NEWS | March 1, 2016

Annual fund drive benefiting NMCRS begins

By By Annikah Moaratty, relief services assistant Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

During the month of March 2016, the Joint Base Charleston - WS will conduct begin its annual fund drive in support of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, an organization whose mission is to help Marines, Sailors and their families when financial emergencies arise.

Since 1904, the society has provided financial, educational and other assistance to active duty and retired members of the Navy and Marine Corps, their eligible family members and survivors. The organization is staffed primarily by volunteers who act as caseworkers providing financial assistance; volunteers knit and crochet baby blankets for new parents on base and in a variety of other positions.

"Last year, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society helped over 63,000 clients with about $45.8 million in assistance through interest free loans and grants. Combat Casualty Nurses and Visiting Nurses alone made over 47,000 visits/contacts. That adds up to a lot of lives changed for the better," said Annikah Moaratty, Relief Services Assistant for the Charleston Office. "Our goal is to be the first stop when Sailors or Marines find themselves in financial trouble. A lot of people know about us but don't know the extent of assistance we are able to provide."

In order to provide for so many Marines and Sailors, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society relies on the support of Active Duty Service members. . "The annual fund drive is important. The Society receives donations year round but the vast majority of funds come from the donations of our Active Duty members. The $5 one person allots each month ($60 a year), may help pay a families' electric bill or help buy a plane ticket home for someone experiencing a loss." said Moaratty.  "Additionally, this is a great opportunity to let people know what we do.  Many people don't realize we help with purchasing furniture, can help with car repairs or assist during natural disasters. It is important to note, all cases in our office are kept confidential making NMCRS a safe place to come and get help."

"As Financial Counselors at Fleet and Family Support Center here at JB Charleston WS, we assist service members and their families, both active duty and retired, in their journey towards financial resilience. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) is an integral part of the process.  We work hand in hand with NMCRS and often refer service members in need to NMCRS for financial assistance. It's a wonderful service which relies on the kindness and generosity of all of our donors, both past and present.  We must remember that although the core mission is financial assistance that is not all that NMCRS offers.  Other services such as scholarships and budgeting for baby would not be possible if not for your generous donation," said the Personal Financial Management Team at FFSC.

Last year, the local base office provided $308,000 in assistance to local service members including car repairs, emergency travel, Quick Assist Loans and free budget reviews. In additional to financial support, the office held 15 Budget for Baby classes for new parents on base and gave out 120 Baby's First Seabags and handmade blankets to families. 

For more information, visit the NMCRS office, located at Bldg. 717 on Jefferson Ave or call at (843) 794-7662. You can also log onto www.nmcrs.org for volunteer opportunities and information about the organization and all its services.