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SEATTLE SEAFARERS CENTER NEWSLETTER

June 2024
 

Happy International Day of the Seafarer!

June 25, 2024 is a special day for mariners worldwide. This is an annual celebration of seafarers and their contributions to our society.


Today, we invite you to reflect on the role that seafarers play in your everyday life. Consider all of your stuff - the clothes on your back, the shoes on your feet, the furniture you're sitting on, the phone or computer you are using to read this newsletter, the coffee in your mug, the gas in your car, your car itself... Ninety percent of the world's traded goods are transported on ships, staffed by hard-working seafarers who go under-appreciated for their essential work. Take a moment to thank and honor the 1.9 million seafarers worldwide who make many sacrifices in order to bring us all of these goods that we depend upon.

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Today we had the special opportunity to visit the CMA CGM Cochin and lead a communion service onboard for the crew. Captain Melroy had reached out to us last week to request this service for the crew, and he specifically asked if we could visit on the Day of the Seafarer, as it is a celebratory day for them. 

Captain Melroy is one of those captains who is very kind and deeply cares for his crew. Spirits are always higher on a ship when the captain respects their crew, looks out for their needs, and goes out of their way to cultivate community onboard. Captain Melroy excitedly told us how he ordered matching blue jackets and pants to give to each of his crewmembers as a gift for Seafarers Day. They cannot spend much time celebrating while in port, but he is planning a party once they return to sea later this week.

Meet our Summer Intern

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Margaret Kanyoko is in her 4th week as the Seattle Seafarers Center's 2024 NAMMA Summer Intern. Margaret is a rising senior at Whitman College, majoring in economics and Chinese. Originally from Massachusetts, she continued developing her passion for community-based work after moving to the Seattle area. Since joining the Center, Margaret has gotten the opportunity to meet with dozens of seafarers, hear their stories, give rides around Seattle, and help seafarers get the things they need.

In the above picture, Rich, Deacon Joey, and Margaret spent some time with the wonderful crew of the Global Round ship when they came to Seattle in mid-June. She's found the experience of navigating port terminals and boarding ships to be incredibly enlightening, and she is looking forward to the rest of the summer with the Center!

Advocacy for Seafarers' Rights

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Pictured: Marville (visitor from the Philippines), Rich, Julia, and Cyrus (ITF representative) meet with Senator Cantwell's office

Pictured: Marville (visitor from the Philippines), Rich, Julia, and Cyrus (ITF representative) meet with Senator Cantwell's office

Over the past few months, our staff have had the privilege to meet with the offices of both Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell. We have shared the story of the United 6 fishermen who were abandoned on their vessels in Westport, WA to raise awareness of labor trafficking in the local fishing industry. We have also advocated for the US to sign the Maritime Labor Convention and the Work in Fishing Convention, two international maritime agreements which protect the rights of seafarers. 

We expect these conversations to continue and we look forward to further engagement with our representatives in Washington.

It's Almost Time for GiveBIG 2024!

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On May 7-8, the Seattle Seafarers Center will be participating in this annual fundraising campaign for nonprofits in the State of Washington. 

Early giving opens on April 23! It is our goal to raise $6,000 to support our ship visiting program, and the first $3,000 of donations will be fully matched. Click the button below to view our organization page and make a donation.

Cruise Season Approaching - Volunteers Needed!

The 2024 cruise ship season began in late April, and since then, we have transported over 2,800 crewmembers downtown. We especially want to thank our hardworking volunteers who have made it possible for us to provide this service! Our volunteers help run our daily shuttle service which transports crewmembers from Pier 91 to downtown Seattle. There are two volunteer opportunities:

1. Cruise Shuttle Driver: This involves driving crewmembers downtown in a 15-passenger van. Shifts are from 8am - 2:30pm every day there is a ship in port (typically every day of the week except for Wednesdays). You can drive as often as twice a week, or just once a month as your schedule allows. Training and orientation are provided. To sign up as a 2024 volunteer driver, please fill out the following form:

2. Lot Coordinator: we are offering a new volunteer position this year. The Lot Coordinator will be stationed in the parking lot at Pier 91, and will welcome crewmembers and communicate with them about when the next shuttle is arriving. Please reach out to office@mts-seattle.org if you are interested in serving in this role!


Training is provided for both positions. Contact office@mts-seattle.org or call (206) 935-3439 to learn more.

Photo Highlights

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Thank you for your continued support!

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