New Year’s Resolution: Support Seafarer Centers
December 24, 2015
Now that we are preparing to usher in the New Year, many of us will be making resolutions regarding self-improvement. At the same time, hundreds of seafarers will spend this holiday season at sea or at distant ports of call thousands of miles from their families, notes John McLaurin, president of the Oakland-based Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA)
“Working on board ships is a solitary and lonely life,” he says. “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, McLaurin adds. Seafarer centers are located at various ports around the world, including Oakland, and provide much needed assistance ranging from transportation for a trip to a store to purchase personal items to something more serious involving counseling or help dealing with personal problems half a world away. Most of these services are provided by volunteers working on a shoestring budget.
To help explain the impact of this work, the Port of Oakland, a major supporter of the seafarer center, produced a video detailing the efforts of the center and the people they serve. The video is a tribute to the hard work of those on board ships and of a dedicated group of people who provide much needed help in a very quiet and unassuming way.
Please consider supporting your local seafarer center.
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