It was ten years ago when Cendra Cramp signed on as our Director of Marketing and External Communications.
From that day on, what motivates her has remained the same – helping. “I guess it’s just my personality,” she says with a laugh. “I get a lot of personal satisfaction from helping.”
That’s what inspired her to explore nonprofit work. Before NMCRS, Cendra worked with the Department of the Navy in marketing and public affairs.
She did that for more than a decade, and it’s how she met her husband, who was active duty Navy at the time. After they married, Cendra’s husband was transferred to Washington D.C. His new job involved extensive travel and spouses were encouraged to travel along.
“I was happy to have that opportunity,” Cendra says. “We traveled to Australia, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, virtually all of the NATO countries. It was a fantastic experience.”
When that assignment was ending, it was time for Cendra to think about what to do next. She saw a job opening that seemed promising. “So right before we left for Istanbul,” she says, “I sent my resume in. Then when we got back a few weeks later, I had a phone message for an interview.”
Cendra interviewed with the Society, and loved it immediately. “I didn’t even think about other nonprofits,” she says. “It was a good fit from the start.”
And it has continued to be. “Getting our message out to people is my top priority,” Cendra says. “That includes everything from social media to the website to the Active Duty Fund Drive and the Retiree Fund Drive. We’re always sharing stories about the work we do.”
Cendra especially values the chance to meet Sailors and Marines who were helped by the Society. There’s one service member in particular. “She was active duty,” Cendra says, “and she’d knitted some items to donate to a silent auction I was at to benefit the Society.”
Cendra struck up a conversation with her. “She told me the items she’d knitted were works of love,” Cendra says. She’d lost most of her belongings after a house fire, and didn’t realize her insurance was inadequate. She came to the Society for help.
“She told me that if it weren’t for the Society she didn’t know what she would have done,” Cendra says, “especially since she has children.”
Knitting the items for the auction was a way for her to return the kindness she received from the Society. “That was really inspiring,” Cendra says, “to meet her and to know that we made a real difference in her life.”
Taking care of our own – that’s vital for everyone who serves. “This is the essence of the Society,” Cendra says. “We’re on their bases. We’re in their communities. Taking care of our own is what we do.”
This hits home for Cendra because she believes most people don’t realize the sacrifices that Sea Service members and their families make for our country. Helping them when they need us – that’s why the Society is here.
“I chose the Society,” Cendra says, “because this is how to be there for Sailors, Marines, and their families when they’re hurting. This is how to make the biggest difference for them. And it’s what inspires me.”
Like Cendra, you’re part of our mission to serve the ones who serve our nation. And just as she is, you can be proud of the work we do together.