NEW BERN, N.C. --
Active duty service members, Department of Defense employees, and dependents gathered together at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Single Marine Program by volunteering throughout the surrounding community, April 22.
The SMP is an organization comprised of single and unaccompanied Marines and Sailors who contribute to the community by dedicating their time to help improve and strengthen the relationship between the installation and the surrounding community.
During the inaugural SMP Day of Service, participants were able to volunteer at one of five locations including the Croatan National Forest, Carteret County Humane Society and Animal Shelter and the American Heroes Home Build.
“The inaugural SMP Day of Service is held to raise awareness for volunteerism and to get people involved with the Single Marine Program and their community” said Jen Merlo-Krivohlavy, the SMP coordinator at Cherry Point. “This particular day is not only raising awareness for volunteerism but also for the other tenets of the Single Marine Program, which include recreation and most importantly, quality of life.”
Approximately 500 volunteers were able to complete more than 3,000 hours of volunteer work over the course of nine hours.
“Volunteering is important for everyone; the Marines and Sailors are truly making a difference in their community,” explained Merlo-Krivohlavy. “The organizations specified that without our large number of participants coming out they would have never been able to get certain projects completed.”
The volunteers were able to complete various projects including, installing insulation for a home, cleaning areas of the air station and in the local community, and improving the natural habitat for animals in the Croatan National Forest.
“We went to Cedar Point to assist with painting sealant on wooden benches and cut down overgrown trees that were hanging over the walking trails,” said Cpl. Brittany Page, a tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel equipment operator with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28.
This event helps to keep Marines humble, explained Page.
“I would recommend if the Marines can volunteer – that they volunteer,” said Page.
To volunteer with the Single Marine Program, visit smp.mccscherrypoint.com or call (252) 466-3027.