It is with great sorrow that we inform you that Dubois Charitable Foundation has lost one of its longest-serving and most generous volunteers, and John and I lost a good friend.  He was in fact, our first volunteer, in Oct.  2000.  He was with us on our first volunteer trip to Cuba, and two more to follow.

He helped us load containers and when we didn't have a place to load he gave us the use of his trucking company facilities.  He was a big guy with a big heart.  We will certainly miss him.

SKILLINGS, Robert Beverley “Bev” - Passed away suddenly in Naples, Florida on Tuesday, December 30, 2014, in his 62nd year. Beloved best friend and partner of Ruth (Collins) Martin. Loving son of Norman and Ruth (Hildred) Skillings. Dear brother of Bill and Brenda, Wilfred and Clara, Eric and Annette and David and Connie. Bev is also survived by ten nieces and nephews and eleven great-nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his nephew Jonathon and great-niece Emma. Bev will be dearly missed by Ruth’s family, Jeremy and Rachel Martin, Kathy and Steve O’Regan and four grandchildren. Also Brenda and Francis Webber, Nancy Collins, sabell and Wayne Amey, Mary Ellen and Harvey Hunt, David and Cheryle Collins, Jimmie and Kathy Collins and Donnie and Anne Collins. Predeceased by Ruth’s mother Norma (Major) Collins. Bev owned and operated Magic Transportation until his retirement in 2011. Cremation has taken place. A family celebration of Bev’s life will be held at a later date. If desired, memorial donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario or Dubois Charitable Foundation (c/o John L. Dubois, 686681 Hwy 2, RR # 1 Princeton, Ontario N0J 1V0) would be appreciated. Online condolences at

2014 Container 1
Hello Folks; Wish to advise that, we are planning to load our first container of this year for Cuba on Saturday May 10th at the usual location, (686681 HIGHWAY # 2 Princeton Ontario ). We'll hope to start 8.30 to 9.00 AM and have the customary lunch and social time afterwards. This container will go to various locations in the province of Mayabeque, such as, San Jose, Nueva Paz, Jaruco, Santa Cruz, Madruga and San Nicolas, with materials for hospitals, policlinics, maternal facilities, children's sports, the rural university, as well as for the elderly, the sick the disabled, orphans and social cases. We have developed a very good working relationship with the provincial and municipal governments in the province of Mayabeque, and as a result, we are making a marked difference in the lives of thousands of residents of that province. During my last visit there in January, I was told numerous times how thankful officials and residents were with the donations received and indicated that the materials received filled a very serious need with medical patients, the disabled, expectant mothers, children, and the very poor in many parts of the province. We need about 25 persons for this loading project, and hope that you will respond as generously as most of you have done in the past with your time, dedication and enthusiasm. In addition to Saturday, if any one is available Friday, we sure could use the help. In order to have sufficient but not too many volunteers for that day, we ask that you respond directly by telephone or to this email address, if you can make it; and please let us know how many of you will be coming. If you have any questions, please call or email: Marion, John, Rick, or Joe Ohara. Hoping to hear from you soon, John and Marion 519-458-4362

In Memorium
It is with great sorrow that we acknowledge the death of one of our outstanding volunteers for the past 10 years. Faron Langdon passed away on April 22nd in his 62nd year. Faron was a great source of much needed items for our Cuba containers. It was always a great pleasure to see him when he dropped by with his load of donations and also when he joined us to load a container which he did on a regular basis. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Anne who has also been a volunteer with us, and his family. Below is a picture taken during our 2008 volunteer trip to Cuba

2013 Container 3 Pictures

2013 Container 3

We are planning to load our third, and probably last container, of this year for Cuba on Saturday October 5th at the usual location, (686681 HIGHWAY # 2 Princeton Ontario ). We'll hope to start 8.30 to 9.00 AM and have the customary lunch and social time afterwards. This container will go to various locations in the province of Santiago, to help the victims of last year's hurricane, as well as the elderly, the sick the disabled, orphans and social cases. We need about 25 persons for this loading project, and hope that you will respond as generously as most of you have done in the past with your time, dedication and enthusiasm. In addition to Saturday, if any one is available Friday, we sure could use the help. In order to have sufficient but not too many volunteers for that day, we ask that you respond directly by telephone or to this email address, if you can make it; and please let us know how many of you will be coming. If you have any questions, please call or email: Marion, John, Rick,or Joe Ohara. Hoping to hear from you soon, John and Marion 519-458-4362

2013 Container 2 Completed

Thank you to an outstanding group of volunteers for an excellent job and a very enjoyable day.

