By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Amadi, Naval District Washington Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines stationed within the National Capital Region (NCR) kicked off the 2018 Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Active-Duty Fund Drive (ADFD) with a training event on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Feb. 27.
The ADFD is held annually and serves as an opportunity for Sailors and Marines to donate money that is distributed directly to other Sailors and Marines in need. The theme for this year's drive is "By Our Own, For Our Own."
"This was a great turnout. We had more than 60 people turn out from around the NCR to receive 'key person' training, taking the information back so they can run an organized and success fund drive at their respective commands," said Capt. Sharon Ruest, NCR ADFD coordinator. "We are a team and a family, and this is one way we can give back to each other when our co-workers and shipmates are in need of help. NMCRS programs are a big help, whether it is emergency financial assistance or they need to budget for the new baby that's on the way."
The NMCRS sets a goal of 100 percent contact with all Sailors and Marines so everyone is aware of their opportunity to donate, as well as the services and programs available to them and their families.
"The command coordinators are the tools to go in and explain to the Sailors and Marines the importance of NMCRS and what those donations actually do for our fellow Sailors and Marines who are in need," said Lt. Cmdr. John Chuma, NCR assistant coordinator for the ADFD.
Chuma has had a Sailor in need during an emergency situation and has witnessed the impact of the NMCRS firsthand.
"A number of years ago when I was a division officer, we had a very junior Sailor receive some unfortunate news about his mother undergoing emergency brain surgery. We were underway, off the coast of Norfolk at the time and he lived in Maine. He just didn't have the means to get there. The NMCRS was able to give him a loan so he could fly home and be with his family in a time of need. We got a better Sailor back. He came back with his head in the game and ready to perform," said Chuma.
Chuma and other NMCRS ADFD volunteers will share their stories and information about how service members can donate to the drive until it ends, April 30.
"I hope everyone gives what they can this year. I know everyone is in different situations, but for those who can, I'd like them to support the NMCRS," said Chuma.