SAN FRANCISCO (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 took a break from San Francisco's Fleet Week activities to volunteer in their host city and Vinson's former homeport Oct. 10.
Vinson and CVW-17 partnered with Episcopal Community Services (ECS), San Francisco, an organization aimed at assisting and supporting the homeless in the San Francisco metropolitan area.
"Homelessness is a circumstance, not a choice," said Lynn Nawahine, director of communications for ECS. "Many of these people are trying to get back on their feet and our organization tries to give them as much help as possible."
The partnership is one of many ways Vinson continues to maintain a positive Navy image in its former homeport.
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/FMF) Tarren Windham, a member of Vinson's First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA), presented Nawahine with a bag of recycled cans in a brief ceremony. The bag of cans was only a symbol of Vinson's full donation.
Vinson's FCPOA gathered 11 tri-walls of cans, each totaling about 250 pounds. At approximately $1,000 per ton, the FCPOA will donate all of the proceeds to ECS.
"I am extremely happy to have the chance to donate to this organization," said Windham. "The crew drinks a lot of soda, but it's awesome to see that we can take the money from all the empty cans and donate it to such an incredible organization."
"I think this is fabulous. I am a big military supporter and these Sailors are so impressive," said Nawahine. "It's so good to the see the ship come to its original homeport of San Francisco and show their recycling support."
The ship is doing its part to support Navywide efforts to "go green." The crew also participates in community relations projects, provides humanitarian aid and engages in disaster relief efforts.
"San Francisco is where recycling began," said Nawahine. "The Bay Area started it and we are so glad to see that the U.S. Navy is now green as well."
Following the ceremony, 48 Sailors went to the San Francisco Zoo to participate in a community relations project sponsored by Vinson's "Green Machine" committee for environmental initiatives. Sailors waded through muddy ponds and dirty creeks to remove brush and roots in an effort to clean up overgrown plant life. They worked with the zoo's staff to remove more than 500 pounds of brush.
"Our Sailors are committed to helping wherever we go, even in liberty ports," said Vinson's Training Officer Lt. Cmdr Amy Hunt. "It's so great to see them interested in helping with humanitarian relief and disaster aid, as well as community relations, especially when they could be out on liberty. It's obvious that our Sailors care."
Sailors assigned to Vinson and CVW 17 participated in the San Francisco's 2011 Fleet Week celebration Oct. 8-11.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.