Huge vessels travel into and out of the Point Comfort Port, bringing in all sorts of different products, but the people manning those vessels, now get a generous welcome when coming into port.
The people operating the vessels are known as seafarers, and they come from all over the globe to the small town of Point Comfort.
When coming to a new place, most people feel it is nice to be welcomed, and the Point Comfort Seafarers Center fills the welcoming role.
The relatively new volunteer organization reaches out to the visiting seafarers that visit the Point Comfort.
“Most centers operate along the idea of being a “home away from home”, but that requires a building, a way to get the folks to the building, and people to work at the building. We are not there yet, and may not go in that direction,” Executive Director Rhonda Cummins said.
The entire idea for the organization is to be a friend. The two biggest essentials the seafarers need is a ride to Walmart and access to free wi-fi.
“The local taxi usually takes care of the transportation aspect. I am trying to figure out a way to get them the wi-fi. The established centers all have free wi-fi in their buildings (we are not there yet),” Cummins said.
All the deep-water ports in Texas, i.e. Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Galveston, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, and Freeport have seafarers’ centers. Point Comfort was the only one that did not.
“It didn’t seem fair for all the other Texas ports to have something for the seafarers, but there was nothing in Point Comfort. I thought I would see if I could change that,” Cummins said. “The seafarers are all very appreciative of having someone that tries to help them. If you have ever been a stranger or newcomer somewhere, think of the relief you felt when someone was kind and welcoming to you.”
People who donate to the center provide its funding. Currently, there isn’t much to fund since all the labor is volunteer-based.
“Currently, the only funding is through donated items for the seafarer gifts and care packages for the ships,” Cummins explained.
The center makes care packages for the seafarers, and Cummins delivers them to the bottom of the gangway, where they are picked up by the crew.
At this time, monetary donations can be made to “Stella Maris” at Our Lady of The Gulf Catholic Church.v