USO Manager of Volunteer Operations Allison Nalley introduces the USO Volunteers of the Quarter for Fall 2017.
Army Spc. Naisha Robinson | Pat Tillman Memorial USO, Bagram, Afghanistan | Southwest Asia Region
Naisha Robinson has an infectious smile and a personality that makes you want to spend more time with her. At Pat Tillman Memorial USO in Afghanistan, where she has volunteered nearly 100 hours in three short months, you can find Robinson helping visitors and supporting the center’s programs and events. As a fellow service member, Robinson has deep respect for the visitors of the center and interacts with everyone with a quiet humility that people find both accepting and warm.
Aside from her many accolades, Robinson is an accomplished bubble tea maker, a refreshing drink created with tapioca balls that give it the distinct look of having bubbles. As the resident bubble tea expert, Robinson made 40 bubble teas in one night all while directing the other volunteers in which ingredients to add and which flavor combinations taste the best. She helped make the event a huge success and the staff can’t wait for the next one.
Robinson, whose nomination for Volunteer of the Quarter was requested by a fellow volunteer, inspires others who donate their time and talents to the USO. “If ever anyone embraced the spirit for humanity, believed in doing the right thing by people—no matter who they are, without recognition, without payback, and without a simple thank-you—Naisha is the poster child for that remarkable person and she is remarkable!” duty manager Monica Pearson said.
Robinson is described as being focused, devoted, compassionate, trusting and dependable. These attributes she brings every time she volunteers at the USO support the mission, her fellow service members and the community at large. Pat Tillman Memorial USO is lucky to have a volunteer as outstanding as Naisha Robinson.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Robert Morley III | Spangdahlem USO, Germany | Europe Region
Technical Sergeant Robert Morley III is an advocate for Spangdahlem USO in Germany. From the beginning of his volunteer service, Morley brought supplies down to the PAX terminal for transient service members and their families. During a time when the USO was trying to boost their presence in the terminal, Morley stepped up and volunteered for multiple shifts a week to support their goals.
When Morley is not at the PAX terminal, in the center or helping at special events, he is spreading the word about the USO. When volunteer numbers were low in the center, Morley took it upon himself to reach out to his fellow airmen and regular USO visitors to encourage them to volunteer. Morley understands the importance of the USO community and the positive impact that volunteering can have on individuals.
“Rob is a constant presence in the USO. [Visitors] know his name, know that he’ll greet them with a smile and even ask about his whereabouts when he’s not around,” Center Director Kassia Reedy said. “It’s been great to see him develop relationships with the people in and out of the center, really building on the USO community concept. Since he has volunteered in every area in the center, his work has benefited service members and families at the terminal, at the center and in the community.”
Morley sets a great example for his fellow service members and volunteers. He is a shining example of what a USO volunteer can do with persistence, dedication, and an appreciation for their community. After a recent trip home, before he had even landed back in Germany, Morley had already signed up for additional shifts. We can’t wait to see what Morley does next at USO Spangdahlem.
Kirsten Hackett | USO Sasebo, Japan | Pacific Region
Kirsten Hackett is a superstar volunteer at USO Sasebo in Japan. She exudes enthusiasm and makes everyone who walks in the door feel like family. Fellow volunteers look up to her as she has natural confidence and leadership qualities that many admire.
Hackett is especially talented at planning and executing programs for the USO. She created a successful program called Kids Craft that runs concurrently with Read to Connect. Every month, Kirsten comes up with new crafts that keep the children entertained and always excited for the next event. When she’s not creating new programs, she’s working to revamp current programs and brings fresh perspective and a new energy to Sasebo’s existing schedule. The staff can always count on her to adapt quickly to changes and work hard to ensure every program in a success. Hackett helps the staff with the volunteer management system and provides support with scheduling, approving hours and maintaining the center calendar.
“Kristen has become an invaluable member of the USO Sasebo team,” said Raquel Rock, center operations specialist. “Kirsten is one of the hardest working, reliable, innovative, and vital volunteers we have at USO Sasebo. No job is ever too small or too big for her.”
The staff at USO Sasebo knows that running the center would not be easy without volunteers like Hackett. Her infectious energy, great program ideas and endless dedication make USO Sasebo a great center for our nation’s service members and their families.
Sindy Biederman | USO Bay Area | U.S. Region
In the seven months that Sindy Biederman has volunteered with USO Bay Area in San Francisco, she has made a positive impact on service members and their families. She offers programmatic support to USO Bay Area and can be described as humble, passionate, tenacious and inspirational. Biederman offers more than just programmatic work as a volunteer – she utilizes her network and her can-do attitude to support the USO in many service areas.
She takes any opportunity to help the USO strengthen its programs. During the annual Spring Fling and Easter celebration, Biederman secured a donation of 3,000 individual bags of jelly beans from Jelly Belly. Her efforts created a partnership with Jelly Belly, who gave again during Halloween. It also helped to ensure that the event was a success and that military children had a great time. Biederman’s initiative has also helped the USO deliver much-needed hygiene products to service members supporting the recent California wildfires. She recognized the needs of those going to the front lines of a natural disaster and helped ensure that 300 extra people would receive the toiletries they needed.
“Sindy consistently does more than what is expected. She is humble, passionate and puts the needs of service members first.” said Aubree Downs, center operations supervisor. “Sindy sets the bar high for both staff and volunteers to follow. Sindy is one of those volunteers that you wished you had 20 more just like her. Every USO center and region needs at least one Sindy Biederman by their side.”
Biederman works tirelessly for the USO and always puts the needs of service members first. We know that her next seven months will be just as powerful as her past seven months with the USO.
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.