News: Where your money is really going
Story by Lance Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. - Some may believe that their money is not really helping service members or that their donations won’t matter but Petty Officer 3rd Class Melmath Smith, aviation physiology technician, Naval Health Clinic Quantico and Pfc. Nicolas Todd, data defense message specialist, Marine Corps Network Operations and Security Center, would definitely disagree to that.
Early this year, Smith’s father was diagnosed with stage four Lung Cancer and had two weeks to live. Smith immediately flew home to visit his father. His family was not only in grief for what was soon pass, but also was worried about how they were going to pay for the funeral cost as his father did not have life insurance. The family managed to come up with half of the cost but they were still short $3,000.
Smith knew that the NMCRS might be able to handle matters like this. He gave them a call and they informed him that he could do a no interest loan that would come directly out of his pay check stretched out over a set amount of time until paid off. During the meeting, they went over the budget to see what program would benefit him the most and by the next day, he was given the money and his father’s funeral was paid for.
“I really wasn’t certain, if they were going to be able to help me,” Smith said. “But after we went over everything they and assured me that things could be taken care of it was a huge weight off my shoulders and I felt relieved. Don’t let your pride get in the way. It’s not a charity, they are here to help.”
Then there is Todd who just came from a family funeral in his hometown Mobile, Ala., and after a few weeks back on base, found out that his nephew needed brain surgery. Yet after the costly trip he had just came from, he was unable to pay for himself to go back home. He contacted the NMCRS for help in the matter.
“They were very polite and understanding of the situation,” Smith said. “After going over a budget plan, they were able to give much more than I even needed. Instead of taking the 1200, I just took the 750 that I really needed and I was able to head back home.
There would have been no way that I would have been able to see my nephew soon after the surgery if it wasn’t for the society. "I’m very thankful.”
With more than 800 cases where Quantico-based service members were helped in some way last year, these are just a couple of the hundreds that will be helped this year.
This year’s fund drive will continue through April 29 with a goal to raise $175,000. Yet, this should not limit anyone from donating all year round. Whether it’s a dollar a month or a lump sum of $100.00, every little bit counts.
“We don’t keep any of the money that is donated for administration costs like other programs do,” said Presha Merritt, NMCRS Quantico executive director. “Every cent that comes in, goes right back out to our active duty service members and their families. If people knew more about the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, they would understand better why it is so important to donate. So please visit us or call us today.”
For more information about the NMCRS, visit their offices located at Little Hall on the second deck or call 703-784-9754.