Nicole Price’s introduction to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society was at the NMCRS thrift shop in Newport, Rhode Island. Price’s husband was a newly commissioned Naval officer and needed a few items to complete his uniform requirements. The couple was delighted to learn about the low-cost uniforms in great condition available for sale. “Fast forward a couple years and five children later,” Price recalled, “when everyone was in school or preschool, I visited NMCRS Gulfport to volunteer and became the thrift store lead.”

When the family moved to Naples, Italy, Price’s experience as a Society volunteer helped her land a job with the USO. “But when we came back to the States, to Ventura, California, I was able to return to my first love—which was the Society—and I was hired as a relief services assistant.” Most recently, the family PCS’d to Quantico—their 13th move in 21 years—where Price was hired as director of NMCRS’s office there.

Price and her husband married in college, and became a military family two years later when her husband joined the Navy. Price had grown up hearing stories about the military, so she felt like she knew what she was getting into. “My mom is one of 10, and none of her siblings were in the military, but my Grandma and all her siblings served during and after World War II. Three were in the nurse corps, some served as WAVES, and two uncles were in the Navy. I enjoyed hearing those stories and learning about the sense of community. The military really becomes your family.”

“Because we were married so young, our own personal finances needed close attention,” Price explained. “So I love that at the Society we assist our clients with financial emergencies but at the same time we’re providing them with education to help them long term. We’re not just giving them a fish, we’re teaching them how to fish.”

As a long-time volunteer and employee of the Society, Price has done a lot of casework. “Cases that always touch me are military families that have been trying to do positive things, and frankly life happens,” she said. “They have a car accident and have to pay a deductible, and then something else happens, or after years of not seeing a dentist they have a massive dental bill. Those real-life situations touch me, because they could happen to anyone.”

Price is excited about the new challenge of serving as a director. “I’ve seen how a director can affect the culture of an office. Being a director is the perfect crossroads of providing financial assistance to clients; building, maintaining, and training your volunteer corps, and liaising with commands. All of those roles and jobs are the perfect fit for me.”

One opportunity Price looks forward to is figuring out how to reach the diverse and transient population at Quantico. “We have Marines here for two- or four-week trainings, six-month Basic School, nine-month Expeditionary Warfare School, other students, and permanent staff. Capturing the attention of and being relevant to all those folks is our challenge and growth potential. Even if they don’t need us now, planting the seeds with active duty service members and their spouses is important. If a new leader learns about NMCRS here and goes on to another station and can assist a Marine or Sailor with a problem, that’s a win.”

Welcome to the Society, Nicole!

 

By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso

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