When seven-year-old Rachel Stankich first visited Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society headquarters—known to her simply as her mom’s office—she didn’t expect to like it. “I didn’t think it would be fun for a seven-year-old,” Rachel, now 18, recalled. “But all her co-workers were really nice, and I liked the environment.” In fact, Rachel liked it enough that she kept coming back, not just to visit, but to volunteer. Loanny Stankich, Rachel’s mom, has worked for the Society since 1997.
“At first the tasks they gave me were pretty simple,” Rachel said, “and I was happy to help out. I helped with volunteer projects, and with organizing. My mom brought me along whenever I was off from school or during the summer when they had projects they wanted me to do.” Rachel learned to file documents, make copies, and write thank you cards for Society supporters.
As a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club (another service-focused extracurricular activity), Rachel was required to complete community service hours, many of which she spent at Society headquarters. Rachel is also an accomplished athlete, competing on her school’s varsity volleyball and track and field teams.
“Volunteering with the Society got me interested in a career in business,” Rachel said. “My mom is in the accounting department, and I came to really like some of the tasks I saw her do. My freshman year of high school I took an accounting class to see if I would like it, and I did.”
Rachel graduated from Manassas Park High school in June and is now attending Virginia Tech this fall, where she plans to major in business and accounting. She still plans to volunteer with the Society in her spare time.
“I love knowing that any volunteer service I do will help servicemembers and veterans and their families,” Rachel said. “I hope I can encourage other kids to start volunteering, even when they’re young. Volunteering for the Society helped me understand what it’s like to devote my time to helping others and see what it’s like to work in an office.”
Thank you for your service to the Society, Rachel! We wish you the best in college.
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso