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In This Issue
Contact Us
Boston/Chelsea Office
77 Broadway
Chelsea, MA 
(617) 889-3222
Portsmouth Office
231 Gosling Rd
Portsmouth, NH 03801 
(855) 661-0330


Portland Office

Marine Trade Center

2 Portland Fish Pier

Suite 103

Portland, ME 04101

(207) 956-7677 

Board of Directors
Mr. Steven C. Dodge, Chair
Mr. Daniel K. Webster, Esq., Vice Chair
Mr. Andrew Wandell, Treasurer
Capt. William F. Malloy Jr USN (Ret.), Secretary
Rev. John Carson
Mr. Charles Itz
Mr. Walker Martin
Capt. Angel Montanez
Mr. Tom Reinfuss
Capt. Jim Staples

Executive Director
Ms. Meredith Connell

Rev. Robert Bacon
Rev. Tim Owen 
Mr. Tom Reinfuss
Mr. Lance Williams, Sr

Operations Manager
Mrs. Crissy Jache

A Heartfelt Thanks
Thank You 
To Our
 End of Summer Celebration
Corporate Sponors

Our appreciation is also extended to the businesses that donated an auction item and to everyone who attended the event. We look forward to seeing you again next year!  

Support Seafarer's Friend
Donate Here
We make it easy to support the mission of Seafarer's Friend. 

Without ongoing financial support from churches, individuals and businesses we would not be able to provide for the needs of today's seafarers.

Feel confident that you can safely and securely Donate Online through PayPal or mail a donation to our office in Chelsea, MA.

We also accept old vehicle donations through Donation Angel. The money received will directly fulfill our mission.

Please consider a donation today.

Treats for Seafarers
Share a treat with a Seafarer

Do you enjoy baking but don't want the treats in the house? Consider baking a blessing for a seafarer

The crew on board the vessels rarely have a home made treat and what a surprise it would be for them to receive a batch of cookies or brownies from our chaplains during a visit.

Please contact us If you are interested in blessing the seafarers through your baking.

October 2015 

A Word from our Director - Meredith Connell
Greetings Friends!

September was a busy month for all of us here at Seafarer's Friend. 

As some of you receiving this email are aware, Mrs. Anne Buttman, our former Chairman of the Board, passed away after a battle with cancer in August.  A special memorial service which celebrated her life was held last month. Sue Webster, one of Anne's closest friends, and pastor of the Winthrop Congregational Church in Holbrook, MA (a faithful supporter of our organization) performed a heart-warming eulogy.

To know Anne was to love her-and she LOVED the mission of Seafarer's Friend.  She had recently become the Chair when I was hired in June of 2014 and in her humble manner would always say when asked about her position with the organization that she became Chair "by default" (she was not new to the Board-she had served for 2 terms prior to assuming this role).  We had some laughs over the fact that in the history of this amazing organization, she was the first female Chairman of the Board and I was the first female Executive Director. Anne was my Barnabas-known in Biblical terms as Apostle Paul's encourager. Just one of her beautiful traits.  I miss her personally and professionally-I think of her often and continue to pray for her husband Peter and her children as they adjust to the tremendous loss.  A special acknowledgment to those who have made donations to our organization in Anne's name-we are so grateful!  Thank you.  There is no doubt Anne is looking down from heaven and smiling upon us all as we continue to fulfill this important mission.

Seafarer's Friend held our "End of Summer Celebration" event on September 17th.  It was a memorable evening- Commander Mark Knowlton, USCG, graciously substituted for Capt. Gelzer who was unable to attend due to family obligations.  
Cmdr. Knowlton shared about his upbringing, the multi-faceted role of the Coast Guard, the plight of the seafarers and how the USCG and Seafarers Friend work together.  

Thank you to everyone who attended!  It was a challenge for many-traffic that night for whatever reason was horrific; nevertheless, we had a great turn out which resulted in our raising over $9,000.00 in support of our mission.  We could not have done this without the support of our corporate sponsors, businesses who donated to our silent auction and individuals who made special donations.  We are also grateful to the maritime community for helping us spread the word to recognize Ret. Capt. Arnold Itz for his many years of service on our Board and in the port of Boston.

One last note, PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: Seafarer's Friend Annual meeting will be held on Thursday, Dec. 10th.   Anyone who has donated $25.00 or more in 2015 is a member of the Society and welcome to attend.  Details will be forthcoming. 


Samuel's Story as witnessed by Pastor Tim Owen
Visiting ships is hard to describe to other people. You struggle to put into words what the experience is like because every visit seems to be different. No two visits are the same. Just a few weeks ago I was reminded how sometimes we never know the impact we are making on the people we come in contact with on each visit. Then we met Samuel. 

Pastor Mike Glidden and I were visiting The Transfighter that comes into Portland once a month. We are familiar with a lot of the crew and we have built some great friendships in the last year with these men. This day was mostly like the visits in the past, selling a few phone cards and connecting with the crew. Then we found ourselves talking to someone we had never met before. His name was Samuel. 

Samuel began to tell us how thankful he was for Seafarer's Friend. He particularly remembers a contact with one of our Chaplains who was very instrumental in changing his life. He couldn't remember the chaplain's name, he just remembered he was very tall. He then excused himself so he could go get something in his room. He came back with a Good News Bible. Inside the cover it said "Tom Reinfuss for Samuel 12/5/2012" He said Tom gave him the Bible while on a ship visit. He went on to say it wasn't until 2013 while laying in his bunk that he started reading it one night. He never understood the Bible before but this time it was different. He said he was so moved that night by the presence of God in his room that he felt compelled to kneel by his bed and make a decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ.

