“There’s really a need to help people.”
Throughout her life, Esther always did her own taxes. When she was first approached about volunteering for United Way’s Free Tax Preparation initiative, she didn’t think much of it. Because Esther had always done her own taxes, was so great with numbers, and had some spare time on her hands, her husband and friends convinced her to reconsider.
Sure enough, Esther was inspired to get involved once she saw the need in her community and learned how volunteering as a tax preparer could help. “I feel like I’m doing something to help someone who could really use it,” Esther said.
For Esther, the most rewarding experience of being a volunteer tax preparer is knowing she has helped people save money they can utilize. “This way they’ll have the money for things they need. When I see what their income is, it makes me wonder how they even survive.”
Esther has been helping families in Fayette County save money for 16 years. She encourages even not-so-tech-savvy community members to get involved. “I still do the taxes on paper. I’m the old-fashioned one,” she said.
Volunteering is not only an enjoyable experience for Esther, but a flexible one as well. Esther will be doing taxes this year at United Way’s Uniontown site two days a week, and one day a week at the Masontown Library tax extension by appointment only.
“You don’t have to give a ton of time to get involved,” Esther said. ”However much time you can give is appreciated.”
To learn more about United Way’s Free Tax Prep program, visit swpafreetaxes.org.