MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marines and Sailors sometimes face hardships at unexpected times. At these moments, Cherry Point’s Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society volunteers prove that they are vital to helping improve the mental, family and operational readiness of service members at the installation.
To honor the volunteers for their dedicated service and the countless hours they have contributed to the progression of Marines and Sailors with Cherry Point and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Liz Plot, the director of volunteers with the NMCRS, hosted the NMCRS and Cherry Point Volunteer Awards and Recognition Ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Feb. 22.
“The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is an organization that is made up of family members and volunteers who are directly linked to our command, who really know the situation that our deployed men and women face daily,” said Col. Chris Pappas III, the commanding officer of MCAS Cherry Point. “They know the challenges that [the Marines and Sailors] are under, how busy we are. It is because of what they do that the Marines and Sailors are assisted on a financial side, and more importantly, from a caring side; through home visits with a patient, or helping a family prepare for a newborn.”
Last year, the organization was able to assist more than 1,100 Marines and Sailors at Cherry Point with financial, educational and other need-based assistance.
“[The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society] is a tremendous resource that has impacted a very large percentage of members here,” said Pappas. “This couldn’t happen without volunteers who make this society really what it is.”
The NMCRS is a private, non-profit organization whose personnel in 2015, included approximately 58 volunteers and three paid employees who strove to help Marines and Sailors become financially self-sufficient.
“As a volunteer, they are greeting the clients coming in whether they are checking in or out of the office, coming to have an appointment, in need of a [Quality Assist Loan] or keeping records,” said Vicki Wilson, the director of Cherry Points NMCRS. “We have case workers, budget for baby instructors, volunteers that crotchet and knit and volunteers that do public speaking all helping us keep service members mission ready.”
The workforce is comprised of volunteers who want to give back to the community, feel useful and who want to be helpful, explained Wilson.
“Without the volunteers we would not be able to do what we need to do,” said Wilson. “Here at Cherry Point, there are three paid employees, one of which is a nurse. We could not see the number of personnel that we do if it weren’t for the volunteers.”
The volunteers contributed anywhere between five to 7,000 plus hours each toward accomplishing the mission of the NMCRS. While some are parents, work part-time or full-time jobs, the volunteers believe there is no greater feeling then helping the service members.
To learn more about way you can contribute to the NMCRS visit http://www.nmcrs.org/ or call Cherry Point’s NMCRS office at (252) 466-2031.