Volunteers Aug 10 2013.

Moments before closing Container

2013 Container 2

We are proposing to load a container on August 10th, (a Saturday). this one will be going to the city of Havana, and contain hospital beds, stretchers, exam tables, bedside tables, wheelchairs, walkers, detergent, washer and dryer, etc.. plus lots of clothes, shoes, medical supplies and more.
I just came back from Havana and the province of Mayabeque last Monday, where I toured the various towns in the province to see the materials that we had sent there recently.
Everyone that I encountered was very happy with what they had received and many patients, retirement home residents and municipal officials expressed their gratitude for the donated items.
For the first time in Cuba, I saw bottles of sanitizer material, and sanitizer dispensers in several locations, and they were being used enthusiastically by patients/residents and staff.
Of course the material and dispensers were sent there by us last december.
( see photos below under 2013 Container 1)
One of the photos depicts a 60inch television that we sent last december to the "Casa de Abuelos" in San Nicolas" province of Mayabeque. The biggest TV ever seen by anyone in town.
The residents now think their meeting room is a theater.
Seeing much of our donated merchandise being used and appreciated certainly gave me a huge lift.
Hope to see you all on the 10th, but if any one has time, we could use some help the 8th and 9th.
Please let me know if we can count on your assistance.

Thank you and enjoy the summer

2013 Container 1

Our first container loading for 2013 took place on for June 1. This container went to the province of Mayabeque, which is located between the city of Havana and and the city of Matanzas and goes from the Atlantic coast to the Caribean sea. It is a poor province who's economy is mostly agricultural.The main cities( all of them, small) in the province are San Jose de las Lajas (the capital), San Nicolas, Santa Cruz del norte, Bejucal, Guines, and Madruga.

Below are some Pictures from John's follow up visit

Hogar de Ancianos(retirement home), San Jose de Las Lajas, province of Mayabeque.Sanitizer dispenser next to air conditioner.

Our chairs being used by patients at HIFM (Centre for adult patients with physical and mental disabilities) at San Jose de Las Lajas, province of Mayabeque. Note ; our labels are usually left on the items long after they are received.

Patients' dining room at HIFM, San Jose

Staff photo taken after meeting with John at Cento Psicopedagogico(Centre for children with physical and mental disabilities) at Guines.

Photo of patients' dining room at Centro Psicopedagogico in Guines, province of Mayabeque.

The 60 inch TV at the Casa de abuelos (senior day care centre) at San Nicolas, province of Mayabeque.

Residents looking at picture on the new TV

Hello Friends

Marion and I wish you and your loved ones a Christmas filled with love, joy, and peace, and may you enjoy good health and success during 2013. On Saturday, December 29th, we loaded our 3rd container since Hurricane Sandy struck; all three went to Cuba. This load is going to the Santiago area with badly needed materials to help those suffering as a result of the horrible destruction. While relief and reconstruction efforts continue in that area, the majority of victims are still waiting for the resources necessary to rebuild/repair, or replace what they lost.

The contribution that our organization is sending will bring hope and reduce the despair and sickness in that area.

In this container, we sent large quantities of Sanitizer material, dehydrated soup, clothing and building materials, as well as kitchen and other household necessities, and medical supplies. We know that this is a very busy time of year for most of you, and your help is very much appreciated. You're making a positive difference in these unfortunate peoples' lives.


We loaded the first special relief container for Cuba on Saturday NOVEMBER 24th, 2012. Up until late November, we had been unable to get a response to our offer of help, due to the lack of communication in that part of the island.

This first special container went directly to Santiago to assist the thousands of victims of Huricane Sandy, which hit the city and immediate area directly late in October. According to the reports, in excess of 15300 houses were completely destroyed in Santiago, as well as thousands more in the path of this hurricane which wreaked havoc from Chivirico to the west, to well east of Santiago city , and a large swath of territory all the way to Banes, Guardalavaca and Rafael Freire on the north shore of Cuba. The needs are great and we will try to do our part. Meanwhile we are buying personal care and hygiene products, tarps and whatever else that can help alleviate the misery of some of these tens of thousands of poor victims who have lost what little they had, and are now desperate.

