Employees and volunteers with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune celebrated the 70th birthday of the society aboard the base during a cookout at the NMCRS office, May 9.
The event offered free lunch and dessert to base patrons as a way to increase awareness about the availability of assistance from NMCRS for Marines, sailors and their families.
“Today is a way for us to celebrate 70 years at Camp Lejeune as well as to kind of do an open house,” said Lauren Welsh, chair of volunteers with NMCRS. “It’s a good way for people, if they are aware of us, to grab resources, some free food, as well as to get information about us so they can use us as their first resource and not their last.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to get to know us and the organization,” added Welsh.
Founded in 1904, the NMCR Society is a private, non-profit charitable organization sponsored by the Department of the Navy and operates nearly 250 offices at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.
Over the years, the NMCRS’ duty has changed from helping widows and orphans to assisting all personnel of the naval services, but its sole mission of providing financial, educational, and other numerous ways of assistance has remained the same.
The NMCRS office aboard MCB Camp Lejeune has been serving the base for 70 years by providing assistance to members of the naval services, eligible family members and survivors when in need.
The Society has grown into a global organization with donations exceeding $10 million per year.
“If Marines and sailors have financial issues and we can give them the money then that’s great, but the education is so important,” said Welsh. “We have a lot of people who come here for the check. They need the money, but they leave saying, ‘Thank you so much for the check but I’m so much more grateful for the education you gave me to be self-sufficient.’”
Every dollar donated goes directly back to provide support to Marines and sailors, with fewer than 250 paid employees. Most of the society’s work is accomplished by approximately 3,500 dedicated and trained volunteers.
For more information on NMCRS resources or to volunteer, call 451-5346.