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Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society 2012 Active Duty Fund Drive posterNEWPORT, R.I. -- The president of the Naval War College kicked off the start of the 2012 Active Duty Fund Drive for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), Newport, March 1, in a ceremony at Naval Station Newport.

The annual drive, March 1-31, will support financial, educational, and other programs provided for active duty and retired Sailors, Marines, and their eligible family members in time of need.

"My heart is behind the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society because I've seen what it does for our Sailors and our Marines," said Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, Naval War College president. 

Christenson, a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the fourth of six sons of a Navy Skyraider pilot and Navy nurse, recalled that his mother was a very active volunteer with the Relief Society.

"I remember that when she passed away she left a little box of her treasures that contained her wedding rink and a Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society hours volunteer pin," Christenson said.
NEWPORT, R.I. (March 1, 2012) Naval War College President Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, left, at the podium addresses attendees at the 2012 Active Duty Fund Drive for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), Newport, Kick-Off event, March 1, at Naval Station Newport.  The NMCRS Newport office assisted 103 clients with nearly $60,000 in interest-free loans and grants during 2011.  More than $92,000 was donated during the 2011 Fund Drive Newport.  (Photo by Greg Kohlweiss)
He said his wife, Theresa, is a volunteer with the Relief Society's Thrift Shop, Newport. "She has told me some stories about what some of our young Sailors are going through," he said

"Some stories were funny, some were heartbreaking," Christenson said.

"I've learned through these stories what the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society does," Christenson said. 

Christenson told a story about how the Relief Society provided financial assistance for emergency car repairs to a spouse with children while the husband was deployed.

The NMCRS Newport Office assisted 103 clients with nearly $60,000 in interest-free loans and grants during 2011. Other assistance ranged from basic living expenses such as food, clothing, housing and household setup, utilities and phone bills, to emergency transportation and car repairs, to commanding officer-verified pay problems, to funeral expenses and Quick Assist Loans. 

NEWPORT, R.I. (March 1, 2012) From left, Capt. Douglas Mikatarian, Commanding Officer, Naval Station Newport; Hospital Corpsman Chief Thomas M. Smalls, Naval War College (NWC); Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), Newport, Fund Drive co-chairperson; NMCRS, Newport, Director, Patricia Drislane; and NWC President Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, tend to a cake-cutting ceremony at the 2012 Annual Active Duty Fund Drive Kick-Off event, March 1, at Naval Station Newport. (Photo by Greg Kohlweiss)Christenson thanked the Society's thrift store volunteers for their work and the commands' key workers in uniform who will be getting the word out about the Fund Drive. 

According to statistics for 2011, released by Headquarters, NMCRS, more than 96,000 clients worldwide in need received more than $48 million in financial assistance.

More than $92,000 was donated during the 2011 fund drive in Newport.

"The Relief Society is a 'go to' resource for our Sailors and Marines who truly need help for urgent and personal emergencies," said Capt. Douglas Mikatarian, commanding officer, Naval Station Newport.

NMCRS, Newport, Director Patricia Drislane thanked her staff of volunteers for their work.

By Bob Krekorian, Naval Station Newport Public Affairs
Posted by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy