WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (NNS) -- Tenant commands of Naval Weapons Station (WPNSTA) Yorktown gathered to kick off the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) fund drive, Mar. 1, with a kick ball tournament and grill lunch at the WPNSTA Yorktown baseball fields.
Four tenant commands competed in a friendly kickball tournament to raise awareness and funds in support of NMCRS.
"The month of March is Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Active Duty Fund Drive," said WPNSTA Yorktown Commanding Officer Paul Haebler. "The Navy has a goal of 12 million dollars this year, and we are starting off our drive with our Kickball Kick-off."
The purpose of the Active Duty Fund Drive for NMCRS is to raise awareness of the programs and services available to active duty Sailors and Marines, along with raising funds to support the programs and services offered by NMCRS. Many of the Sailors who participated in the day's events have utilized NMCRS themselves.
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Alaunta Martin, WPNSTA Yorktown Galley supervisor, related his experiences with NMCRS and how they helped him with fixing his car and unexpected funeral expenses.
"They helped me a lot. They gave me a non-interest loan to repair $4,000 dollars in transmission repairs to my car," said Martin.
He also shared a story of his need for help with family funeral expenses of about $7,000. NMCRS was able to provide him a grant, which he did not have to pay back.
WPNSTA Yorktown Command Master Chief Lee Friedlander also emphasized to those in attendance how NMCRS has been there through the years to support Sailors and Marines alike.
"Last year WPNSTA Yorktown Sailors received $26,000 in grants and loans, yet we only donated $6,000," Friedlander said. "That is a huge delta that over time NMCRS is unable to sustain."
Friedlander went on to explain that the Navy's goal this year is to raise $12 million dollars in funds to support NMCRS.
"When we do the math with how many folks we have in the Navy, it comes down to about $2.00 a month per Sailor, less than one coffee at their local Starbucks." said Friedlander.
According to the NMCRS website, last year inflows totaled $58.6 million, while the outflows were around $68.3 million, forcing NMCRS to tap into reserve monies to cover the difference.
"March is a long month. We are going to do different things throughout the month; some testimonials and reenactments. Fleet and Family is always a great assistance to us, but when it comes to monetary assistance, NMCRS is hands down the best thing going for our Sailors." said Friedlander.
Sailors at all commands around the fleet can support NMCRS by donating via their local command representative or through giving at local events such as a bake sale.
"I have been very grateful and very blessed to use Navy Marine Corps Relief Society," said Martin. "They helped me in my time of need. There was no other way I could have made it as a third class at that time."
Sailors and Marines that would like to donate to NMCRS can do so by allotment, credit or debit card, or by check or cash donation. For more information about NMCRS Active Duty Fund Drive visit their Web page at http://www.nmcrsfunddrive.org or contact your local NMCRS representative.
For more news from Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nelsf/.