NEWS | Feb. 25, 2015

Annual fund drive benefitting local Sailors and Marines begins March 2nd

By Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

Each year, the Secretary of the Navy tasks the active-duty members to conduct a fund drive in support of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Starting March 2, 2015 the Naval Weapons Station will begin its month-long 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 and positions for volunteers include everything from helping to provide financial assistance to knitting and crocheting baby blankets for new parents on base. Additionally, the office often partners with other organizations on base like the Fleet and Family Support Center and Navy Legal to ensure that service members are getting all the information they need, from the correct people.

"Last year, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society helped more than 63,000 clients with about $48.5 million in assistance through interest free loans and grants," said Annikah Moaratty, NMCRS Relief Services assistant. "Combat casualty nurses and visiting nurses alone made more than 62,000 visits/contacts. That adds up to a lot of lives changed for the better.

Our goal is to be the first stop when a Sailor or Marine finds themselves in financial trouble. A lot of people know about us, but don't know the extent of the 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 to help their own.

"The annual fund drive is important: the Society relies on the success of this drive to continue its broad range of services and programs, said Moaratty. "The Society receives donations year round, but the vast majority of funds come from the generous donations of our active-duty members. That means that the $5 one person gives each month ($60 a year), may help pay a families' electric bill or help buy a plane ticket home for someone experiencing a loss. That's the driving force behind the fund drive each year."  

"As financial counselors at the Fleet and Family Support Center here at JB Charleston Weapons Station, we assist service members and their families, both active-duty and retired, in their journey towards financial resilience," said Anna Flowers, a member of the Personal Financial Management Team at the FFSC. "The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society 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 a baby to name a few, would not be possible if not for your generous donation."

This year, the fund drive kicked off with a luncheon event at the Galley on Feb. 26th.

During the lunch hour, volunteers helped to serve meals and make themselves available to provide information or answer questions about Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society services.

Last year, the local base office provided $313,000 in assistance to local service members including car repairs, emergency travel, Quick Assist Loans and free budget reviews. In addition 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 (843) 794-7662. You can also log onto www.nmcrs.org for volunteer opportunities and information about the organization and all its services.