The 2018 Christmas Parcel drive is now over. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we delivered approximately 1600 parcels! “I am a Seafarers wife, sailing with him...We had a good get together on Christmas onboard thereafter we were given the beautiful gifts sent by U. It was indeed a great, great gesture on your part to make Christmas so special for all those who r far, far away from their families. I extend a very warm Thanks to U all for Ur labour of love! Best Regards”
Parcels are delivered to every ship in port, one for each crew member, along with Christmas devotionals in English.
Parcels usually consist of a shoebox (or similar-sized gift bag) wrapped in festive paper, and filled with both practical items and treats. A card with a personal note, although optional, is always most appreciated by all seafarers.
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.
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.)
To ensure that parcels are of similar value, we ask that you follow the following guidelines as closely as possible:
- Fill a shoe box completely. It is better to have a small full box than a half empty big box.
- 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.
- Parcel contents: Enclose one or more of the following new items: scarf, toque, gloves, socks, toothbrush and 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!)
We sometimes receive parcels that are poorly wrapped or that contain used items. Please, give of your best, not of what you no longer want or need.
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.
Stay tuned for the 2019 Christmas Parcel drive drop-off locations. They will be announced in the autumn. We thank Westbrook Floral for partnering with us in 2018.
You can drop off parcels at our centre in the Old Port of Montreal from Mon-Fri (2-10 PM) and Sat-Sun (3-10 PM) or you can send them by courier/regular mail.
When sending the parcels by delivery service, address box(es) to:
Mariners' House/The Ministry to Seafarers
Grand Quai de Montréal
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