ShelterBox International

Donated IT Helps International Relief NGO Provide Shelter After Disaster

When a rocket hit his family's apartment building in Syria, Khaled moved his wife and three children to neighboring Lebanon. Now living in a small mountain town just two kilometers from the Syrian border, he can see the flare of explosions as the fighting continues in Syria.

Today, more than 600,000 Syrian refugees like Khaled are living in Lebanon. ShelterBox International (SBI) has been working on the ground to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving materials to Syrian refugees since 2012. "God only knows where we would be living if we didn't have the ShelterBox tent," says Khaled.

The ShelterBoxes contain supplies that you might expect, like a tent and blankets, as well as some unexpected additions, like a multi-fuel stove and coloring books. SBI keeps a wide range of equipment in stock, which enables staff to adjust the box's contents based on local conditions and distribute what is most needed in disaster areas around the world.

Following the Japanese earthquake in 2006, millions were displaced. There was an overwhelming need for shelter, so boxes were sent to Japan with two tents. After Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, highly durable waterproof tents became the core of the Philippines-bound boxes.

ShelterBox Canada (SBC), an SBI affiliate, has two staff members who manage a network of 100 volunteers across Canada. This network is instrumental in SBC's efforts to raise awareness and galvanize support for relief from disasters that are not reported in the news media.

Realizing the need for a more effective and efficient accounting system, SBC turned to TechSoup Canada. It purchased Intuit's QuickBooks and found it to be more user-friendly and versatile. By streamlining accounting processes, QuickBooks has helped SBC better manage its donations and ensure that that they get to where they need to go quickly. The increased efficiency will allow SBC to focus on what it does best, raising awareness and providing aid to the most vulnerable.