Starbucks partners with Seamans’ Church Institute


Starbucks and Seamen’s Church Institute are collaborating to help seafarers according to Episcopal News Service:

When grabbing a Starbucks this winter, you may see something out of the ordinary in the refrigerated beverage section of select New Jersey stores: iced tea bottles topped with seafarer watch caps. Seafarers’ charity the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) aims to raise awareness of the work of international seafarers.615179_10151260339066983_1585359627_o.jpg

A hidden and frequently disremembered workforce, seafarers bring things like cell phones, blue jeans, cars and most of the ingredients in bottled beverages to this country. In fact, seafarers transport over 90 percent of all imported goods. They spend long periods of time away from home and family (many contracts extend between six and nine months), navigate unpredictable waters and weather and face the threat of pirates, who in 2012 have attacked a reported 278 vessels worldwide (Source: ICC International Maritime Bureau [IMB]).

To draw attention to the work of seafarers, North America’s largest mariners’ service agency, SCI, enlisted the support of 12 Starbucks retail stores close to Port Newark, New Jersey, the East Coast’s largest port. Starbucks management has agreed to dress up Tazo Iced Tea bottles with miniature handknit wooly hats—hats like the ones that keep seafarers warm on journeys across the sea.

The miniature hats come in a variety of shapes and colors, mirroring the uniqueness and diversity of seafarers and their voyages. Volunteers from around the country handcraft each one. To date, more than 175 knitters have contributed 2,173 TEAny Hats.

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Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth

I'm so glad that Starbucks is helping this important ministry. SCI and its British counterpart the Mission to Seafarers ("the Flying Angel") do much good work, and deserve a higher profile in the Church than they usually get.

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