Saturday, April 25, 2015

Behind the Scenes Seafarers' House

of all Faiths

“To Offer Refuge, Resources, Renewal and Respect to the Maritime Community Through Multi-Faith Service.” 

- Mission of Seafarers’ House

Visit to Seafarers' House

CLIA's Cruise3Sixty Conference continued today with various activities planned for the agents attending.  I decided to take the opportunity to tour Seafarers' House which is located about 10 minutes from Port Everglades.

I had the opportunity to meet two of the instrumental figures at Seafarers' House: Rev. Ronald Perkins, Port Chaplain, and Lesley Warrick, Executive Director.   They explained their mission to us and gave us a behind the scenes tour of their facility.

About Seafarers' House

According to Rev. Perkins, "Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades is open throughout the year as a safe, friendly place where mariners can connect with their communities and families, relax, seek guidance and get emergency help if needed. We provide access to pastoral care and counseling, emergency assistance, local ground transportation and everyday items through our pastoral team and our on shore and on board services.  Every mariner that arrives in Port Everglades is welcome at our center.  Those who may not be able leave their ships due to time constraints or visa restrictions have access to our services from their vessels through our ship-visiting program."

Some of the ways they help mariners:
  • pickup from ship in one of their vans
  • can attend mass and other religious services
  • use of WiFi
  • shop for favorite items to take on board
  • transfer paycheck home to family
Critical Mission

Being away from family, friends, and other loved ones is hard.  If you've ever been away from someone you love for even a couple days, you can probably imagine what it is like to be away for months on end.  Granted, the crew members make new friends, and have their extended families on board the ship, but it just isn't the same.

Crew members on a cruise ship are always expected to have a smile for passengers.  No matter how down they might feel themselves, they need to do so, or their livelihood could be at risk.

This is where Seafarers' House comes in. It could take on many forms, ranging from offering a helping hand, a listening ear, or providing a gift for the holidays.

You Can Help

I promised Rev. Perkins that I'd spread the word about the good work they are doing at Seafarers' House. Until this FAM trip, I wasn't even aware of their organization, and how the things they do behind the scenes helps my clients and I have an enjoyable vacation. The mariners that are helped by their organization are much more likely to make your trip enjoyable if their problems have been resolved.
Your contribution to Seafarers’ House allows them to make a difference, one seafarer at a time.  In 2014 Seafarers’ House provided 1,900 ship visits, served more than 2,100 mariners with personalized pastoral care sessions, and distributed more than 1,400 shoeboxes for Christmas.

By the way, those of us on this behind the scenes tour had the opportunity to make some shoeboxes to be distributed.  I'll be posting more pictures on my Facebook page, so be sure to visit me there as well.

Thank you Father Perkins and everyone at Seafarers' House for what you do for Mariners.

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