Christmas Parcel Drive

Each year, M2S runs a Christmas Parcel Drive in the hope of giving each seafarer who visits the Port of Montreal during the month of December a small gift as a token of the love of God, and a means of celebrating with them God's great gift, Jesus Christ.

Parcels usually consist of a shoebox (or similar-sized gift bag) wrapped in festive paper, filled with both practical items (eg. hand cream, soap, warm gloves and hats) and treats (eg. chocolate, candy, cards). Including a card with a personal note, although optional, is always most appreciated by all seafarers.

These parcels are delivered to every ship in port, one for each crew member, along with Bibles in the language of the majority of seafarers on board. We here at M2S attach a card, translated into the language of each recipient, which explains the reason we celebrate Christmas.

We also suggest that, on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the ship’s captain read the Christmas story (Luke chapter 2) from the Bible with his/her crew and then distribute the parcels.

Making Parcels

To ensure that parcels are of similar value, we ask that you follow the following guidelines as closely as possible:

1. Fill a box (perhaps a small shoe box) completely. It is better to have a small full box than a half empty big box.

2. Enclose a Christmas card with a personal note and your name and address (if you’re comfortable doing so). Some of those who receive these gifts like to acknowledge them.

3. Parcel contents: Enclose one or more of the following: scarf, toque, gloves, socks, toothbrush & toothpaste, calendar, packaged candy, aftershave lotion, face cloth, playing cards, soap, nail clipper, picture frame (no glass), a small souvenir of Canada etc. (Please Note: Dollar store gloves and hats are totally acceptable - the seafarers don't wear them for work or play but rather when they are here, and other cold cities, they use them to just keep warm when off ship. Most seafarers find our climate VERY cold!)

4. Please note the approximate value of the gift on the top right-hand corner (postage stamp area) of each parcel as follows:
Value: Mark your gift:
B $15 - $20
C $20 - $25
We ask you to do this so that we can give the “richer” gifts to the less fortunate seafarers.

A Word About Women Seafarers

There are very few women in the shipping industry. We rarely need to give women's parcels and when we do M2S has a small budget to make such parcels as needed therefore we ask that you PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY PARCELS FOR WOMEN.

We sometimes receive parcels that are poorly wrapped or that contain used items that should not be used as a gift. Please, give of your best, not of what you no longer want or need.

Dropping Off/Mailing Parcels

When you are ready to send the parcel there are several options:

You can drop off the parcels at our centre in the Old Port of Montreal or you can send by truck or traveler to Montreal and we will meet up with them and get them to the Seafarers’ Center.

When sending the parcels by delivery service address box(es) to:
Mariners' House/The Ministry to Seafarers
Quai Alexandra
200 rue de la Commune Ouest
Montreal QC H2Y 4B2

When sending by Canada Post:
The Ministry to Seafarers of the CRC
PO Box 128, Place D’Armes
Montreal, QC H2Y 3E9
“May the joy of Christmas and blessing of the Lord always be with you. Gestures of love and affection from people like you could make the world a much better place to be in. It’s possible [through acts such as yours] to bring back the lost paradise back to earth.”
Antony J Mull, 2nd Officer, MT Acor
“I was sailing over Christmas...lonely Christmas morning. Until I opened the door to start my day and was so surprised to see a wrapped present waiting for me! I cannot even begin to express how incredibly moved I was to have been thought of that morning. It truly warmed my heart and brought me such joy!”
ULS sailor girl

Due Date

We accept parcels all the way through December. The earlier the better - we start handing out parcels the last week of November (for those ships we know will be out to sea over Christmas.) However, we give out parcels sometimes into the first week of January (for the ships we missed who were out to sea over Christmas.)