Holland America Line and Port Everglades in Broward County, Fla., are debuting Ship to Shelter, an innovative community charitable program designed to donate valuable and reusable goods from the line's cruise ships to local people in need. Holland America Line first launched Ship to Shelter in April 2008 in partnership with the Port of Seattle in Washington and is expanding the program to Port Everglades beginning January 23, 2009.
Partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Cooperative Feeding Broward, Port Everglades will work with the Seattle-based cruise line to donate items from its ships that regularly call at Port Everglades. The goods will be distributed to individuals and families in need by Cooperative Feeding Broward.
In addition to the weekly donations of individual-sized toiletries, Holland America Line periodically will provide items such as towels, linens, dishes, cookware, silverware, televisions and mattresses. The program kicks off in South Florida today with ms Noordam, ms Maasdam, ms Westerdam and ms Eurodam providing hundreds of items that would otherwise have been discarded.
"Giving back is part of the corporate culture at Holland America Line and it is part of our corporate social responsibility," said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer. "Over the years Holland America has worked with nonprofits around the world to donate reusable goods in a socially conscious, environmentally friendly method. These items are periodically replaced on our ships and can be put to good use for a worthy cause."
The Ship to Shelter program incorporates strategic partnerships between Port Everglades, Cooperative Feeding Broward and Holland America Line to provide partially used stateroom amenities that are no longer needed on cruise ships for re-use by the needy, while providing an environmentally friendly solid waste disposal solution.
Holland America Line will continue to donate other items from various Port Everglades-based ships from January through April and October through December each year.
Port Everglades has been instrumental in implementing the program. "We all know that the cruise industry provides great economic benefit to our region, and now they also are providing an important charitable benefit," said Port Everglades Director Phil C. Allen. "The Ship to Shelter program exemplifies the port's commitment to social responsibility - finding a way for us and our partners to give back to the community and ensure that everyone benefits from the business of the port."
Cooperative Feeding Broward is a nonprofit, award-winning organization that provides hot daily meals, a family food box, showers, mailroom, phone lines, food stamps, clothing, counseling, back to school supplies and more to locals in need.
"There is an incredible shortage of basic toiletry items in the needy community," said Marti Forman, chief executive officer, Cooperative Feeding Broward. "We often take the availability of these items for granted, and with the generosity of the Ship to Shelter program, we will be able to help fulfill this need for so many people."
SHIP TO SHELTER STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports of call in 100 countries, territories or dependencies on all seven continents. As part of its social responsibility initiative, the leading premium cruise line contributes over a million dollars each year in cash, in-kind shipboard events and useable goods to a broad range of charitable organizations nationally and internationally. Additionally, the line provides more than 2,000 reduced-fare cruises annually to support charitable fundraising events throughout the United States and Canada. In 2008, their On Deck for the Cure program contributions exceeded the million-dollar mark to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
From flowers to fuel and milk to wine, Holland America Line's cruise operations have a significant economic impact on Ft. Lauderdale and southern Florida with ten ships visiting. Yearly, that impact totals nearly US$300 million and more than 238,000 guests embarked or debarked in Ft. Lauderdale, the premium line's major port in Florida. Holland America Line's economic impact includes staffing at the cruise terminal, provisioning ships, refueling, passenger spending, crew spending, port fees and taxes, and marketing and sales expenditures in the region.