Dear Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Volunteers,
Thank you for making an every day difference in the lives of America’s Sailors, Marines, and their families.
As you know well, volunteers have been the bedrock of the Society’s foundation since 1904 – and it’s your hard work and compassionate concern that underpins the success, relevance, and future of the Society. Your service and devotion to the men and women who wear the cloth of our nation is simply extraordinary. I’m proud of each and every one of you.
You are careful, astute listeners who draw from your own life experiences to help others deal with events both prosaic and profound: family emergencies, cross-country relocations, natural disasters – and sometimes just the everyday challenges of military life. Every hour of every day, your smiles, nonjudgmental counsel, and caring benevolence bring peace of mind, stability, and hope. Your enthusiastic service is the shining hallmark of Society casework, and Volunteers shall ever be at the very heart and soul of our organization.
You are military spouses, stay-at-home moms, parents, grandparents, active duty members, retirees, students, and patriotic citizens. You are leaders, teachers, mentors, recruiters, organizers, event planners, administrative experts, financial management gurus, retail specialists, artisans, crafters, problem solvers, and crisis managers. You are simply remarkable – you do it all!
In 2015, more than 4,000 Society volunteers gave nearly 489,000 hours of their time. That equates to 12,217 work weeks and over 235 years of service! And collectively, you presented 960 Budget-for-Baby workshops, gave out 6,373 hand-made baby blankets, served 107,600 thrift shop customers, and provided over $45.8 million in financial assistance to more than 57,800 clients around the globe.
During National Volunteer Week, I gratefully recognize your creative spirit, tireless energy, and selfless dedication to America’s military heroes and their families. But every week of every year, I’m continuously mindful of your personal sacrifice and commitment. Thank you for your loyalty and hard work. It’s my distinct honor to serve as your President.
With Deepest Gratitude,
Admiral Steve Abbot, U.S. Navy (Retired)
President and Chief Executive Officer