We thank you for your generous response with your time, dedication, enthusiasm and materials.

We also filled another container with emergency aid and badly needed materials for the people and health care facilities of the stricken area, (Chivirico, Palma Soriano, Contramaestre) , as well as a container of humanitarian aid to the poor areas of the province of Mayabeque, in Cuba on December 15th!





John Dubois



During the year 2011 the emphasis of the foundation changed a little and our first container to Bolivia arrived there in March 2011. This container supplied much needed medical equipment to the hospital in the city of Minero, and clothing, sports equipment and toys to three large orphanages in that region.

Our second container was loaded On May 28th 2011 and was primarily for the city and Province of Ciego de Avila, Cuba. We have over the last 4 years done much work with the seniors’ home in the City of Ciego and on this container we sent additional aid for them in the form of beds, walkers and canes as well as clothes for the residents. We also sent medical equipment to the general hospital and the psychiatric hospital, many baby clothes to the maternity homes and hospitals, and toys and clothes to several kindergardens. Other aid from this container went to the province of Camaguey; here we sent clothing, art supplies and household items to the mental health centre in Nuevitas, walkers and canes to the nursing home in Minas and Nuevitas, special wheelchairs to the handicapped school in the city of Camaguey.

The third container went to the Havana area, with aid going to the mental health centre in Boyeros, To the indigents in the city of San Nicholas, clothing, walkers, canes, blankets and pillows to many retirement homes in Havana and the province, toys and clothing to orphanages, and kindergardens, baby clothes to maternity hospitals and maternity homes. Medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and special wheelchairs for the handicapped in the city and the province.

The Fourth container was loaded mainly for the province of Santiago, the communities of Chivirico, Ocujal and Contramaestre. The hospital in Chivirico received medical supplies, the sports department received baseball and soccer equipment and uniforms. We were also able to send sports equipment to a residential school in Uvero. The hospital in Contramaestre received operating tables, examination tables, monitors, other equipment and a quantity of medical supplies. Many toys and craft supplies went to two kindergardens in Contramaestre as well as beds and supplies to the retirement home in that city. There were medical supplies and some equipment sent to Lenin Hospital in Holguin as well as walkers and canes sent to retirement homes in Holguin, Ocujal, Palmarito and Contramaestre.

Once again the items shipped in 2011 contributed mightily to improving the quality of health care received by thousands of Cubans and Bolivians and added comfort to thousands more needy and vulnerable persons.

We are just beginning our weekly packing session for this year. We have had some illness in our group of dedicated volunteers and hope that everyone is back in good health to do the job required to be ready for the shipping season.

Again as always we wish to thank everyone for their donations, and dedicated work on behalf of the foundation. We look forward to seeing many of you when we load our first container of the year That date will be announced as soon as we have sufficient goods for shipment and authorization to ship.

John Dubois


February 2011
Several months ago we made the difficult decision to reduce our activities in Cuba. There were issues of an administrative nature that prevented us from performing our work at the standard our volunteers and donors fully deserved. For this reason we felt it best to focus our efforts and resources elsewhere.

We have never abandoned the idea of working again in Cuba. In fact, we have continuously kept open the lines of communication and have been constantly searching for solutions which would enable the Foundation and our team of dedicated volunteers to be effective there once again. Over several months, with ongoing dialogue via e-mail and face to face, we recently enjoyed some very constructive meetings in Havana that we are confident will resolve the logistical issues that had been holding us back.

We feel that we can now look forward to prompt and accurate delivery of the donated items as well as being able to confirm and follow up on these deliveries. It is important that we honour the time and commitment of our people and we need to be able to assure them that their work is not in vain. We are confident that we can do that now.

With great joy, we are announcing our intention to resume shipping containers of medical and humanitarian aid to Cuba once again in 2011. Plans are to have the first shipment en route in May of 2011 and to add another couple before the season ends.

We thank all of our supporters, volunteers and donors for their efforts and look forward once again to working together.

