MISAWA, Japan (NNS) -- The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) honored Navy Misawa volunteers during an awards luncheon at the Naval Air Facility, Misawa Jan. 18.
Each NMCRS awardee served as a case worker and volunteered more than 50 hours of their time last year to help Sailors and Marines.
"The volunteers run the program," said William Costello, NMCRS Yokosuka assistant director. "Without them, we wouldn't be able to properly assist the service members because they are involved as soon as the need arises."
Case workers assist in assessing service members needs, usually in a crisis situation. They identify the immediate requirements of the client, and determine the appropriate resources necessary to help meet the need.
NMCRS only has a few full-time employees within its organization; therefore the need for volunteers is imperative. Most of the volunteers on board Misawa Air Base are service members, with a few civilians as well.
"We are fortunate to have such caring and qualified volunteers here in Misawa," said Capt. Chris Rodeman, commanding officer of Naval Air Facility Misawa. "The program is not effective without people who truly care about helping others."
One of those volunteers is Damage Controlman 1st Class Joseph Dubois from NAF Misawa's Emergency Management Department.
"Back when I was a young Sailor, I got plenty of help from the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society," said Dubois. "I just wanted to do something to give right back to them so that's why I volunteer.
"It feels great to be recognized. However, we don't do it for the reward; we do it just to help."
According to the official NMCRS website, the society was founded in 1904, and is a private, non-profit charitable organization. It is sponsored by the Department of the Navy and operates nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.
Its mission is to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the naval services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs.