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Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society continues fundraising

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | May 5, 2011

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The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society annual fundraising is scheduled to end May 13. The purpose of the drive, which began April 15, is to assist Marines, sailors and their families when encountering unexpected needs and personal emergencies.

The NMCRS has been providing assistance 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 the Web site www.nmcrs.org.

The NMCRS is one of two non-profit organizations that can solicit Marines and sailors for donations, according to 1st Lt. Sarah Ray, installation coordinator, NMCRS fund drive.  The other being the Combined Federal Campaign.

“The 2011 fund drive is an extension of how Marines and sailors can help their own in times of need,” Ray said.

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 operates about 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.

In 2010, MCLB Albany’s NMCRS office distributed more than $84,000 in grants and loans which serviced 100 cases.

According to Ray, MCLB Albany’s 2011 NMCRS fund drive has exceeded 2010 contributions.

“We have already exceeded last years’ contributions in the first two weeks. The amount in 2010 was $4,281 and to date we have raised $7,779. I contribute this to very engaged and motivated unit representatives,” Ray said. “It’s exciting to see Marines and sailors of all ranks giving to support their fellow Marines and sailors.”

The contributions were 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 2010, the society granted special assistance to those who were injured and widowed.

More than 550 combat injured personnel received financial assistance and 771 widows received more than $1.5 million in monthly supplements from the society. Also, Combat Causality Assistance Visiting Nurses made 18,423 contacts with more than 1,100 families, providing resource information and emotional support to personnel wounded in combat and their families.

According to the organization’s “2010 at a Glance” annual report, the society assisted nearly 100,000 cases Corps-wide resulting in financial assistance of about $50 million during the period.

The report also indicated a 9.2 percent increase in cases and a 5.3 percent increase in financial assistance compared to the 2009 statistics, the highest number of cases and greatest amount of financial assistance since 1993, according to the annual report.

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

The society also provides interest-free loans and grants for the following emergencies: funeral expenses, meical/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 contribute to the fund through allotment, check or cash donations by contacting their unit representatives.

For more information, call one of the unit representatives listed below:

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany:
Master Sgt. Mark Carabello
(229) 639-7489

Marine Corps Logistics Command
Staff Sgt. Joshua Pohribnak
(229) 639-6715

Marine Corps Systems Command
Staff Sgt. John Lombardi
(229) 639-5036

I&I/CARDF:
Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Starkey
(229) 639-8787

Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany:
Petty Officer 2nd Class Micheal Huey
(229) 639-7884


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