BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The coronavirus has taken the wind out of the sails of the Pride of Baltimore II.

The historical replica will not be sailing in 2020, but they’re still finding ways to keep their volunteers busy.

The ship originally planned to launch the new volunteer program this winter, but with not much is happening because of COVID-19 they moved it up the start date and got creative.

Instead of having volunteers come to the ship to work on projects, they are packing up the projects and sending them home with volunteers.

They call it “Pride Project in a Box.”

Claire Gerber is currently volunteering, sewing a cover for a sail on the ship.

“It’s been exciting, it’s been fun,” Gerber said, “I tend to like to do different projects. I don’t like to stick with the same thing all the time.”

Those projects range from sewing to carpentry and are matched to volunteers based on their experience, interests, and access to tools.

“I basically box up different projects,” said Jeffrey Crosby, Chief Mate on the Pride of Baltimore II, “I give that person everything they need to complete that project in the comfort of their own home.”

Pride Project in a Box is still in a pilot stage but it’s showing promise.

“The people who have come to pick up boxes have been really engaged with the entire process. Taking a project from start to finish and completing that entire project,” said Crosby.

For Gerber, when the pride sails again, she’ll know she played a big role in getting it ready.

“For many years to come when the pride is out there around the world, or across the bay or up through the great lakes, my little sail cover will be aboard with her,” said Gerber

If you’re interested in getting involved, visit their website and sign up for Sail Mail.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher

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