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Zwei Hände (Two Hands) by Vincent Van Gogh, 1885

Altruism has never been the strong suit of the shipping industry. There’s even a shortage of it. Fortunately, charity and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) are still very much alive – thanks to various maritime charities and some enlightened companies which support their humanitarian work. In fact, there were some notable maritime charity events in 2013.


Sailors’ Society HK Fund-raising Dinner – February 2013

Hong Kong’s shipping community turned out in force at the Island Shangri-La ballroom for the gala dinner. An ‘e-pledge’ contest during the evening raised HK$250,000 (US$32,000) – enough to sustain the charity’s ship-visiting chaplain in Manila with his work with seafarers and families in the metropolitan area for an entire year. In addition, sponsorship and general fund-raising via auctions on the evening topped HK$1 million (US$129,000) to support similar Sailors’ Society projects round the globe.

vikki frith_2013

Vikki Frith’s Marathon Run for AOS – April 2013

One of the participants in the London Marathon 2013 was Vikki Frith, a student working toward a Ph.D in meteorology. Although it was her first marathon, Vikki beat the target she had set for herself, clocking 3 hours, 10 minutes and 38 seconds. She finished as the 148th lady, 95th British lady and 4th student. In total, she raised £581 for the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) UK.


Flying Angels Ride (FAR) – April 2013

The Mission to Seafarers‘ flagship cycling event known as FAR (Flying Angels Ride) attracted 110 riders together with their families and friends. Cyclists took on one of two routes through the New Forest in southern England: a 35-mile journey which saw them ride though the picturesque villages of Setley, Beaulieu and Lyndhurst; or a longer 75-mile journey which continued through Fordingbridge and Hyde. Total funds raised: £20,000-plus.


Sailors’ Society Clipper Challenge – June 2013

Teams representing travel management company ATPI, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Cargill and World Fuel Services raced against each other on 68-foot yachts around the Solent separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England . The regatta was won by ATPI and raised more than £15,000, including £830 for the raffle. The money is to be used by the Sailors’ Society to support its work aimed at helping seafarers worldwide through its network of port chaplains.


GOLD Essay-Writing Contest for Seafarers’ Children – June-August 2013

Nothing grand about this event organised by the Gregorio Oca Leadership and Development Foundation (GOLD) headed by Marissa Oca, daughter of the late Filipino maritime union leader. It’s noteworthy, however, in that it had a loftier objective than raising money: to promote closer ties between Filipino seamen and their children. The nation-wide contest had as its theme ‘The Seafarer… My Parent’ and the winners under three age categories (10-23 years) are to receive their prizes in February 2014.


SCI Mountain Challenge – September 2013

Forty-one teams of three raced to the tops of five mountains in western Maine. The event, organised by the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), extended over two days on one weekend, during which competitors who finished the full course ascended over 10,000 feet. It raised more than $375,000 to support SCI’s pastoral care, maritime education and legal advocacy programmes.


ITF Fund-raising Night for Chauncy Maples – September 2013

The ITF and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust staff raised the £10,000 that both organisations had pledged for the Big Row for Chauncy Maples project. The event was organised to help raise half the £1 million needed to convert the S.S Chauncy Maples into a floating clinic for the benefit of poor communities along the shores of Lake Malawi. The ITF Trust had previously made a £120,000 grant in 2012 to give the project a fillip.

This is far from a comprehensive list. We did not include, for instance, the many fund-raising projects worldwide which were intended to benefit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines – simply because almost every Tom, Dick and Harry gave donations. Besides, does it have to take a natural calamity to bring out what is noble in individuals and corporations? ~Barista Uno

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