By Bob Krekorian, Naval Station Newport Public Affairs
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (NNS) -- Thirteen volunteers from the guided missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) donated their time, talents, and skills at a local transitional shelter for women and their children, Aug. 18, during the ship's visit at Naval Station Newport, Newport, R.I.
USS Mahan arrived Naval Station Newport's Pier 2, Aug. 15, as part of the Surface Warfare Officers School's (SWOS) visiting ships program.
While in port, the ship provided tours for approximately 550 U.S. and International Officers, enlisted, midshipman, and officer candidates from SWOS, Naval War College, Officer Training Command Newport, Naval Academy Preparatory School, and Navy Supply Corps School; and 33 teens from the Naval Station Newport school age care program at the installation's Child Development Center.
The ship undertook the community service project at Lucy's Hearth, the Newport County Homeless Shelter for Women and their Children. The project included painting four bedrooms, refinishing two wood tables, moving furniture into and out of storage, and shampooing rugs.
"I think this project is worthwhile," said Fire Controlman 1st Class Rafael Silva of Kingsville, Texas. "Everyone needs help to get back on their feet," he said.
"I volunteer often because I like to help the local community," said Gas Turbine System Technician Electrical Apprentice Katie Kile of Austin, Texas. Kile said she has experienced not having a place to call home. "When I was young my father left my mother and I," she said.
Seaman Katherine Renard of Fullerton, Calif., said she volunteered because mothers and their children were being helped. "Knowing that I can help a mother in need and make life a little easier is an accomplishment," she said.
The Sailors donated more than 65 man-hours working at the shelter.
"I'm glad to help," said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Steven Moore of Marietta, Ga. Moore said he had a friend who was in a similar situation. "A newly painted room makes everyone feel better," he said.
Logistics Specialist Seaman Bridget Agyemang of Ghana said the USS Mahan contingent at the shelter were doing their best to put a smile on the faces of the mothers who would occupy the rooms.
"We want to help them live in a better place," she said.
"We are so fortunate and grateful to have their expertise," said Jennifer Barrera, the shelter's program director. "The projects they do for us are so important to us," she said.