When Felix Navarro left the Marine Corps after performing administrative duties for six years, he shifted smoothly into working as a loan administrator for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in the Pearl Harbor office. “I wanted to stay connected to the military community, and my wife is from Hawaii so I wanted to stay here,” Felix explained. “And I knew all the military lingo and the rank structure, so it was easy for me to come right into the job.” Eventually, the Society shifted its loan administration duties to headquarters, and Felix transitioned into a broader support role at NMCRS Pearl Harbor as the Relief Services Assistant, which he’s enjoyed doing for 25 years now.
“I do a lot more casework than I used to,” he said. “When I started, we had more paid employees. Now, everyone pitches in. Our office has 3 employees, and many volunteers. So I do a little of everything—from recording and tracking volunteer hours, seeing clients and doing casework, ordering materials, to working with our emergency service offices. I try to help the office in any way I can.”
Felix especially likes helping with the Active Duty Fund Drive. “We’re really engaged in helping the active duty community conduct the fund drive. We’re out there making sure everyone knows what we do so they will pitch in to help out the Society.” NMCRS Pearl Harbor is so dedicated to the active duty fund drive that Felix and his Director, Paul Belanger, were part of a team, which included NMCRS staff from HQ and other offices, that collaborated to create a software program that can be used by every NMCRS office worldwide to track active duty fund drive donations. Previously, each office maintained its own spreadsheet for tracking donations. “It’s out there and it’s working better than I imagined it would,” he said.
As a long-time employee in the same office, Felix has seen many volunteers come, grow, and move on. “There were volunteers who started out timid and shy and by the time they left they were ready to go out and save the world,” Felix said. “I see a world of difference in their self-confidence because of their volunteer experience with the Society. Later, they come back and say they put their volunteer experience with the Society on their resume and got hired because of it.”
Felix believes the continuity at NMCRS Pearl Harbor benefits their military community, and the staff and volunteers always try to come up with fresh ideas to keep people engaged. “We say our office is unique because we have the “aloha” spirit. This is a special place and we try to make it fun for everyone.”
Congratulations, Felix, on 25 years with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Thank you for your dedication!
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso