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Relief society funds dwindle without donations

Camp Pendleton’s Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) has provided monetary aid in excess of $4 million to more than 5,000 service members despite declining annual contributions that sank nearly 11 percent this year.

Funding for the 105-year-old relief society relies largely on donations collected during the program’s annual drives every spring directed by the Secretary of the Navy. The base NMCRS’s recent fund drive collected $37,000 less than the program’s previous $365,000 annual contribution.

“This program will not survive without donations,” said Michael G. Hire, director of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton NMCRS. The NMCRS relies solely on donations to provide the emergency financial assistance that our Marines, sailors and their families,” he said.

The organization is already drawing on their reserve funds to provide emergency financial assistance to those in need, said Hire.

“We do not help anyone live beyond their means or pay off personal debt,” said Hire, who retired as a lieutenant colonel after spending 24 years in the Corps.

“The NMCRS’s mission is the same worldwide, to help Marines, sailors and their families with immediate emergency needs. We are also going to sit down with you and establish a successful budget,” he added.

The NMCRS is a non-profit charity designed to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors during hardships. The organization is run by and only possible through volunteer contributions.

“A Marine worried about his financial situation isn’t focused on the mission,” said Hire. “We are increasing our Corps’ readiness and can allow today’s war fighter to focus on the mission at hand.”In addition to budget counselors and financial assistance, the relief society also provides donated clothing, uniforms and household items at a nominal cost. All proceeds return directly to the organization’s financial relief effort.

For additional information or to make a donation, contact Camp Pendleton’s NMCRS located in Building 1121 at (760) 725-5337 or log onto the NMCRS’s official Web site at http://www.nmcrs.org.

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