A charity book club, which helps fund emergency shelters for people displaced by conflict and disaster all over the world, is celebrating its five-year anniversary.
ShelterBox Book Club is one of the last charity subscription book clubs left in the UK. Every six weeks it invites its members on a journey, discovering the countries where ShelterBox works. The book club gives readers the chance to see the world through another person’s eyes while providing tangible support to people affected by disasters.
The international disaster relief charity specialises in emergency shelters and has helped more than 2.5 million people across almost 100 countries. ShelterBox is currently supporting people displaced in Morocco, Türkiye and Syria by earthquakes, and flooding in Libya, as well as conflict in Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.
Helping to fund its work around the world is ShelterBox Book Club, the UK’s first not-for-profit book subscription service, which was formed in November 2018 to raise money while sharing stories from around the world. Five years on from when it all began, the book club has just reached its next huge milestone – 90,000 books read – and £1,250,000 raised. It has thousands of members across the UK who, with every book they read, help fund emergency shelters for people they will never meet.
Head Bookworm at ShelterBox, Catherine Thornhill said:
“Every month our members help to make a real difference around the world. The people our charity supports have often had to leave behind their homes, belongings, livelihoods, and sometimes even loved ones.
“Our book club is raising funds to help people who need it with different combinations of emergency shelter, and basic items like water filters, mosquito nets, and blankets, to make the biggest difference for communities after disaster.
“The difference this book club and our members are making to people all over the world is incredible and sometimes I have to just stop and let that sink in – it’s remarkable.”
Every six weeks, members get the chance to vote for the next compelling read from a shortlist of three specially selected titles hand-picked by Catherine, ShelterBox’s Head Bookworm to reflect the incredible people and places the charity works.
“Our books take us all around the world, immersing readers in cultures from countries where ShelterBox works. We’ve read stories by women from Afghanistan with ‘My Pen is the Wing of a Bird’, young boys remarkable experiences in the Malawian story ‘The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind’ by William Kamkwamba, a tale of friendship in the Japanese story ‘Sweet Bean Paste’ by Durian Sukegawa translated by Alison Watts, and one close to our cause, true stories of upheaval in ’We Are Displaced’ by Malala Yousafzai.
“It is completely humbling that ShelterBox Book Club is thriving five years after it started and we’re so grateful for the wonderful support we’ve received from the publishers we’ve worked with, the incredible authors who’ve shouted about our work, and of course our readers.”
A copy of the most popular book will arrive in the post for members to enjoy with a letter telling them about a family they’ve supported through their membership. Members can attend online events discussing books with other members and get involved in exclusive live Q&As with the authors.
To find out more about ShelterBox Book Club, please visit: shelterbox.org/book-club/. New members can join for a suggested donation of £10 a month, or memberships can be gifted in subscriptions of 6 or 12 month packages.