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NMCRS Thrift Shops Help Sailors in Need

Life is full of uncertainties, especially for those who choose to serve their country in the Navy and Marine Corps. Some of these uncertainties can place unnecessary burdens on Sailors and Marines.

In order to lighten some of these burdens there are a multitude of people who sacrifice their time and effort. One of the ways this support is given is through the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS). A private, non-profit organization, the NMCRS is dedicated to financially assisting Sailors and Marines when they need it most.

For service members in the Pacific Northwest, one of the society's most beneficial and unknown services is the NMCRS-run thrift shops.

"The thrift shop is a great way to help a young family ... stretch their dollars," said Andy Leech, Director of Everett, Washington's NMCRS office. "Or the single Sailor ... who is about to deploy and needs to get his or her sea bag together. It's a great way to spend pennies on the dollar, to get some of the uniform items that they need."

Staffed by unpaid volunteers, the thrift shops are a way for active duty and retired service members to get used goods at a deeply discounted price. NMCRS thrift shops get their inventory from donations, which include uniforms, clothing, electronics, appliances and a wide variety of other items.

NMCRS thrift stores are meant to allow Sailors and their families a way to alleviate financial stresses by getting used items instead of more expensive new ones. This service can be especially helpful during the holidays.

Giving Sailors a place to buy things that they need at an inexpensive price is not the only benefit these thrift shops have for Sailors. Funds raised by NMCRS thrift shops purchases go to NMCRS financial relief efforts for Sailors and Marines in need.

"We provide emergency assistance for Sailors and Marines," said Leech. "Maybe the month goes longer than the paycheck does ... we can help with those kinds of things."

"There are lots of things that we can do from a financial perspective," said Leech, commenting about the services the NMCRS provides.

NMCRS's many services include no-interest loans and grants to Sailors during a financial crisis. Emergency medical bills, car repairs, and funeral or travel expenses are just some of the circumstances in which the society will provide financial assistance.

Financial counseling, budget preparation, and a visiting nurse to help counsel families of wounded Sailors and Marines are also services provided by NMCRS.

According to the NMCRS website, the society provided more than 63,000 service members with financial assistance totaling $41.8 million dollars in 2012. It also provided more than 24,000 home visits provided to combat casualty assistance and more than 25,000 home visits with mothers and newborns, elderly retirees, and widows.

Click here for a full list of NMCRS thrift shops.