Share your Christmas with a Seafarer

Linda van Schalkwyk

Once again the International Sailors’ Society (ISSSA) is preparing for the annual Share your Christmas with a Seafarer, which has been operating for just over 30 years in our ports.

“We are in the midst of a health crisis of monumental proportions with the Covid-19 Virus.  New and distressing accounts reach us each day. Yet, there are encouraging reports as well; stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary work.

Small acts of kindness and selflessness are evident – and you too are among these very special people – doing your bit as you continue to knit mittens and provide mugs for the Share Your Christmas with a Seafarer project – which this year may prove to be more valuable than ever before to seafarers, many of whom have been quarantined on ships and/or have become ill.” says Linda van Schalkwyk from Sailors’ Society.

She explains that 1200 parcels were distributed to ships in the Port of Durban and at outer anchorage over the Christmas period of 2019, and the Ports of Cape Town and East London also distributed Christmas parcels in their ports.

Please can we have your support to make this Christmas special for our essential workers on the seas.

(If you would like to make a donation, please use our Zapper facility or EFT)

Gifts will be distributed in the port just before Christmas, to crews on vessels berthed in the port as well as those at outer anchorage.

No matter what your religion, I think anyone can imagine that being on board a ship in a harbour in a foreign port on Christmas day must be a lonely experience for any seaman.

In the past we have had a Father Christmas, transported by a fire engine, but now with the new Port Safety regulations, Father Christmas can only go to Maydon Warf while the Society’s Chaplains visit the rest of the harbour with the gifts.

But now we are appealing for donations of:

  • hand knits, socks, gloves, mittens
  • stretch socks (sport socks)
  • handkerchiefs
  • tooth brush and tooth paste, soap
  • cookies that will keep
  • gum, sweets, peanuts
  • playing cards, music CDs/DVDs, pens
  • jigsaw puzzles, other kinds of puzzles and games (travel size)
  • nail clippers, sewing kits, ashtray, lighters
  • shaving equipment, razor, aftershave lotion, shaving cream or foam, cologne
  • pocket diary, calendar, address book, small photo album
  • handwritten Christmas card from you or from your group or organisation

For more information about the Sailor’s Society’s Share your Christmas with a Seafarer, please contact Linda van Schalkwyk

Contact Details


More info Leonora Jackson
071 515 1979

Sailors’ Society

Don’t hesitate to contact our UK based offices.