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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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NMCRS helps those in need at MCLB

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | March 25, 2010

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society began its annual fund-raising drive at the Base Theater Monday. The drive is scheduled to end April 30.

The NMCRS has been assisting Marines, sailors and their families encountering unexpected needs and personal emergencies for more than a century.

The mission of the NMCRS is to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs, according to Web site www.nmcrs.org.

“The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is one of two non-profit organization that can solicit Marine and sailors for donations. The other being the Combined Federal Campaign,” said 1st Lt. John Scholl, area coordinator, NMCRS, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. “The NMCRS exists solely to support the active and retired communities. The society is an extension of how Marines and sailors can help their own in time of need.”

The NMCRS has been providing aid to Marines, sailors and their families since its inception in 1904. Since then, NMCRS has helped more than four million Marines, sailors and their families with more than $1.1 billion in interest-free loans and grants.

The NMCRS was founded in 1904 and now operates approximately 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.

“One in six Marines and sailors received some type of assistance from NMCRS in 2009,” Scholl said.

Last year, MCLB Albany’s NMCRS office distributed $95,741 in grants and loans which serviced 100 cases.

Distribution of donations includes $71,974 in interest-free loans and $23,767 in grants. The money was dispersed among active duty Marines, sailors, eligible family members, retirees and widows.

The NMCRS offers assistance in budget counseling, education loans and grants for children of active duty, retired and deceased service members.

During Overseas Contingency Operations in 2009, the society granted special assistance to those who were injured and widowed.

More than 300 combat injured personnel received financial assistance and 92 widows received $440,000 in monthly supplements from the Society. Also, Combat Causality Assistance Visiting Nurses made 9,338 contacts with more than 750 families, providing resource information and emotional support to personnel wounded in combat and their families.

According to the organization’s “2009 at a Glance” annual report, the Society assisted more than 91,000 cases resulting in financial assistance of $47.4 million during the period.

The report also states there was a 17 percent increase in cases and a 7.2 percent increase in financial assistance compared to the 2008 statistics.

In 2009, there was a decline in contributions.

“There was a $400,000 decrease in the giving of contributions in 2009,” Scholl said. “The society is asking for more Marines to contribute what they can. This is where Marines and sailors take care of their own.”

Although sponsored by the Department of the Navy, the society’s programs are 100 percent funded by charitable contributions and tax deductible.

The society also provides interest-free loans and grants for the following emergencies: funeral expenses, medical/dental bills, emergency transportation, food, rent, utilities, disaster relief, essential vehicle repairs and unforeseen family emergencies. It does not pay for non-essentials, fines, legal expenses or taxes. They also do not finance vacations, recreational vehicles or boats.

Service members can donate to the fund with allotments, check or cash donations by contacting their unit representatives.

For more information, contact your unit representative.