By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, NDW Public Affairs
WASHINGTON--The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) kicked off its annual active duty fund drive with a ceremony at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Feb. 25.
This year’s theme is “Stand up for your fellow Sailors and Marines.” The drive, designed to raise funds necessary to financially assist Navy and Marine Corps personnel and NMCRS programs, is schedule to run for six weeks until April 6.
The NCR covers several states including Del., Northern Va., West Va., D.C., Md., Pa., N.J., and the Eastern Shore of Va.
“The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society provides financial assistance to Sailors and Marines though a variety of life challenges from simple car repairs to funeral support, emergency travel leave, household shortcomings and realignments,” said Cmdr. Bill Middleton, NMCRS 2015 Fund Drive NCR coordinator
The fund drive’s goal is 100 percent personal contact with all Navy and Marine Corp personnel assigned within the greater NCR to allow each Sailor and Marine the opportunity to participate. For leaders a critical component to the success of this fund drive is the appointment of an energetic, self-starting senior Sailor or Marine as the command’s fund drive key person.
The NMCRS raises funds for programs and support services through repayment of interest-free loans, proceeds from thrift shops, the reserve fund, and most of all, contributions. In the 2014 drive, the NCR alone collected a total of $647,155. Although the region collected the large amount, Middleton stressed that the fund drive has no financial amount goal.
“The importance of meaningful contact is just so people know the extent of what the NMCRS has to offer,” said Middleton. “It’s easy to ignore when you get a mass email from somebody asking to donate to this worthy endeavor, but if you get someone sitting right in front of you that is talking to you showing you how the Society have helped them or helped people they know and made the command stronger and better because of the financial issues that they helped alleviate, that really makes a difference.”
The NMCRS offers a range of programs beyond emergency loans, including financial counseling, education assistance, health education and post-combat support, child budgeting, disaster relief, emergency travel funding, and access to thrift shops. By using a workforce composed mostly of volunteers, most contributions go back to service members and their families.
Rear Adm. Mark Rich, commandant, Naval District Washington, and Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, commanding general, Marine Corps Installation Command, are co-chairing this year’s regional fund drive, working with installation coordinators to ensure the meaningful impact is spread through the NCR.
For more information on the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and how to donate, visit www.nmcrsfunddrive.org.