Port Houston is giving back this holiday season by collecting employee donations for the Houston International Seafarers’ Center, Inc. to support the "Shoeboxes for Seafarers" Program.
During the holidays, the center and a number of other groups and religious organizations from across Houston fill and wrap more than 10,000 shoeboxes for visiting seafarers from 70 different countries. Boxes are filled with a variety of toiletries and personal items, such as soap, toothbrushes, new socks and playing cards. Additionally, every box is carefully wrapped, so the boxes become special gifts for those who receive them.
Port Houston team members donated more than $1,000 in support of this program. Most of the contributions were used to purchase, fill and wrap roughly 80 boxes. The additional donations go towards various services that they provide year-round to seafarers.
“Shoeboxes for Seafarers' is a great program that brings a little festive cheer to traveling mariners who are away from their families during the holiday season, said Leslie Herbst, community relations and events manager for Port Houston.
“The Houston International Seafarers’ Center serves as a home away from home for the men and women that travel aboard ocean-going vessels, and this is one of the unique and special services they provide. Port Houston is proud to be one of the many community partners who assist with these efforts,” added Herbst.
The port has contributed to the project for more than 40 years, which began in the early 1970s. “For most of these seafarers, this is the only gift they will receive this holiday. They are gone for about nine months out of the year and receiving a box means the world to them,” said Reverend David Wells of the Seafarers Center.