Samuel went on, with tears in his eyes, how thankful he was to Jesus for saving his life. He said how his life would be so different if Tom had not given him that bible that day. He continues to witness to the goodness of God to all those who sail with him. It was a huge reminder for Mike and I that we may never know the impact we are making. He just asks us that we continue to be faithful and available. 

Pastor Tim Owen

 Samuel with the Bible he received from Tom Reinfuss and  Seafarer's friend.                                                    
It's Ditty Bag Season

Have you ever wondered what a "Ditty Bag" is? A ditty bag is a cloth bag filled with personal care items that seafarers need and do not always have access to. During the months of November and December our Chaplains and volunteer ship visitors bring "Ditty Bags" on board the vessels and distribute them to the crews as a gift to remind them that they are thought of and cared about.

Now is your chance to show a Seafarer that you care. Work with your family, friends, neighbors, community group, etc. and gather the items to make ditty bags.
You can print our flier for ideas on what to pack and how to sew small cloth bags. This is a great project for scout troops and youth groups. 

We are happy to host a ditty bag packing party at our main office in Chelsea, MA.   

Contact Crissy Jache at 617-889-3222 or by email  to schedule a visit. 

Sea Stories - Notes from Ship Visits

Our chaplains make notes of every ship visit. Here is a glimpse of what they encounter while visiting with the crew. It is a heart warming reminder of the critical work God has entrusted us with to help these Seafarers connect back home with their loved ones and to have the opportunity to receive His word. After reading these Sea Stories, please pause for a moment and pray for those mentioned - God knows their every need. 

9/7/15 - The m/m showed me his U.S. coin collection, including the newer quarters with the various states on back. He has all but Missouri! I had lunch with the crew. Great bunch of guys. 

9/8- LBW- Many of the crew were sleeping after being up most of the night repairing a crane that had broken down. I had a great chat with the C/C (Jerome) and the M/M (Ariel). Jerome showed me a slide show with music that an Engineer Cadet had made a few months previous. Ariel made a copy of it for me. Very cool! I had lunch with crew and said goodbye to Jerome- C/C as he was lugging his luggage out to the waiting van. He's on his way home!!

September Ship Visiting Statistics

September 2015

27 out of 27
Ships visited
4 out of 8
Ships visited
11 out of 13
Ships visited
100% of ships
in port visited
50% of ships
in port visited
85% of ships
in port visited
Seafarers reached
Seafarers reached
Seafarers reached
Van Trips provided
Van Trips provided
Van Trip provided


~Ship Visitors~


We are always seeking Volunteer ship visitors to help us carry out our mission to extend the ministry of the churches to meet the unmet spiritual, social, and practical needs of seafarers from around the globe.  We visit approximately 525 ships each year, climbing the gangways bringing modems and phone cards so the crews can communicate with their loved ones back home. We distribute such things as Bibles, devotionals, reading materials, and personal care items to the crew on board. We also provide the seafarers with transportation to the local shopping malls.  In addition, we listen to their stories and try to offer a caring and respectful ear to those who have so little contact with anyone other than their shipmates.



  • Must be a good listener and able to respect other cultures.
  • Must be reliable, professional, and available for ship visits from one to two hours in length.
  • Must have a good driving record and be willing to drive vans around the Port.
  • Must be both willing to follow rules (security procedures, Seafarers' Center paperwork) and open to surprises (such as ship schedules changing, or a seafarer suddenly confiding about a sad situation).
  • Must be able to keep seafarers' confidences confidential.
  • Must be in good enough health to climb stairs and ladders.
  • Must interview with the Director, train with Port Chaplains, and pass a simple background check (at no charge to the volunteer).

Rewards of Volunteering:

  • Representing God's unconditional love to seafarers of many faith traditions (or none), many cultures, all ranks. Much of our work doesn't involve talking about God, but we do try to leave seafarers feeling valued.
  • Experiencing the hospitality and trust of people from all around the world.
  • Encountering challenges creatively.
  • Getting to know other volunteers, some of the most dedicated people you'll ever meet.
  • Making an impact on the Port community; an exciting part of the global economy not familiar to many.
  • Giving something back to the invisible servants of our economy.


If interested, please contact: Crissy Jache, Operations Manager at 617.889.3222 or by email.

Seafarer's Friend Wish List

Our Wish List at Seafarer's Friend is another opportunity to connect with us. Our resources are limited and we put all we can into providing for the Seafarers. Some of our current needs are:

- IT support to clean up our data base and help our systems run more efficiently.

-New Computers

- Marketing support. Our informational materials for outreach and fundraising purposes are in need of re-design.

- Web Site support.  Our website needs to be re-developed in order to be more inviting and resourceful.

The material needs for the Seafarers remain and any support you can provide is always appreciated:

- New Bibles (Tagalog Bibles are in high demand)
- Personal Care Items
- Warm clothing for the cooler months
- Hats, Gloves
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Books, magazines and other leisure items such as
   playing cards, word searches, etc.

Thank you for considering a donation to support the needs of Seafarer's Friend. 

Seafarer's Friend | 617-889-3222 | |
77 Broadway
Chelsea, MA 02150