News: Always helping others, volunteers recognized for efforts
Story by Cpl. Casey Jones
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1904, has been providing "financial, educational and other assistance to members of the Naval services of the United States, eligible family members and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs," according to its mission statement.
The mostly-volunteer driven organization has roughly 250 offices at Naval and Marine Corps bases across the world.
Camp Lejeune's NMCRS held an appreciation and awards ceremony to honor its nearly 50 volunteers at the Paradise Point Officer's Club, here, May 14.
"An unknown author once said, 'Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it, so autograph your work with excellence," said Priscilla Schrubb, chairman of volunteers. "Throughout this ceremony, we've chosen to highlight the excellence of each volunteer individually by using the theme, 'Portrait of a Volunteer.'"
The ceremony not only served as a way to recognize the organization's volunteers efforts, but also as a way to get to know the volunteers on a more personal level.
"I hope that each of you will walk away today with a better understanding of what unique, wonderful volunteers we have here, and the characteristics each brings to the society.
"Every volunteer is so much more than the position they perform here. They are spouses, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, students, educators and citizens, who actively find joy in servicing their community. Their life experiences, education, future goals and dreams, make them very well-rounded and fully capable of proving excellent service to Sailors and Marines," Schrubb said.
Lt. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, the commanding general of the II Marine Expeditionary Force and a special guest speaker for the event, thanked the volunteers for their sacrifice and hard work.
"We wouldn't have the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society that you see today, if it weren't for these volunteers," Hejlik said. "My wife, Sandy, and I were the recipients of the (organization when I was a lance corporal and corporal). The lance corporals are no different today when you think about it. They only have so much money and time to play with. We didn't receive just a cute little blanket; we received diapers and everything else you may need."
The volunteers often juggle busy personal schedules in order to lend a hand to Marines and Sailors in need.
"I was talking to a lady who has been volunteering for quite some time now and I asked here, "How many hours do you put in a week?" Hejlik said.
She said, 'I always would put in about 20-25 hours before I had my baby, but now I put in between 12-20 hours a week.'
Pictures of the volunteers were placed on every table in the room. The pictures were placed there to show the faces of the usual anonymous hard work of the volunteers.
"I said 'Holy Cow!'" Hejlik said. "She has a three-year old, so for the most of us that have three-year olds at home, you know what that's like. It's a great thing, but it also takes up a lot of time and energy."
The ceremony ended with a few song selections by the 2nd Marine Division Band Jazz Combo, a group picture and laughter.
If the unknown author's quotation holds true, those in attendance said the women definitely autographed their work with excellence.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Camp Lejeune, is located on the second floor of Building 14 at 14 McHugh Blvd. The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Call 910-451-5346 for additional information or to schedule an appointment.