Navy Marine Corps Relief Society - a mother’s story
By Lance Cpl. Victor Arriaga
| Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point | March 26, 2014
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
After her daughter was born, Jessica McGehee felt knowledgeable and confident. When she found out she was pregnant with her second child, she felt she could easily repeat the process all over again after he arrived. Jessica soon found that babies do not usually follow even the best laid plans.
Jessica’s son was born four weeks early at 5 pounds, 12 ounces. She sought help from the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society after having questions about his growth.
“I thought I knew everything about feeding because this was my second child,” said Jessica.
Two days after the birth of her second child, she consulted a doctor to ensure that she had the correct information in regards to lactation consultants.
“I left the hospital not feeling like I had enough information,” she said. “I needed a second opinion after the hospital told me they didn’t have a lactation consultant.”
Jessica and her husband, Capt. Michael McGehee, a pilot with Marine Aerial Training Squadron 203, were stationed at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, unaware of the Society’s resources, including lactation consultants.
“To be honest, at the time I didn’t even know the NMCRS existed,” said Jessica. “I was talking to some of my friends about how the hospital on base didn’t have lactation consultants, and one of them mentioned the society. I had no idea.”
Jessica immediately contacted the society and was shocked to find out that they offered lactation consultants, classes and help to families with financial hardships.
The NMCRS is a non-profit organization established to help service members in need by offering financial assistance and educating service members about financial management and planning. The society also offers baby blankets and other child care necessities.
“When I called, they responded immediately and sent a consultant out,” said Jessica. “This woman drove 40 minutes to come to my home, dressed in scrubs and ready to go, just to assist me and my children. She was phenomenal.”
The McGehee family is only one of thousands of the society’s success stories. More than 65,000 Marines and sailors throughout the Department of Defense received more than $49 million in financial assistance in 2013.
Without the help of volunteers and donations, the society would cease to exist. The NMCRS annual, active duty fund drive runs through the month of March across the naval services, educating Marines and sailors about the society and raising essential funds for its operations.
There are several options available to those who want to donate. The preferred, most convenient and most error-free way to donate is through an allotment. Marines with an end of active service date greater than three months from when the drive starts can log onto Marine Online at www.mol.usmc.mil and set an allotment to support the NMCRS. Paper form allotments are also available and can be obtained through unit representatives.
Additionally, anyone interested in making a donation can log onto www.nmcrsfunddrive.org and set up an allotment or set up a one-time donation via credit card.
Cash and check donations are also accepted. Contribution forms should be filled out in every case to keep track of command participation.
“I think the Society is a phenomenal resource that is completely underexposed and underutilized,” said Jessica. “The NMCRS needs to be better known and the fact that this is a group of people that are willing to help those in need is meaningful.”
To support the NMCRS with a donation, contact your unit representative or go to www.nmcrsfunddrive.org.