The holidays are a time of giving, and while giving is part of the corporate culture at Holland America Line year-round, this time of year presents extra opportunities to spread a little cheer to those in need.
Both the headquarter office in Seattle and many of the ships recently have participated in charitable events throughout the world benefiting a variety of needs. Here are some of the highlights from this season of giving.
Nearly 400 Holland America Line and Seabourn employees were joined by Holland America Line President and CEO and Seabourn Chairman Stein Kruse and other company executives as they helped process and prepare more than 111,000 pounds of food at Northwest Harvest, an organization dedicated to feeding the hungry in Washington State. The cruise companies’ sixth annual community giving week ran from Dec. 9 through 13, with employees volunteering for morning and afternoon shifts at the organization’s Kent, Wash., distribution center.
Oosterdam recently hosted a tour for students of the Tertiary Educational Establishment in Napier, New Zealand. The students — ranging in age from 16 to 40 — all have supported learning needs including down syndrome, autism and developmental delays, and they all are in a work and life skills program at the establishment. Event Manager Aaron led a tour of the ship and fielded questions from the eager students.
Catherine was the most astounded in the Vista Lounge. Her first question was if she could get a job on the Oosterdam singing and dancing. “Of Course you can and your audition starts now … ” was my reply and Catherine sang and danced her heart out for us. — Event Manager Aaron
This year, a significant event that affected the Holland America Line family was Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Many of our crew members were personally touched by this disaster, and to support the relief effort Holland America Line held a fleet-wide “All Hands on Deck” walk. Significant funds were raised to help the Philippines rebuild.
The environment also is very important to Holland America Line. During Noordam’s recent call at Bonaire, 25 crew members went ashore on a mission to help clean up the Sea Turtle Sanctuaries along Bonaire’s East Coast line. Two hours later the team had collected 130 bags of debris and filled a truck with all kinds of trash like huge rubber tires, hoses and every color flip flop.