Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society holds annual kickoff for 2020 fund drive season

U.S. Marines and sailors from across Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler attend the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society’s annual kickoff event at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, March 2, 2020. The event was held to celebrate the beginning of the four-week-long fund drive to raise money for Marines, sailors, and eligible family members in need. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary Larsen)
U.S. Marines and sailors from across Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler attend the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society’s annual kickoff event at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, March 2, 2020. The event was held to celebrate the beginning of the four-week-long fund drive to raise money for Marines, sailors, and eligible family members in need. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary Larsen)

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society holds annual kickoff for 2020 fund drive season

by Lance Cpl. Zachary Larsen
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan - Marines and sailors from units across Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler gathered to show support the launching of the 2020 Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society collection season, March 2 at Mess Hall 488.

Members of the Camp Foster Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) office held the kickoff event to raise awareness for the four-week-long, annual fund drive.

Marines and sailors, commanders and junior enlisted attended the event which occurred during the Mess Hall's lunch period. U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William Bowers, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific attended the event and emphasized his vision for this year's fundraiser.

“Last year we raised $559,000 to support 789 Marines, sailors, and their families,” said Bowers. “Marine Corps Installations Pacific always meets [the] designated goal, and we hope to do the same this year.”

The kickoff was intended to raise awareness for the different NMCRS programs offered to Marines and sailors. After the kick off, commanders shared dessert with junior enlisted and NMCRS staff.

“Junior Marines and sailors need to be here to see how important NMCRS is to their commanders,” said Master Sgt. Daniel J. Melton, NMCRS representative for Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCIPAC. “If the junior enlisted see their senior leaders donate, they will see that they may just need to donate just a little bit, which is all we ask of them.”

The NMCRS takes all donations made during the month-long event and gives it back to the service members in need.

“If every Marine in Bravo company, Headquarters and Support Battalion just donated $1 a month, they would raise over $20,000,” said Melton.

The NMCRS helps service members of all branches, retired military and dependents. They are located on Camp Foster at building 5674, open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and on Camp Hansen at building 2339, open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. They can be contacted at DSN 645-7808 or 098-970-7808 from a cellphone.

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