The world’s crises often hit seafarers first and hardest. We have seen how the pandemic did just that, as did the Ukraine war and now the turmoil in the Red Sea. It was such a blessing to be able to welcome Seafarers to Sydney during this Christmas season with a warm smile, practical services and a special gift, thanks to your generous support.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Christmas Appeal and end of year donations, which raised over $14,000. As well as boosting our wellbeing work for the new year, we were also able to purchase over 3000 pairs of sunglasses to add as a special gift to our seafarer gift bags. We also distributed parcels to over 250 seafarers watching their joy as they received goods including gifts from home.
As the new year begins in earnest, we pray that both seafarers and all those who share our commitment to improving their care, have been renewed and recharged over the Christmas season. We also pray no seafarer or supporter will ever need to face hardship feeling completely alone because of the care we offer.
We gratefully recognise the support of all the individuals and of these corporations who donated to our Christmas Appeal and end of year donations:
- Daily Cargo News – $3800
– raised through their Awards Night raffle; thank you also for sharing the news from our Christmas and Thanksgiving Celebration in their December edition.
- The CSL Group Inc. – $2,750
– presented at our Christmas and Thanksgiving celebration.
- The Knitters of Henty – $300
– as well as many dozens of beanies, through the year. Yvonne Booth responded to our call for help sourcing quality seafarers’ sunglasses and appealed to her son Brad at Worklocker in Leeton. He gave us a very substantial discount.
- Svitzer Tugs and Line Services – $1500.
- St Johns Anglican Church Dee Why – $1000.
- APS Foundation – $1000.
- The Port Authority of New South Wales for donating the Appeal raffle prize which raised $944.
- Swire Shipping – $500
– towards gift bags to several missions including Sydney.
Thank you to our volunteers and staff who welcomed hundreds of seafarers into the Centre, including about 250 from cruise ships who came to collect their Christmas online delivery parcels and gifts from home. December 23 was our busiest day with 67 parcels collected! There were also Christmas carol singalongs and time to rest and connect with other seafarers from around the world at this special time of year.
The Chaplains and Rev Tay also continued to visit seafarers on ships. They reported that the seafarers were deeply touched by our practical way of sharing God’s love at Christmas and throughout the year. The simple act of kindness in giving a gift and providing a place they could collect their own parcels and gifts from their families was much appreciated. Their smiles were a delight to see.
We are proud to be part of a living tradition of Mission to Seafarers Centres providing hope, welcome and transformation globally since 1856 and in Sydney since 1881. It is always exciting to know that somewhere in the world, as one MtS ministry moves towards night, dawn is rising over another Centre.
At our Mission in Sydney, we will continue to walk with seafarers, whatever this coming year will bring. I am inspired by all our supporters and hope you all feel equally encouraged as you begin a new year, knowing you have made a difference for the men and women working tough, long, lonely lives at sea far away from their families.
CEO Mission to Seafarers Sydney,
Rev Tay, Principal Chaplain,
and the MtS Sydney team.