Send a Gift of Hope to a seafarer this Christmas.

For the world’s 1.5 million seafarers, Christmas will be just another day at sea. As I write this, thousands of seafarers
are preparing to spend a lonely Christmas away from family and friends, most will go without hearing from loved
ones, or seeing the faces they hold dear. Instead of sharing in the warmth, love and joy of the season, they will be
working round the clock, giving their all to bring us our supplies of luxury goods and basic essentials.
 
Seafaring is a very dangerous way of life; in fact, somewhere in the world, two lives are lost at sea every single day. If
someone is suffering from loneliness or personal hardship whilst on board ship there is no seasonal joy, just painful
reminders of what they’re missing.
 
In the UK alone, The Mission to Seafarers has witnessed some extraordinary cases of abandoned vessels in recent
years especially over the festive season, which has caused untold misery and distress, with ships’ crews being left
penniless in port, without water, fuel and basic food supplies. This Christmas, the Mission will provide essential
emergency support to those seafarers who will become the innocent victims of abandonment or for those stranded
ashore.
 
One such story is the MV Donald Duckling ship which was abandoned in the Port of Tyne in November 2013. It was
stranded over Christmas which was particularly painful for the 13 seafarers on board, with loved ones being so far
away. The Filipino crew had little food and their vessel was deemed unsafe; and the ship owner had liquidated his
business. They had no food to eat or clean water to drink; they had to fish for their next meal.
 
Things went from bad to worse for the seafarers…….
 
Things went from bad to worse when the seafarers received news that some of their families were missing as a result
of Typhoon Haiyan. The Mission stepped in straight away and offered support in locating their families. They were
found safe and sound and we also provided food and nappies to them (18 adults and 18 children including babies).
Here at the South Shields centre, The Mission looked after the crew by providing proper food, shelter and clothing,
transport and counselling. We also gave them mobile SIM cards and phone cards so that they could contact their
worried families and wish them Merry Christmas. The crew were grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity and
friendship they received.
 
“I thank everyone for their thoughts, good wishes and support.” Joe – crew member on the MV Donald Duckling ship
 
Our service is needed the most during this time of the year…
 
With your support, in our 260 port centres and on board ships this coming Christmas day, Mission chaplains and
volunteers will be working hard to provide vital friendship and comfort to seafarers, like Joe, at what can be the
loneliest time of year. Masses are being written, decorations dusted down and gifts wrapped up ready for distribution.
This is our way of bringing hope and making Christmas Day more meaningful for seafarers around the world.
 
As we draw up our Christmas shopping list this year, I kindly ask that you remember these brave crewmen and
women, and support The Mission to Seafarers in providing them with hope, goodwill and generosity – the bond
of common fellowship that we all deserve at Christmas. Our mission is to end isolation by bringing seasonal joy,
friendship and hope to the thousands of seafarers at sea.
 
Each year at Christmas we ask our supporters to send a gift of hope to the world’s seafarers by donating one of
the Mission’s gifts. This has been a huge success. Last year, with your help we were able to give out over 10,000
Christmas gifts to seafarers here in the UK.
 
Make a difference to a seafarer’s life by choosing one or more of our ‘Mission Gifts’ as a virtual present for a seafarer.
 
Your donation today can provide:
 
• Small Christmas gifts
• Warm clothing
• Phone calls home and internet communication with family
• Christmas dinners
• Ship visits from a chaplain
 
Whatever Mission Gift you give will make a huge difference to a seafarer who may be working long hours at sea
during this festive season. With your kindness, we will reach out this Christmas with the message that, though they
may be far from the warmth of home and family, seafarers have not been forgotten.
 
On behalf of seafarers everywhere I wish you a very Happy Christmas

To support our appeal, and to help support seafarers around the world in their time of need, click here to donate now.

BIG SHIP CHRISTMAS.jpg

For the world’s 1.5 million seafarers, Christmas will be just another day at sea. As I write this, thousands of seafarers
are preparing to spend a lonely Christmas away from family and friends, most will go without hearing from loved
ones, or seeing the faces they hold dear. Instead of sharing in the warmth, love and joy of the season, they will be
working round the clock, giving their all to bring us our supplies of luxury goods and basic essentials.
 
Seafaring is a very dangerous way of life; in fact, somewhere in the world, two lives are lost at sea every single day. If
someone is suffering from loneliness or personal hardship whilst on board ship there is no seasonal joy, just painful
reminders of what they’re missing.
 
In the UK alone, The Mission to Seafarers has witnessed some extraordinary cases of abandoned vessels in recent
years especially over the festive season, which has caused untold misery and distress, with ships’ crews being left
penniless in port, without water, fuel and basic food supplies. This Christmas, the Mission will provide essential
emergency support to those seafarers who will become the innocent victims of abandonment or for those stranded
ashore.
 
One such story is the MV Donald Duckling ship which was abandoned in the Port of Tyne in November 2013. It was
stranded over Christmas which was particularly painful for the 13 seafarers on board, with loved ones being so far
away. The Filipino crew had little food and their vessel was deemed unsafe; and the ship owner had liquidated his
business. They had no food to eat or clean water to drink; they had to fish for their next meal.
 
