NEWS | March 2, 2011

NMCRS season underway—Weapons Station kicks-off annual fund drive

By Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Brannon Deugan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs Office

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society kicked off its annual fund drive March 1. NMCRS representatives will be working towards the goal of contacting 100 percent of Navy personnel on Joint Base Charleston, asking Sailors and Marines to generously give in support of funding the NMCRS.

"The NMCRS is a private, nonprofit charitable organization that assists eligible members of the Navy, Marine Corps, and their families," said David Hastings, director of JB Charleston-WS office of NMCRS. "The active duty fund drive is the sole source of funding for the NMCRS."

The NMCRS was founded in 1904 with $9,000, which was the Navy's share of the proceeds of an Army verses Navy football game. The society has since offered financial assistance to support and aid those who are unable to make financial ends meet.

In 2010, NMCRS assisted more service members since 1993 when the size of the Navy-Marine Corps was significantly greater. The NMCRS gave nearly $50 million in assistance to more than 99,000 Sailors, Marines and their families. Approximately one out of every five Sailors and Marines were seen by the society during 2010. These numbers are up 9.2 percent from a year ago and up 75 percent during the past four years.

Last year the JB Charleston-WS office received $196,808.97 in donations through the local fund drive, adding generously to the fund that provides financial assistance to Sailors and Marines in need.

"The goal for the 2011 active duty fund drive is to receive $200,000 in donations and we want 100 percent contact of active duty service members here at JB Charleston-WS," said Mr. Hastings. "The overall primary goal of the NMCRS is to help Sailors and Soldiers obtain financial self sufficiency through offered services, and one way we can promote this is by making sure that each command representative contacts 100 percent of their perspective command personnel."

The society offers assistance in multiple ways to eligible members in order to reach this primary goal. Assistance comes in the forms of spending plan development, interest free loans and grants, education loans and scholarships and even a "Budget for Baby" program for expecting parents.

Beginning in 2008, the society offered the Quick Assist Loan program which has become their most popular program. The QAL's are interest free loans up to $300 and are usually available within 15 minutes or less. The QAL program is geared toward providing financial assistance to families in emergencies and is an excellent alternative to predatory lenders such as payday or title loans.

"The NMCRS ensures that all of our Sailors can receive help during a time of need," said Lt. j.g. William Sever, active duty fund drive coordinator for Naval Support Activity.
"Sometimes Sailors fall into the realm of 'it is not going to happen to me,' however, it is important for all Sailors to donate to the fund drive because they never know when they could potentially fall into a financial bind that requires assistance from the NMCRS."

For more information on NMCRS please visit www.nmcrs.org or contact your command fund drive representative.