JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
The Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC, kicked off its annual Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, or NMCRS, active duty fund drive at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston March 1.
The annual fund drives serve as an opportunity to increase Navy and Marine Corps personnel awareness regarding the availability of financial assistance and other support services administered by the NMCRS, in addition to creating an avenue to obtain funds essential for the NMCRS to continue to provide assistance to service members.
Since 1904, the NMCRS has acted as a resource for active duty service members and their families. NMCRS is a nonprofit organization which offers services like interest-free grants, budget counseling, financial education assistance, and financial assistance for food, shelter and transportation for natural disaster recovery.
Chief Petty Officer Mark Francesco, an instructor with the Biomedical Technician program at the Medical Education and Training Campus, or METC, is serving as one of NMTSC’s 2019 NMCRS active-duty fund drive coordinators.
“As a leader, taking care of your Sailors and their families is one of the highest priorities,” Francesco said. “In order to do that, you must know your resources and educate your personnel on what resources they have available when and if the need for them, arises.”
NMTSC has 17 leads, or representatives, who assist in ensuring the command reaches its set goal and contributes to the achievement of the NMCRS’s 2019 financial goal of $12.5 million.
“So far, we are a little over $1.6 million, but the true goal lies in the contact and education of the Sailors,” Francesco said. “Our one and only goal for NMTSC is 100 percent meaningful contact and education on the NMCRS.”
NMCRS representatives conduct briefs for NMTSC staff members and students of the Hospital Corpsman Basic program and “C” school students at the METC. These designated staff members are responsible for ensuring contact with each member of the command, facilitating an opportunity for service members to make a voluntary donation.
“NMTSC is the quarterdeck of the Hospital Corps, producing Sailors who will be, or already are, part of the largest rate in the Navy,” Francesco said. “Most of these Sailors are direct accessions from Recruit Training Command and have little exposure or knowledge of the NMCRS, so it’s important that we use this fund drive and our platform as instructors, to educate them on this resource.”
The NMCRS provides interest-free quick-assist loans to Sailors who may need to travel home in the event of emergencies.
“I had a Sailor who unexpectedly lost their mother,” Francesco said. “They couldn’t afford to get home in such short notice to say their goodbyes. If it weren’t for the NMCRS, they wouldn’t have been able to make it home in time for the services, but once again, the NMCRS stepped up and provided support to those in need.”
The drive continues until April 15. Service members can donate on the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society website or speak to their local NMCRS representatives.