MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has taken care of Marines and Sailors with various monetary and educational burdens aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for decades.
But the incredible depth of the society’s support would be impossible if not for the volunteers who make up 90 percent of the organization, selflessly giving their time and effort to make the lives of the broad military family better. Though, like most volunteers, they may live off of their own feelings of accomplishment for these efforts, there comes a time once a year when they are publicly recognized and thanked. The society hosted its annual banquet, this year, on Feb. 9, to recognize these often unsung heroes for the hours spent helping families in difficult situations.
The banquet also serves to give voice to these volunteers as they recall the lives that they touch in sometimes very profound ways. Judy Robison, a volunteer with the NMCRS since 1980, was one of those who shared her experiences.
“Years ago, we had a case with a service member whose wife gave birth to a very premature baby,” explained Robison, while describing why she has devoted much of her life to the society “The baby weighed only about one pound,” said Robison. “We saw that family for several years, helping with medical bills.”
Every day is different, no case is the same, says Robison.
In recognition of the volunteers’ efforts, more than 20 awards and certificates were given based on the amount of hours donated to the society.
The mission of the society is to provide financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty or retired Marines and Sailors, their eligible family members, and survivors. Volunteers make up Ninety-percent of the society’s workforce.
“Some of our volunteers have over 8,000 volunteer hours. They’ve been volunteering for so long. It’s nice for them to be recognized.” said Stacy Mergen, the chairman of volunteers for the NMCRS of MCAS Cherry Point.
Volunteers were awarded for the time spent assisting the families aboard the air station with situations that ranged from a small payday loan – to education assistance – to help with special medical needs.
“[The NMCRS] has impacted me over 30 years,” said Robison. “I just want to thank everybody for their support here at Cherry Point and around the world. The fund drive coming up is very important, it goes directly to the Marines and Sailors.”
The society’s 2017 fund drive will begin in the spring, for information on how you can donate or volunteer with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, visit http://www.nmcrs.org/.