USNS Dahl Crew Brightens Children’s Holidays in Saipan


February 2012


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Being at sea didn’t stop the SIU crew members and AMO officers from the USNS Dahl from donating toys and cash to residents at a shelter in Saipan.


For their fourth annual toy drive, the mariners provided gifts for more than 70 kids at the House of Hope facility – a shelter for battered women and their children. The Dahl personnel also donated $2,000 as a Christmas present to the adult clients at the shelter.


The vessel is operated by Ocean Ships, Inc., and the company made a substantial donation to the toy drive.


Bosun William “Jeff” Johnson said he was happy to take part in the philanthropic effort.


“Why wouldn’t anybody want to get involved?” he asked. “It takes a little time and money, but in return, 71 children have a much better Christmas.”


He added that seeing the shelter’s residents “reminds me how lucky my family and I are, even when I am working during Christmas.”


Storekeeper Bill Fortner said that although the mariners haven’t met any of the families, “just knowing that they are receiving the full benefit of our help makes all the difference…. Personally, I feel that we mariners are very fortunate. What most of us will spend in a single night ashore is more than what the average worker here in Saipan brings home in a week. For the families in the shelter, there is nothing coming in. They are completely dependent on the church” that runs it.


Chief Steward Kim Strate said the experience “felt great! It has been so nice to do something for the island.”


The gifts were purchased shortly before the holiday, while the crew was in Okinawa.



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