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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. ? Melanie Cabrera, chairmen of volunteers at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Socity, received an award pin for her more that 2,000 hours of volunteering during a five year period. ?Having two babies during this time volunteering was tough, but the work that I?ve done has made it worth while,? said Cabrera.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Patrick M. Fleischman

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society recognizes volunteers

23 Oct 2006 | Lance Cpl. Patrick M. Fleischman

Giving one’s time to volunteer in society has helped countless people over the span of our civilization and these acts of selflessness should be recognized and praised.

Six volunteers from the Camp Lejeune Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society were given pins showing how many hours each volunteer had accumulated during a ceremony Oct.18 at the Paradise Point Golf Course here.

Melanie Cabrera, chairmen of volunteers at the NMCRS, stands out with more than 2,000 hours in a five-year period.

“I wanted to help and with my husband away on deployments it provided me with some adult contact,” said Cabrera.

Comprised mostly of service member’s spouses, the NMCRS has provided programs such as a well baby clinic, interest-free loans, grants, money management, food lockers and thrift shops for nearly 100 years, said Jennifer Best, chairmen of publicity.

“We’re here for them [service members] to ensure that they are there for our country,” said Best.

Many of the services the NMCRS provide are designed to assist service member’s families such as the well baby clinic, which provides parents of babies and toddlers with free access to a registered nurse for advice and free donated clothing, said Best.

Included in the clinic is the Budget for Babies class, that can help a new family with budgeting for an upcoming baby,” said Best.

After the class the families are given a layette, also known as a Junior Seabag, which is issued to any eligible recipient who has recently had a baby or whose child will be born within six months. The layette consists of a coordinated set of bedding and clothing, a baby book and a handmade item packed in a tote or duffel bag.

In addition to the clinic, the society also provides food lockers and thrift shops, which offer nutritionally balanced meals, infant formula and diapers and clothing to help families in times of need, according to the NMCRS Web site.

More often used by service members, the NMCRS loan program provides interest-free loans or grants to help with emergency needs such as emergency transportation, funeral expenses, medical and dental bills, food, rent, utilities, disaster relief assistance, childcare expenses and essential vehicle repairs, according the NMCRS Web site.

Helping Marines and Sailors with financial difficulties aside, the society wants them to also attend money management classes to make certain that they will not have difficulties in the future, said Best.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the NMCRS can visit their Web site at for more information.

Founded in 1904, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a private, non-profit charitable organization sponsored by the Department of the Navy and operates nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.