By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dakota Rayburn

SOUTH CHINA SEA – Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) have the chance to participate in an annual fund drive for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) during a two-month period beginning March 1.
NMCRS is a non-profit organization that provides Sailors and Marines with interest free loans funded by donations from other Sailors and Marines.
The loans allow a service member to deal with unexpected expenses. This can include flights for emergency leave, home and car repairs or basic living assistance. The organization gives loans on a case-by-case basis, considering multiple factors such as financial stability, spending, planning and the ability of the service member to pay back the loan.
“It’s not for profit, they don’t make any money and all their employees are volunteers,” said Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Tim Logan, an NMCRS representative, from Riverside, Calif.

According to Logan, NMCRS representatives aboard Stennis hope to raise $70,000 to better support the crew and their families this year. In 2015, NMCRS provided $198,815 in relief funds to Stennis Sailors and donations to NMCRS totaled $68,409. For the entire Naval Base Kitsap Region, service members received $1,109,189 and donated $285,150.
“You don’t have to have an emergency,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Theo Penfold, the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department NMCRS representative, from Boise, Idaho. “If you’re low on funds that month for some reason and you need food, they can give you a loan.”
Penfold said if more people had a better understanding of NMCRS they would be more willing to donate. He has seen the program help people in the past.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t know that everything they give goes directly back to Sailors,” said Penfold. “They don’t realize how many Sailors actually use this because they don’t always see it.”

Logan stressed the necessity of donations to continue helping Sailors and Marines in the future.
“The big takeaway is you never know when you may need help,” said Logan. “It is nice to be able to provide someone else with help, especially when they need it.”
Stennis’ two points of contact are Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Kory Tran and Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic Tim Logan and every department has a representative. Sailors can work with Tran or Logan directly and they take cash or the Navy Cash Card. Sailors can also elect to have a portion of their pay deducted and donated to NMCRS. The NMCRS’ website is available at http://www.nmcrs.org for more information and donation options.

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

For more news on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) visit http://navy.mil/local/cvn74/ or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

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