A Holiday Initiative


Imagine you were alone on a major holiday like Christmas, Ramadan, Thanksgiving or Hanukkah. Depressing. This is why we invite you and your congregation to bring joy to seafarers who will not be home with their loved ones for Christmas. Our port chaplains bring satchels filled with gifts to the ships for the holiday. Every crew member on a ship regardless of their faith or nationality will open their satchels, each containing:


  • One Sweatshirt – hooded or unhooded (size M-L-XL)

  • Three Pairs of Socks – thermal or gym

  • One T- Shirt (size M-L-XL)

  • One Knitted Winter Cap (coordinating scarf optional; no pastels please), 

  • One Can of Nuts, Large Bar of Chocolate, or Health Snack Bar

  • A Holiday or Christmas Card from YOU!

You pick the colors, styles and brands, but please no substitutions from the list. For the safety of seafarers, please do not add fringes or pom-poms. The Christmas-at-Sea satchels should be comparable for each member of the crew. And, please assemble each satchel with sweatshirts and T-shirts of the same size and label the satchel with a M, L, or XL on the back side.

What might otherwise have been another lonely night at sea becomes a joyous occasion, because complete strangers ashore have taken the time to share the spirit of Christmas with these otherwise forgotten seafarers!

If it is more convenient, you may make a donation and have us purchase the items for you. Typically, a completely filled satchel costs about $35.

To receive empty satchels and to coordinate delivery or pick up, please contact:


For Baltimore area:  Rev. K. Robert Schmitt, 410-746-0236,

For New England:  Ruth Setaro, 203-687-2177,


All other regions:   Jeni

Christmas At Sea is supported by

International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P)

Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA)

Seafarers International Union (SIU)


Seafarers International House is a harbor of hospitality with 84 rooms close to Union Square, a subway hub.

Port Mission

Please call (212) 677-4800 ext. 1219, if you need a chaplain to visit your ship or send us an email.  If possible, contact us as early as you can so we can plan accordingly.


You can help seafarers and immigrants with your donation. Just click the donate button and you will  have the choice to support immigrants, seafarers, or where it is needed most. 

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