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Volunteer opportunities surpassed by Yuma Marines

By Lance Cpl. Jakob Schulz | | November 10, 2010

The stations Single Marine Program’s shift last year emphasizing community service and volunteer work exceeded expectations for fiscal year 2010’s total volunteer hours.

Yuma Marines accumulated approximately 2,290 volunteer hours in FY-10, more than five times the approximately 450 hours logged in FY-09.

“Volunteering is way up,” said Jude Crouch, SMP coordinator. “It’s not really a surprise given the huge increase in the amount of Marines we see at our events.”

The SMP sees an average of 12 Marines at each volunteering opportunity.

“I see my Marines volunteering more and more,” said Sgt. David Myhers, Marine Aviations Logistics Squadron 13 ordnance noncommissioned officer in charge. “I really like to see it, my Marines going out and really serving the community.”

Overall, MALS-13 led the station in volunteer hours, totaling approximately 700 in FY-10. Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron came in second with 475 approximate hours, and Marine Air Control Squadron 1’s total tally came in third with just more than 400.

The SMP coordinates two to three volunteer opportunities weekly in the local community for Marines to support.

They have supported a variety of local organizations including the Humane Society of Yuma, Yuma Food Bank, local elementary schools and Crossroads Mission, which assists homeless and displaced individuals and families.

“That puts us out in the community and shows the positive impact we make,” said Crouch. “I’m really proud of the progress the Marines from the station as well as Marines from others have made.”

Visiting squadrons and Marines contributed approximately 75 hours of volunteer time throughout FY-10.

Despite impressively superseding their expectations for this year, SMP leadership has already set even higher goals for FY-11.

“I want us to break 3,000 hours,” said Crouch. “I know we can do it with the amount of participation and heart the Marines have shown.”

For a schedule of upcoming SMP events and volunteer opportunities, contact Crouch at 928-269-6556, or a unit SMP representative.

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