WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The National Capital Region's Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) annual fund drive kicked off at the Pentagon auditorium March 4.

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Since 1904 the society's mission has been to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to U.S. Navy and Marine Corps members, eligible family members, and survivors when in need.

Today, many Sailors and Marines have been personally impacted by the NMCRS.

Naval District Washington Commandant Rear Adm. Markham K. Rich shared a personal story about meeting a 104-year-old volunteer who touched his heart. Rich said he believes the spirit of the volunteers is what makes NMCRS so special.

"She had volunteered in three separate locations: Pearl Harbor, Hampton Roads and San Diego longer than I had been in the Navy," Rich said. "At this point in her life, her only concern was that she needed cataract surgery to continue knitting blankets for the new parent support classes. She really typifies the spirit that makes the society so great."

In 2013, NMCRS assisted active-duty service members, Reservists, dependents and widows of fallen Sailors and Marines with nearly $49 million of interest-free loans and grants.

NMCRS offers a wide range of services, including financial counseling, thrift shops, parenting classes and visiting nurse services.

"We have all been personally impacted by NMCRS," said Marine Corps Col. Christopher J. Mahoney, executive officer to the deputy commandant for programs and resources.

Mahoney shared a story of a Marine who worked for him a few years ago. The Marine became seriously ill while overseas. With the help of NMCRS, his wife and three children traveled from two separate regions to be at his side after he was medically evacuated back to the U.S.

"The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society was able to locate, close in resources and destroyed the problem. That's what Navy-Marine Corps relief does," Mahoney said.

The NMCRS fund drive for the National Captial Region is scheduled to run through April 11. The theme for this year's fund drive is "Be Their Safety Net!" with a goal of educating every Sailor and Marine about the services provided by NMCRS.

For more information on the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and or to learn how to donate, visit www.nmcrsfunddrive.org.

News Source : WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The National Capital Region's Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) annual fund drive kicked off at the Pentagon auditorium March 4.

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