available on request. 
  • Video of the Rotary and ShelterBox partnership in action after Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines in 2021.  
  • Photo above: Donna Lee Gulley, member of the Northbrook Rotary Club, attended the February 10, 2016 lunch meeting to talk about Shelter Box International and the ways it works to assist those affected by major disasters throughout the world. Because this is an organization regularly supported by the Club, there was much interest in learning about the history of the types of aid delivered and some of the newer technologies being employed to provide fresh water.
Play it Forward!!

SPRING RAFFLE - FUNDRAISER: Play It Forward Raffle & Bingo Night!

Let's sell tickets!! Each $50 ticket not only funds a variety of charitable needs, but includes a chance of winning
$1,500 Raffle
[but wait there's more!] Join the club, family and friends for a fun night of Bingo.
This is a bonus event for ticket holders! You do not need to be present to win. For those who venture out there will be snacks and soda and fun.
Join us
Friday, April 12, 2024 
at the North Suburban YMCA from
7 to 9 PM
Includes one Raffle ticket, one Bingo card.
Extra Bingo cards are available for $15.
Click the link below to purchase tickets. Share this link [or QR code] with prospective guests.
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NOTE: Filled out ticket stubs and money received for ticket sales should be delivered to Debbie Madeley or Denis Polina. 
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<photo are from Feb 2020
Save-the-Date & Bring a Future Member
"Rock Music and Social Awareness: an Author's Perspective"
April 2 Lisa Torem will present a program "Rock Music and Social Awareness: an author's perspective" to our club! Lisa chronicles her path in journalism and discusses how seminal songs by artists Tori Amos, Billy Joel and Suzanne Vega have inspired social movements and activity. Lisa is a journalist author based in Chicago and has interviewed hundreds of music industry professionals, including rising stars and legends and has written features and reviews for local and international outlets. She has written books about the discographies of several artists.
About Lisa Torem

Author/journalist/musician Lisa Torem analyzed the studio work of triple-threat artists: Tori Amos, Billy Joel and Suzanne Vega for the Sonicbond On Track Series and co-authored Through The Eye of The Tiger and All That Glitters: The Ava Cherry Story.

Beyond interviewing, among others, members of Yes, The Animals, The Zombies, The Kinks, Cream, Thin Lizzy, Wings, Jethro Tull, plus Dave Brubeck, Darlene Love, Donovan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Judy Collins, etc., she crawled through a window to talk to Jimmy Webb without breaking one bone. The native Chicagoan critiques music books for pennyblackmusic’s Raging Pages, where she is a staff writer.

Lisa comps in a big band which features her latest jazz ballad. Several original compositions grace indie films. American Women Composers orchestrated tracks from her multi-cultural collection, Singlish. Her one-act Dog Sharing, appeared at NY’s Love Creek Theater.

Articles, Reviews & Features Published in:

  • The Chicago Reader

  • New City Magazine

  • The Big Takeover

  • American Blues Scene

  • Windy City Times

  • Grateful Web

  • Popmatters

  • Inside Publications

  • Chicago Parent Magazine

  • The War Horse

  • Penny Black Music.

PHOTO CREDITS: Lisa with Dweezil Zappa Photo cred: Phillip Solomonson; Lisa with Vintage Trouble
Photo cred: Phillip Solomonson
Club & District Events 

Save The Dates 

  • 23rd D6440 and the Friedman foundation scholarship deadline
  • 12th PAY IT FORWARD! FUNdraiser
Quote of the Week


Mar 19, 2024
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Rock Music and Social Awareness: an author's perspective
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