Even though she’d been a navy spouse for six years, Lindsay Allen had never lived on base until her family moved to Naval Base Sasebo, Japan this past summer. She’d also never heard of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, but she had worked in event planning, nonprofit fundraising, and management and brought those skills to her new position as director of NMCRS Sasebo on August 1.
“My husband had used the Society’s financial assistance as a young Sailor and had a good feeling about it,” Allen recalled. “And I liked that the organization seemed very well-run and organized and I was happy to be back in the nonprofit environment. I liked that it was a leadership position on the base where I can have different roles and be creative.”
Sasebo is one of the smaller Naval bases in Japan, and Allen—the only paid staff in the office—works part-time as director and is supported by more than a dozen dedicated volunteers. “I want to build relationships with the base leadership,” she said. “We have a few new commanding officers and command master chiefs and we want to get aboard the ships and visit other commands and make sure people know about our programs.”
One key component of the Sasebo office is its visiting nurse program. Our nearest military health clinic is in Yokosuka, and they serve a large population, so our Society visiting nurses are especially valued by our community.”
Many of the requests for financial assistance that Allen and her volunteers see are unique to living in overseas. “Sometimes clients need assistance because they live in town instead of on base where options are limited.” NMCRS Sasebo works with many young Sailors to help them develop realistic budgets to prevent future financial problems.
“We have a couple of large Navy ships homeported here and they deploy or get underway for training,” Allen said. “The majority of our active duty Sailors on base are assigned to a ship, so we have a lot of spouses at home with kids. We want to do everything we can to be a resource for those families whether it is through our classes, visiting nurse program, volunteering, or making sure they have a preauthorization on file.”
Allen has hit the ground running during her first few months with the Society, and looks forward to learning more. “I’m excited to have found the Society. I hope I can continue to grow with them as we move around the world. It’s a great opportunity.”
Welcome to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Lindsay!
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso