NMCRS helps keep Marines, Sailors afloat

21 May 2004 | Cpl. Kat Johnson

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is no Scrooge when it comes to providing assistance to active-duty military members and their families.

For the past 100 years, the society has been providing Marines, Sailors and their family members with grants, interest free loans, education and other assistance to meet daily needs. The organization raised its first $9,000 at an Army-Navy baseball game in 1903 and has been upholding the tradition of sponsoring fundraisers ever since. 

This year, as NMCRS launched the 2004 Active Duty Fund Drive, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Micheal W. Hagee addressed the importance of supporting the non-profit organization.

“Your support for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society equates to Marines taking care of Marines,” stated Hagee in an All Marine Message 023/04. “Every member of every unit should have the opportunity to donate to the society.”

The society is sponsored by the Department of the Navy, but relies on contributions from individuals, corporations and organizations to provide funding and financial support to members of the Naval Services.

“We really appreciate all the funds we receive from our service members,” said Pam Mentzer, director NMCRS, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. “Every donation is turned around and placed right back in our funding. We want to make sure we have enough to help.”

With more than 250 relief centers worldwide, NMCRS requires a vast budget to provide financial assistance for military patrons. Through NMCRS, parents of newborns can receive layettes, a set of clothing and accessories for infants and receive classes on adjusting their new budget. The NMCRS also supplies military family members with loans and scholarships to help reduce financial educational obligations.

“It has helped more than four million service members and their families during the first 100 years,” Hagee said. “Providing more than $1 billion in interest free loans and grants.”

According to Hagee, the society provided support in many areas for Marines, Sailors and their family during 2003. They reunited family members with injured service members who were undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at military hospitals worldwide. After Hurricane Isabel struck the coast of North Carolina in September 2003, NMCRS provided food, clothing and money to military families whose homes were destroyed. Last year alone, the society disbursed $34.1 million in interest free loans and grants to more than 42,000 Marines, Sailors and their family members.

“Now that the 2004 Active Duty Fund Drive is underway, I want to emphasize the importance of this occasion,” Hagee said. “With your assistance, the 2004 Active Duty Fund Drive will be a success.”

For more information on NMCRS or to make a donation, contact the relief society at 522-1161 or log on to www.nmcrs.org.