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JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. -- The 2012 Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society campaign is accepting donations through the end of April.

A private, non-profit charitable organization sponsored by the Department of the Navy, the NMCRS was founded in 1904. It operates nearly 250 offices at Navy and Marine Corps installations around the world on land and at sea.

The mission of the organization is to provide financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the United States Naval Services as well as eligible family members and survivors, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps. Donations go toward funding and administering these programs.

"We assist active duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their families and survivors with interest-free loans or grants. We also provide budget counseling and have a great visiting nurse program, thrift shops, budgeting for baby workshops and other education programs," said Melodie Weddle, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Washington Navy Yard Office. "We are also a volunteer-based organization with about 200 employees and 3,600 volunteers worldwide."

As always, Weddle said, the goal is to make 100-percent contact with Sailors and Marines in order to afford them the opportunity to participate, but there is no set monetary goal.

"This is an organization whose sole mission is to help Sailors and Marines," Weddle said. "We really are in the business of taking care of our own, and the NMCRS has been doing it for more than a century. Since we are a private, non-profit, these donations are essential to our being able to provide both financial and non-financial services."

The organization owes much of its success to the personal involvement of commanders as well as the Marines and Sailors who contribute. Civilians may also make donations.

"If people are unable to give monetarily, they may donate their time and talents to the Society to help Sailors and Marines," Weddle said. "There are numerous volunteer opportunities within the Society, and we even offset the cost of transportation and childcare."

The NMCRS was incorporated in the District of Columbia, and is headquartered in Arlington, Va. It is managed by a board of directors whose members are active duty, retired, or spouses of Naval service members.

For more information or to donate, call 202-433-3364 or log on to Active-duty members should contact their command's key NMCRS representative or the National Capital Region representative.