Story by PO2 Jacob G. Sisco on 02/24/2017SILVERDALE, Wash The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Active Duty Fund Drive (ADFD) kicked off the 2017 campaign with a breakfast at the Trident Inn Galley on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Feb. 23.
"Our Active Duty Fund Drive is an annual fundraising campaign run solely by our active duty service members," said Kathy Phillips, director, NMCRS Bangor office. "The purpose of the fund drive is to raise awareness of NMCRS programs, as well as to raise monies to support NMCRS so we may continue to serve our clients."
The breakfast was attended by Rear Adm. John Tammen, commander, Submarine Group 9, Rear Adm. Gary Mayes, commander, Navy Region Northwest (NRNW), Rear Adm. Marcus Hitchcock, commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, as well as nearly 100 service members representing the command leadership triad from nearly every command in the Navy Region Northwest area.
"Every Sailor and Marine should know about the NMCRS," said Mayes. "When an emergency happens and they are strapped for cash, it doesn't matter if they just entered the Navy, or been in for 30 years, they can turn to the NMCRS in their time of need."
Since 1904 the NMCRS has been helping active duty Sailors and Marines, as well as widow, widowers and the children of Sailors and Marines who have died. The society is a non-profit charitable organization that receives no funding from the Department of Defense.
"This is a charitable organization supported by us for us," said Mayes. "For more than 100 years, they have been helping out our Sailors and Marines let them know you care with your support."
Last year the Kitsap/West Sound area donated $355,969 during the ADFD, while the total amount that was raised was $11,667,602. This seems like a large amount of money, but it still wasn't enough to cover the cost of services that the NMCRS supplied. Last year just the Bangor and Bremerton offices alone disbursed $1,150,143 in interest free loans and grants.
There are more than 4,000 volunteers operating 250 NMCRS offices around the world and on U.S. Navy Ships. Some of the services they offer include: interest free loans and grants, budget-for-baby workshops, and Visiting Nurse services. Last year the three Visiting Nurses for Navy Region Northwest made 2,184 visits driving more than 19,000 miles.
For more information on NMCRS or to donate to the ADFD, go to www.nmcrsfunddrive.org.