Things went from bad to worse for the seafarers…….
 
Things went from bad to worse when the seafarers received news that some of their families were missing as a result
of Typhoon Haiyan. The Mission stepped in straight away and offered support in locating their families. They were
found safe and sound and we also provided food and nappies to them (18 adults and 18 children including babies).
Here at the South Shields centre, The Mission looked after the crew by providing proper food, shelter and clothing,
transport and counselling. We also gave them mobile SIM cards and phone cards so that they could contact their
worried families and wish them Merry Christmas. The crew were grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity and
friendship they received.
 
“I thank everyone for their thoughts, good wishes and support.” Joe – crew member on the MV Donald Duckling ship
 
Our service is needed the most during this time of the year…
 
With your support, in our 200 port centres and on board ships this coming Christmas day, Mission chaplains and
volunteers will be working hard to provide vital friendship and comfort to seafarers, like Joe, at what can be the
loneliest time of year. Masses are being written, decorations dusted down and gifts wrapped up ready for distribution.
This is our way of bringing hope and making Christmas Day more meaningful for seafarers around the world.
 
As we draw up our Christmas shopping list this year, I kindly ask that you remember these brave crewmen and
women, and support The Mission to Seafarers in providing them with hope, goodwill and generosity – the bond
of common fellowship that we all deserve at Christmas. Our mission is to end isolation by bringing seasonal joy,
friendship and hope to the thousands of seafarers at sea.
 
Each year at Christmas we ask our supporters to send a gift of hope to the world’s seafarers by donating one of
the Mission’s gifts. This has been a huge success. Last year, with your help we were able to give out over 10,000
Christmas gifts to seafarers here in the UK.
 
Make a difference to a seafarer’s life by choosing one or more of our ‘Mission Gifts’ as a virtual present for a seafarer.
 
Your donation today can provide:
 
• Small Christmas gifts
• Warm clothing
• Phone calls home and internet communication with family
• Christmas dinners
• Ship visits from a chaplain
 
Whatever Mission Gift you give will make a huge difference to a seafarer who may be working long hours at sea
during this festive season. With your kindness, we will reach out this Christmas with the message that, though they
may be far from the warmth of home and family, seafarers have not been forgotten.
 
On behalf of seafarers everywhere I wish you a very Happy Christmas.

When autumn’s last leaves fall onto morning frosted lawns and squirrels retreat to their nut stocked nests, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Soon the yearly carols will be heard everywhere and then the countdown to Christmas truly begins. With joyful hearts, we look forward to spending time with loved ones and unwrapping presents under the Christmas tree.

However, somewhere in the middle of the ocean, the reality for most of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers is quite the opposite. As you read this letter today, thousands of seafarers are preparing to spend a lonely Christmas far from family and loved ones. These men and women will be working around the clock; endangering their lives to bring us the goods that make our Christmases so joyful.

Your support today will be a gift of joy to seafarers around the globe.

When seafarers arrive in ports across the world, contacting home will without a doubt be their first priority. Just saying “Hello” to loved ones on Christmas morning is priceless. We provide seafarers access to communication. We also offer them the opportunity to talk with a Mission chaplain and provide a warm hearted Christmas dinner in the welcoming atmosphere of a Mission’s centre. Many of the seafarers love to share photographs of their family, especially their children. Often the youngest babies will have grown beyond all recognition by the time they are reunited and it’s a reminder that these are all husbands or wives, fathers or mothers and sons or daughters – often working long months in dangerous environments, sometimes for years at sea.

Last year at the Tilbury centre, the chaplaincy team and volunteers distributed over 1,417 Christmas parcels. These presents are essential items such as shaving kits, books and woolly hats. Distributing Christmas presents has been one of the highlights of my career; one particular visit has really stuck in my mind, it was a ship called the T-Prime; we gave presents to each crew member. The joy which it brought to the seafarers was very touching. In their world,

This is precious and all too rare. These gifts are as a direct result of your own generous support. I am always moved by how much pleasure these modest gifts can bring to seafarers. The simple act of giving does so much, and extends the hand of friendship and seasonal goodwill to those at sea who too often feel physically and emotionally cut off from the rest of the world. It is days like this that remind me of why I do the job that I do; because my job has a real impact on seafarers’ lives and that you are bringing the light of Christ to others through the Mission’s work.

As we draw up our Christmas shopping lists this year, I kindly ask that you remember these brave crewmen and women, and support The Mission to Seafarers in providing them with the bond of common fellowship that we all deserve at Christmas. Each year at Christmas we ask our supporters to send a gift of joy to the world’s seafarers by donating one of the Mission’s gifts. This has been a huge success. Last year, with your help we were able to give out over 20,000 Christmas gifts to seafarers across the globe. Make a difference to a seafarer’s life by choosing one ormore of our ‘Mission Gifts’ as a virtual present for a seafarer.

Jake Pass - Chaplaincy Assistant, The Mission to Seafarers.

To support our appeal, and to help support seafarers around the world in their time of need, click here to donate now.

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