J. L. Dubois

Our September visit to San Nicolas in the province of Havana was a real treat (in spite of the four hour power outage), as we saw six children’s teams playing baseball at the local stadium wearing “Tim Horton” uniforms, and also using all the other equipment that we had sent. As the local sports director said to us "They have been playing baseball all along, but with the team uniforms they think of themselves as ‘ball players’ now!"


The residents of the local retirement home also welcomed us, all proudly wearing T shirts that we had sent. Our work in that whole community has been a success. The gerontology centre in the city of Ciego de Avila was recently awarded (January 2010) the recognition of being the best retirement facility in the country. The provincial director/delegate of Minvec advised us of this award and passed on the gratitude of the facility director and staff for all the help provided to that institution. This help spanned at least 3 years which, according to them, caused this retirement home to be rated the very best in all of Cuba.

We have been accepting/receiving/collecting some materials these last few months and began our Wednesday morning sorting and packing sessions a few weeks ago. We hope to send off a container of medical equipment and supplies to a large hospital in Tanzania in the next two months and as soon as transportation and distribution channels have been determined and assured, we will send aid to the Port au Prince area of Haiti for the earthquake victims. We will also entertain other Humanitarian aid possibilities as time goes on. As volunteers and contributors, you have been a big part of our efforts since 2001 and we felt that it was imperative that we clarify our decision and let you know as clearly as we know ourselves at this time what lies ahead for Dubois Charitable Foundation.

John and Marion
The Dubois Charitable Foundation experienced one of our busiest years to date. Our normal efforts to fill the pipeline with medical equipment and supplies were extremely successful. We were able to send 5 containers jammed full with hospital beds, wheelchairs, incubators, and a large assortment of medical consumables. The growth of this program is a real testimony to the generosity and spirit of our supporters.Dubois Charitable Foundation LogoWe are priveleged and honoured to be able to live and work with such dedicated and loving people.

The Foundation was pressed into emergency response as a result of an incredibly active hurricane season. Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Paloma in turn made their way from one end of Cuba to the other.

Very few communities were left untouched. On Isla de la Juventud nearly all the island's roads were washed out and some regions heavily flooded. Isla de la Juventud is a home to 87,000 people and recorded some serious damage: 20,000 homes out of 25,000 were completely destroyed.

On the mainland, the sugar cane crop was devastated, with over 340,000 hectares destroyed. 2008 marked the only time that 3 major hurricanes have hit Cuba in the same season.The devestation left thousands of homes destroyed, wiped out crops, and severely damaged the electrical grid. In response, the Foundation and its supporters rallied to assist those in need in Cuba.

Our response was as powerful as any hurricane. We welcomed donations of food, medical supplies, building materials, clothing, and cash. So strong was the response that we were able to fill three containers in a five week span. It was evident that our legion of supporters was widespread: we received donations from all over Ontario, from Québec, and even from as far away as The United Kingdom. This generosity enabled us to respond quickly and appropriately to a real disaster.

As The Dubois Charitable Foundation nears the end of another shipping season, allow me to reflect on a seven year journey. What started as a gathering of friends and family who shared an interest in Cuba and especially in the people of Cuba, has grown into something much Dubois Charitable Foundation Logomore. We are priveleged and honoured to be able to live and work with such dedicated and loving people.

In 2007 , the Foundation reached a few milestones in sending off its 46th container to Cuba since 2001. This represents more than 500 tons of humanitarian aid and medical equipment to schools, orphanages, senior's residences, hospitals, clinics, special needs institutions, and to local Cuban municipalities for specific projects. A particularly well received donation was a fully operational cargo truck!

We work with other non-profit organizations here in Canada and elsewhere globally. Where there is a need that we can help to address, we try to get involved. We were able to send a twenty foot
container of medical equipment to Tanzania.

For donations to Cuba in 2006, we were the largest non governmental donor in North America. The Foundation was also ranked 66th among the hundreds of Canadian charities operating internationally, for the value of the assistance provided.

These accomplishments are a testimonial to the hard work, dedication, generosity, and energy of many. A never ending commitment from a small band of long time volunteers is the rock solid base enabling our work to continue. These people are always willing to make sacrifices, to change their schedules, and to participate in any number of ways whenever requested.

To all of you who make it possible for our Foundation to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of needy, vulnerable, and disabled persons in Cuba and elsewhere, heartfelt thanks from Marion and myself.

John Dubois
December 2007