Escanaba crew “gives back” during holiday season deployment

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Petty Officer 1st Class Erin O'Brien, a gunner's mate aboard Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, looks on as one of the children from Casa Nazaret, a home for disabled children, demonstrates her artistic talents. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Lennie Day.
Petty Officer 1st Class Erin O’Brien, a gunner’s mate aboard Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, looks on as one of the children from Casa Nazaret, a home for disabled children in the Dominican Republic, demonstrates her artistic talents. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Lennie Day.

Written by Lt. j.g. Tara Mead.

Earlier this month, crew members from Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba took time in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, to visit Casa Nazaret, a home for disabled children.

Working closely with the Coast Guard’s Liaison Officer to the Dominican Republic, Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Delano-Johnson, and with help from Ms. Maria Jimenez, of Cafemba Tours, Chief Warrant Officer Antonio Manalus, Escanaba’s supply officer, rallied a team of twenty volunteers for the event.

Seaman Stephen O'Brien carries much needed supplies bought for Casa Nazaret, a home for diasbled children, by the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba's crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Lennie Day.
Seaman Stephen O’Brien carries much needed supplies bought for Casa Nazaret, a home for diasbled children in the Dominican Republic, by the Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba’s crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. j.g. Lennie Day.

In the days leading up to the visit, Manalus sponsored a shipboard raffle amongst the crew and rose over $850 to purchase diapers, medicine, small toys and treats for the children at Casa Nazaret. While at the orphanage, volunteers played games, read stories, painted faces and colored pictures with the children.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the Escanaba crew. We came together as a Coast Guard family to raise money and spend some precious time with these children. We were grateful for the opportunity to help the orphanage and we were received by the children and staff with open arms and love,” said Cmdr. Patrick Dougan, Escanaba’s commanding officer. “Although the visit only lasted a couple hours, I know it will stay in our hearts for a very long time.”

The cutter’s crew was on mid-patrol break in Puerto Plata and, in true Coast Guard spirit, the volunteers sacrificed personal time and other recreational opportunities to visit with the children of Casa Nazaret. The crew’s selflessness and devotion to helping others highlighted their unyielding commitment to the humanitarian mission performed by Coast Guard members each day.

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