Seafarer Centers Need Our Help
By John McLaurin
October 28, 2015
The holidays are almost upon us. Hundreds of millions
of Americans will head to shopping malls or go online to order gifts for
friends, loved ones and colleagues. People will worry about how the gift
will be received, whether it will fit, if it is the right color, will it break
or whether it is returnable. Few will give much thought to the hard work
of those onboard ships that brought those goods to this country.
Hundreds of seafarers will spend this holiday season at sea
or at distant ports of call thousands of miles from their families. Working on
board ships is a solitary and lonely life. Seafarers spend months away
from their home and loved ones, often working in very dangerous conditions.
It is a profession that is taken for granted by consumers all over the world,
but one that is critical for our economy.
These seafarers need our assistance and support. That
is why the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, the Port of Oakland and other
members of the Bay Area maritime community came together recently to raise
funds for the Seamen's Church Institute, International Maritime Center.
The recent luncheon event included a keynote address from Oakland Mayor Libby
Schaaf, who expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the women and men who
work onboard ships. The Mayor's support for the International Maritime
Center and its volunteers was a wonderful acknowledgement of the hard work
performed by individuals who are largely invisible to the general public.
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