Team Maasdam has taken a special interest in a children’s home in St. Kitts where the ship calls regularly. Recognizing the need and desiring to make a difference in the communities where they sail, crew members provided the kids with a memorable holiday.
The facility was opened in 1952 for the care of abandoned and abused children, and operates with local support providing shelter, schooling and a loving environment to hundreds of children over the years — 30 children at a time. A foster program also runs in conjunction with the home and since foster parents are not paid a salary, but only a small child-care stipend, there is no shortage of love, but always a shortage of funds.
Team Maasdam successfully raised $2,500 for the cause with a crew raffle, donations and contributions of time, resources and expertise. Guests provided gifts for 72 children (21 from the home) with shipboard “elves” shopping, wrapping and organizing. In addition, a much-needed washing machine, dryer, clothing, toiletries and a computer/printer were purchased for the home and installed by crew members on Dec. 24. They also made many repairs and upgrades to the home.
Later in the day all 72 children visited Maasdam, and were treated to lunch, a show and an unforgettable visit with Santa. Many crew members volunteered to host, resulting in a ratio of no more than six children per crew member. One little boy had never seen an elevator, let alone ridden on one! Team Maasdam provided these children with incredible memories, love and the gift of giving. The home’s director was overcome with emotion when he tearfully shared, “This is more than we ever hoped for!”