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Sail Boston Service members connect with Boston through volunteering
BOSTON — Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard midshipmen volunteered at the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter, during Sail Boston 2017, June 19.
The service members spent the day helping in the kitchen to prep onions, celery, and tomatoes.
“I felt like … ‘If I’m going to visit another city and they are going to take care of me, I should take care of them,’” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jamaal Maddox, a Sailor assigned to USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41).
Nearly 5,000 people volunteer at the Pine Street Inn each year. The volunteers are utilized to prep meals, and also to serve breakfast and dinner to the local homeless population.
The Inn supports nearly 1,900 individuals, and serves approximately 2,500 meals each day. Pine Street Inn serves nearly 1,900 individuals daily, with more than 2,500 meals served each day.
“We use volunteers every morning for kitchen prep,” said Elizabeth Condron, the volunteer program manager for the Inn, who oversees 20 to 25 volunteers each day.
She stated there are approximately 7,500 homeless men, women, and children in the Boston area. The Inn has 750 emergency shelter beds available per night, and they provide permanent housing for up to 950 people. They also conduct street outreach and bring services such as bag lunches, blankets, socks and underwear to assist the homeless.
“We want to end homelessness as quick as we can,” Condron explained. “Our idea is that everyone has a home.”
Ultimately, the goal of the military volunteers was to help those less fortunate and to engage with the citizens of Boston.
“I’ve done work like this back home before,” said Fireman Genevieve Jenkins, from Lexington, Kentucky. “It’s always nice to help others.”
USS Whidbey Island along with U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle are participating in Sail Boston 2017, a five-day maritime festival in Boston. The event gives Bostonians an opportunity to see firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s sea services, as well as experience maritime history.
Boston is the only official U.S. port in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a 70,000 nautical mile trans-atlantic race visiting six countries and concluding in Quebec City in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sandi Grimnes Moreno, NAVINFO NAVCENT Public Affairs