The Ships Project was founded in October of 2001, when a female sailor on board the USS Bataan
responded to an “Any Sailor” letter written by the project founder, Ellen Harpin. In that letter, Ellen
mentioned her love for knitting, prompting the sailor to joke that maybe Ellen could send a pair of knit
slippers to keep her feet warm as she slept, since her berthing was extremely cold. Since then, the
project has grown far beyond that small beginning and has earned the respect and support of the
military. The USS Bataan has long since returned home but we have continued to send packages to
sailors and Marines on dozens of ships deployed since then, as well as Army, Marine, and Air Force
units on the ground.