Dear Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Volunteers,
Since the inception of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in 1904, Volunteers have been the bedrock of our organization. Every day and in each instance, Volunteers provide compassionate support to the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation’s Naval Service, and for that steadfast devotion I say “thank you.”
You, the Volunteers, are careful, astute listeners who draw from your own life experiences to help others. Family emergencies, cross-country relocations, natural disasters, and even the everyday challenges of military life – you offer a reassuring smile, nonjudgmental counsel, and a genuine kindness that bring peace of mind, stability, and hope to those during their greatest moments of need.
You are military spouses, active duty members, retirees, parents, grandparents, students, and patriotic citizens. You are mentors, teachers, and leaders. You are administrative experts, financial management gurus, event planners, organizers, retail specialists, and artisans. You are problem solvers, crisis managers, and recruiters. You are, simply, the heart and soul of the Society.
In 2018, nearly 4,400 Society Volunteers gave 427,179 hours of their time. That equates to 10,679 work weeks and over 205 years of service! Collectively, you presented 740 Budget for Baby® workshops, distributed 3,663 hand-made baby blankets, served 122,290 Thrift Shop customers, and provided in excess of $43 million in financial assistance in the form of interest-free loans and grants to 51,085 clients around the globe.
During National Volunteer Week, we pause to recognize your creative spirit, tireless energy, and selfless dedication to America’s military heroes. I am humbled by your personal sacrifice and commitment, and I salute you for making a difference in the lives of America’s Sailors, Marines, and their families. It is my distinct honor to serve as your President.
With deepest gratitude,
Admiral Steve Abbot, U.S. Navy (Retired)
President and Chief Executive Officer