Month of December always reminds us the joy of Christmas. There are many seafarers who are not able to be with their families and friends during Christmas. The Seamen’s Church Institute conducts Christmas-at-Sea program by showing hospitality and love to deep-sea and river mariners with Christmas gifts containing handmade scarves, caps, vests, helmets or socks, as well as other useful items such as stationery kits, sewing kits, magnifying lenses, mirrors, combs, etc. These items are knitted or crocheted by more than 3,500 volunteers across the country. Each year, more than 16,000 gifts are distributed.
Christmas on the River
Christmas on the River is an outreach program of Ministry on the River. Gift boxes are delivered to towboat crews who typically work 28-30 days at a time, regardless of holidays. This program lets those who can’t be at their home on Christmas day know that they are not forgotten. Gift boxes are packed at numerous locations up and down the rivers and include hand knit scarves or a small gift from Seamen’s Church Institute, a devotional, and hand-made Christmas cards from children. Other items may include home made cookies, candy, puzzle books, DVD and VCR movies, paperback books, jigsaw puzzles, etc.
Here are the thanks giving letters from mariners to Seamen’s Church Institute.
Ways to Participate in the Program
It is easy to partner with the Seamen’s Church Institute in their mission of hospitality to mariners. The Institute offers a variety of ways for people of all ages and from all parts of the world to participate.
- Join a chaplain on a vessel visit
- Collect books and/or videos for river mariners
- Knit a Christmas-at-Sea gift
- Create a handmade Christmas card
- Sign up for a Port Watch Youth overnight
- Make a donation today to support all our social services and pastoral care to the men and women sailing the world’s oceans and America’s rivers and waterways.
Visit this blog of SCI.
To read a poem on Christmas at sea click here.
A nice video clip of SCI is here.
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