MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
At eight and a half months pregnant, Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah A. E. Lowe was in no condition to walk long distances after her engine block cracked in 2008 in San Diego, Calif.
“It was very hot at the time in San Diego, so it was a quality of life situation for two issues – transportation and air conditioning,” said the Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point corpsman.
“It cost a lot of money that I didn’t have at the time,” said the Jasper, Ga., native.
Lowe’s emergency funds had been depleted covering extra expenses in anticipation of the baby’s arrival.
She went to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to receive an estimate for a loan.
While the loan she was asking for was considerably more than the society’s average, her case received careful consideration, and ultimately, approval.
She said the society provided her with more than just a loan.
“They were so nice. I felt like family, and it was a very humbling experience because I felt ashamed that I didn’t have enough money set aside, and nesting for a baby kind of took all my emergency funds,” she said. “They didn’t make me feel like it was a hassle. It was very quick and simple.”
Lowe heard about the society from her chain of command.
To this day she is thankful for the help she received from the society.
“I didn’t realize the importance of the society.” she said. “I always thought of it more for emergency leave or something like plane tickets or break downs that are $500 or less, but when you are pregnant and you have a little baby on the way and you are actually depending on an automobile, you don’t realize how very important it is.”
Not only was she thankful for the help, she had gained a new outlook on the society.
“It changed my whole perspective,” she said. “I wasn’t just a number, I was a person, and they actually cared.”
Last year, the Cherry Point Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society helped more than 1,200 Marines and Sailors like Lowe, providing them with more than $625,000 in grants and interest-free loans.
Throughout the month of April, Cherry Point will be hosting its Active-Duty Fund Drive in support of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Service members can learn more or make a donation at http://www.nmcrsfunddrive.org or by logging into Marine Online at https://www.mol.usmc.mil.