Gain Valuable Skills, New Experinces And Make A Big Impact On


Obtain excellent, certificated training
Receive support from a network of new friends and associates
Earn up to $1,000 in stipends
Give comfort, relief, and hope to seafarers
Share the Bay Area spirit of welcome and hospitality
Help Promote Community Spirit and Civic Engagement 

 Every day massive container ships from around the world – carrying goods across the oceans -come into the Port of Oakland, to load and unload cargo. The ships are in port only for a short time. The ship crews are small mostly men, and very diverse. They bring us phones, clothes, coffee, TV’s, cars, and other things that make our lives comfortable and convenient. They are far away from home for months at a time doing very hard and dangerous work, facing violent storms and even piracy. Life at sea is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding — loneliness, anxiety, and fatigue are constant companions. 

 At Seafarers’ Ministry of the Golden Gate [SMGG-at-The IMC] we reach out to seafarers by visiting them on their ships, offering them the hand of welcome and friendship, and by caring for them in their hour of need. 


We invite you to join in as a member of our Ship Visit & Welcome Team to share some of the incredible diversity, friendliness, and welcoming spirit that the Bay Area is well known for. 

Ship visiting is the most important thing we do, but not all that we do, but there are many ways to serve: 

  • Ship Visitors board commercial ships in ports to help and support seafarers and crews
  • Welcome Drivers shuttle crew members to local shops and sites when they come ashore
  • Welcome Hosts create a friendly, relaxing atmosphere at the Maritime Center when crew members visit. 

A friendly face and a listening ear help to relieve some of the stress and boost their spirits. 

Download a PDF Flyer

 Volunteer today for The Ship Visit & Welcome Team at   


To the world, You may be one person; But to one person you may be the world.   


Members of the Ship Visit & Welcome Team go on board container ships in the Port of Oakland to visit seafarers, providing hospitality with a listening ear to their stories and assisting with their concerns and needs where possible. Team Volunteers may perform one or all of the following roles. 

  • Ship Visitors board commercial ships in ports to help and support seafarers and crews 
  • Welcome Drivers shuttle crew members to local shops and sites when they come ashore 
  • Welcome Hosts provide warm welcome and relaxing atmosphere for Maritime Center visitors 


  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Have valid CA drivers’ license with clean driving record
  • Be eligible to obtain a TWIC card . Before applying, please review the requirements here: 1
  • Some familiarity or interest in maritime affairs is helpful. Should have interest or experience in human rights, environmental issues, and/or advocacy.
  • Be warm and friendly; Enjoy meeting people, be a good listener. Skill or experience in mentoring, advising, coaching, or counseling is valuable.
  • Speak fluent English; fluency in other languages [Tagalog and Hindi helpful] 


  • ATTEND required orientation.
  • SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE Maritime Essentials training [includes Basic Economics of Shipping; Ship Welfare Visitor Course []; Gangway Safety; Effective Ship Visiting; Combating Social Isolation]1 and other learning assignments as required
  • VISIT crews onboard ships in Port of Oakland [possibly other Bay Area Ports]. Communicate with seafarers of multi-nationalities, faith traditions and political orientations.
  • WELCOME seafarers visiting the Maritime Center.
  • COMMIT to a minimum of two shifts per month, for three months. 2 


  • Complete the attached application.
  • Return the application by email to 
1 – Fees for TWIC card, Ship Welfare Visitor Training course are reimbursed after completion of one volunteer shift. 
2 – Volunteers who fulfill the minimum commitment receive a cash stipend up to $500. 

Online Application Form

Application Form (Interactive PDF)