Working at a gym, being a realtor assistant and an orthodontic assistant, and earning a bachelor’s degree in nutrition have made Megan Stolle well prepared for the role of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society volunteer. Stolle’s creativity, flexibility, and thoughtfulness have enabled her to support the Society in many capacities over the past seven years.
Stolle began volunteering at NMCRS Jacksonville when her husband, Lieutenant Jared Stolle, was in pilot training. At that time she created an online appointment booking system for the office, which is a much more efficient way for volunteers to schedule appointments for clients.
After Lieutenant Stolle earned his wings, the couple moved to Washington, where Megan volunteered briefly with NMCRS Whidbey Island before finding a full-time job and having a baby. Then, when the family returned to Florida in 2012, Megan returned to NMCRS Jacksonville, volunteering first as a client services assistant and then as a caseworker. Now, she helps train other caseworkers and publishes the NMCRS Jacksonville office newsletter. For a while she also wrote a financial advice column for the NAS Jacksonville newspaper.
What started out for Stolle as simply an activity to engage her while she didn’t have a job has become a vocation. “Helping service members has become a passion for me. I’m lucky to be able to do the right thing for someone who has just fallen on hard times. The Society is such a great organization. We see retirees, single sailors, and families who have gotten into a financial struggle. With the Society’s help, they can get out of that situation. The can grow – personally and financially. Even if I have to deny financial assistance to a service member, I try to give them some information and advice that can help.”
The most common financial situation Stolle encounters is simply a lack of financial knowledge. “So many service members who come to our office have only seen how their parents handled finances,” she explained. “They’re fresh out of school or boot camp. They haven’t lived on their own or figured out how money and paychecks work. It’s common for us to see service members renting furniture, running up credit card debt and living beyond their means because that’s what their parents did. They just don’t know about saving and working toward financial goals.”
Even when the issues are complicated or the client has a lot of financial problems to sort out, Society volunteers help get them started on a path to financial self-sufficiency. “When there are numerous issues to figure out, we look at what the most pressing need is to determine what we can do today to help,” said Stolle.
While volunteering as a Society caseworker, Stolle has earned her financial counselor accreditation through the Accredited Financial Counselor Fellowship, sponsored by the National Military Family Association. This credential qualifies her to work as a financial counselor, but she has chosen to continue volunteering for the Society. And, as the mom of a three-and-a-half-year-old and another baby due later this year, she appreciates the flexibility of being a volunteer.
“As a volunteer, I’m able to help somebody, and that’s better than a paycheck. I love the Navy- Marine Corps Relief Society.”
Think Megan’s great? We do, too! Your gifts for NMCRS support the dedication and caring she brings to her work as one of our terrific volunteers.