MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. - Col. David Maxwell, base commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, announced the kickoff of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society fund drive during a meeting at Little Hall on March 18.<br /> <br /> The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society was founded in 1904 for the sole purpose of providing direct assistance to active duty Marines, sailors, and their families. The local NMCRS office offers assistance to any active duty Marine or sailor assigned to Quantico.<br /> <br /> “We understand about the economy and the sequestration,” said Presha Merritt, NMCRS Quantico executive director. “And we want everyone to know that we are here to help.”<br /> <br /> The fund drive has two purposes, to collect money for relief purposes and educate sailors and Marines on NMCRS services and programs. This year’s fund drive will continue through April 29 with a monetary goal this year is $175,000 and a primary objective of 100 percent contact of all active duty personnel. Service members can donate with cash, check, allotment, Credit Card or through Marine On-Line.<br /> <br /> The optimal donation amount has been set to $10 a month while the minimum allotment per month is one dollar. There is not a minimum donation amount for cash, credit cards or checks.<br /> <br /> “One dollar is not a lot in the long run,” said Capt. William Dalton, NMCRS fund drive coordinator. “I mean look at what military members spend on energy drinks or coffee each week.”<br /> <br /> The main mission of the NMCRS is to act as a “first responder” to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to active and retired members of the Naval Services and their families when in need.<br /> <br /> Some may think that the NMCRS doesn’t realistically help anyone one. But in actuality, for the base alone and surrounding areas, there were over 800 cases where service members were helped in some way. Out of those helped, there was $466,723 in interest-free loans and grants disbursed, and $120,705 in interest-free, quick-assist loans. The Quantico NMCRS provided 59 layettes to parents with newborns and financial counseling for 875 Marines and sailors.<br /> <br /> Marines and sailors don’t have to feel pressured to donate money. Volunteers are also needed to assist during off-duty hours and at NMCRS activities.<br /> <br /> “The success of this year’s fund drive is going to be dependent on your personal commitment and involvement,” said Dalton. “Please ensure that your Marines and sailors are aware of assistance available to them through the NMCRS, and the importance of their generous contributions to continuing the NMCRS services throughout the year.”<br /> <br /> If donated forms are needed or for more information about the drive or NMCRS, call 703-784-2555 or 703-784-3355.