Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society gears up for fund drive, provides rear security for families
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society kicked off its Navy and Marine Corps-wide 2013 Active Duty Fund Drive March 15, 2013.
The NMCRS is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1904, established and designed to aid sailors and Marines who experience emergencies.
“The Navy-Marine Corps relief Society is geared toward active-duty servicemembers, their eligible family members, as well as retired servicemembers and their eligible family members,” said Deanna O’Neal, NMCRS Iwakuni office director.
The society offers several assistance programs for servicemembers who experience unexpected hardships.
“We provide interest-free loans for emergencies or urgent critical needs,” said O’Neal. “We help out in situations for emergency transportation. So, when someone gets a Red Cross message and they need airfare home for transportation, we provide that.”
Servicemembers may expect to see NMCRS representatives around base in the upcoming weeks as they get the word out.
“We’ll have information booths where people can donate,” said O’Neal. “The (NMCRS) will also be at a lot of the base events coming up in the next few weeks. We will be at the Health and Fitness Expo, and we’ll be at the Month of the Military Child Celebration.”
The society also raised awareness when both the northside and southside mess halls served food in the parking lot of Building 5780 and the baseball field next to the parade deck.
Residents may give as much or as little of a donation as they wish.
“There is no minimum,” said O’Neal. “We are encouraging servicemembers to do ten dollars a month. That’s just an encouragement. People can also do one-time contributions. Both of those can be done on (Marine Online).”
“This is a way for Marines to help Marines,” said 1st Lt. Andrew R. Smith, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron NMCRS representative. “You shouldn’t feel obligated to give more than you think you should.”
Smith also added though he never had need for the society, there were Marines under his charge who did, citing an example when one of his junior Marines was in financial straits many years ago. Smith sat him down and advised him how the society can help young Marines in such situations.
Contributions to the society totaled more than $20 million in 2012, with the society expending nearly $65 million that same year.
The fund drive is scheduled to end April 30.