By Karen Lotter

Every year the International Sailors’ Society of South Africa (ISSA) and their friends, co-workers and volunteers wrap around 3000 gifts to assure that some lucky sailors will have a pressie and a smile on Christmas day.

With the Port of Durban being the ninth busiest in the world and the busiest on the continent, this handful of missions, located at the Seafarers’ Mission in the harbour, have their work cut out providing spiritual, recreational and social  support for the men (and few women) who visit our shores.

And here, every year at this time friends and volunteers arrive for Wrapping Day.

Boet van Schalkwyk, CEO of  the International Sailors’ Society – Southern Africa  and also a  Chaplain, explains that the wrapping day is a day of great thanks and gratitude to the generous sponsors who give willingly – some who have been donating for many years. He tells of the churches who send over bags of knitted beanies to be included in the gift parcels and little kids who make brightly coloured cards for sailors they don’t know.

For me as an first timer, Wrapping Day 2012 was a day of happiness and sharing. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Please find more photos here