SIU members from two vessels sailing overseas rang in the New Year by showing heartfelt generosity to others.
Seafarers from the USNS Montford Point and the MV Capt. David Lyon chipped in along with the respective ships’ officers to donate $3,100 for the children served by the Guma Esperansa Women’s Shelter in Saipan. The mariners also helped wrap gifts for the kids.
Recertified Bosun Ken Steiner from the Montford Point noted, “It is always gratifying to be able to help others and to be part of something that’s bigger than yourself.” He pointed out the donation continued a Christmastime tradition that began a dozen years ago, and although this one was slightly delayed because of scheduling issues, “it’s never too late to do this and to show love for our children.”
The donation happened Jan. 6 at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3457. (Saipan, the most populated of the Northern Mariana Islands, is a United States commonwealth.)
For the bosun, the philanthropy was a family affair of sorts. Capt. David Steiner, his brother, is the Lyon’s vessel master.
“This is our ship’s first donation,” David Steiner said, “but we stand on the foundation built before which has been a tradition that started in 2006. It feels good to share love with the people of Saipan, especially with the children.”
Sr. Stella Mangona of the shelter said she deeply appreciated the mariners’ generosity.
“It’s not the first time, and these gifts are for the children of Guma Esperansa, Karidat and the Division of Youth Services, so all of them will receive special gifts, and that’s why my feeling right now is a feeling of thanksgiving,” she told newspaper Marianas Variety. “[The mariners] are giving so much from their hearts; the generosity is overflowing and I am really touched by their gesture.”
Lauri Ogumoro, the shelter’s director, told the publication, “We are really blessed every year by the generosity of these men. Their love for their families translates to the love for the children here on Saipan.”
During the same gathering at the VFW, Ambyth Shipping and Trading Inc. and its sister company Seafix Inc. donated $500 each to Guma Esperansa, according to the newspaper.
The Montford Point is operated by Ocean Shipholdings, while the Lyon is Operated by Sealift, Inc.
In addition to Ken Steiner, Seafarers aboard the Montford Point when the donation took place included Bosun’s Mate Larry Dizon, ABs Jason Bentz, John Garrett, Dylan Casuga, Edmar Guanzon, William McIntyre and Dhindo Faulve, Ordinary Seamen John Diaz, Leighanne Deano and Alan Boiser, QMEDs Thomas Jones, Richard Digman, Michael Gray and Ryan Palmer, GUDE Clark Castrodes, Storekeeper Rodello Ayaton, Steward/Baker Dante Cruz, Chief Cook Joseph Arigo and SAs Hezam Alshabaei and George Lavender.
The Lyon crew included Bosun James Heincy, ABs Jonmala Floresca, Daniel Harris, Pablo Laboriel, John Wahl and Marvin Williams, OMUs Mahdi Fedhel Ali, Mil Jonas Rivera Castro and Douglas Pentecost, Steward/Baker Edna Torres, Chief Cook Engracio Moratin and SA Richard Palacios.
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