S.O.S. – “USS Rising” A Capital Funding Campaign
1. One of the best parts of the seafaring profession has always been the ability to see the world (and then tell the landlubbers back home all about it – with no embellishing, ever!) Unfortunately, the demands of modern commercial schedules and the remoteness of cargo terminals from city center ports has made long visits ashore in foreign ports largely a thing from the “good old days.” In fact, today it can be a challenge just to get ashore for a few hours to take care of some personal needs including recharging the batteries that only comes from “getting off the ship” for a short break from the routine.
Fortunately, like an oasis, the doors are (still) open at the United Seamen’s Service (USS) Centers in Bremerhaven, Casablanca, Okinawa, Yokohama, Busan and Diego Garcia. These centers were created for seafarer hospitality and endeavor to offer a “home away from home” for all.
The USS centers have a long history in serving men and women that work on ships. The USS Casablanca Center has been in operation since 1952 and Busan, Korea since 1954; Bremerhaven, Yokohama, Okinawa have all been in operation since the late 1940’s.
USS Centers welcome all seafarers along with U.S. Service personal transiting and stationed in ports around the world, especially fleet sailors. Center staff offers a listening ear, guidance and information and essential contacts for medical referrals, if needed. Outreach programs to ships, hospitals and detention centers bring the USS services to seafarers who are unable to visit.
The open-door approach addresses the concerns of the local port communities and promotes respect and understanding for seafarers throughout the world.
Over the last decade, several changes have impacted the USS’s financial ability to continue providing these services. Reductions in grants and other funding sources, the smaller U.S. Navy footprint and the diminishing USF commercial presence in overseas ports, all greatly reduced and strained USS finances. Without your help this oasis could turn into a mirage.
USS’ goal was to raise $120,000 in 2017 for Capital Projects via donations from the maritime community and over $70,000 was raised in 2017. USS is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization.