Compassion in Action

Now Open through March 12

Everyday items we purchase in stores travel much farther than you might think. Before arriving on a shelf, the items likely passed through one of the Philadelphia and South Jersey ports, where 31 ship terminals spread out over 120 miles of the Delaware River. Not far from the city, these ports welcome merchant ships, carrying anything from sugar to steel and crews of people from all over the world.

Compassion in Action offers an inside look at day-to-day life for the men and women working on these ships through the lens of Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia & South Jersey (SCI), a nonprofit organization that has been providing clothing, counseling, land transport, cross-cultural spiritual support and more to these visitors since 1843.

Using videos, historical images and artifacts, original paintings by Carole Goddard, along with a variety of everyday items that resonate with individual seafarers, the exhibit uses stories to show how SCI has adapted over the years to best help the seafarers' changing needs—especially with the evolution of new technologies and security.

To find out more about Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia & South Jersey, visit