Faces of Success: David Blair
SunTrust Bank encourages clients to take a step toward financial confidence. United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free Tax Prep program helps qualified individuals and families move closer to financial stability. The program is the perfect volunteer opportunity for SunTrust employee David Blair.
“The program is a volunteer opportunity that falls within the financial services area, and I want to make a difference in someone’s financial future,” said Blair.
The VITA Free Tax Prep program provides free income tax preparation to individuals and families who earned less than $62,000 in 2015. Blair has served as an IRS-certified VITA volunteer for the last three years. He is thankful SunTrust places an emphasis on giving back to the communities it serves.
“SunTrust really encourages employees to seek out volunteer opportunities. The bank not only provides encouragement and the necessary time off for employees, but recognizes them for their participation.”
Blair is also complimentary of the services provided to clients through the VITA Free Tax Prep program.
“Providing free tax preparation services to members of our community saves them a significant amount of money on filing fees. These fees are prohibitive, and those who cannot afford them sometimes don’t bother to file returns. As a result, they forego refunds, including important tax credits they have earned.”
Over the past six years, more than 73,000 clients have filed their tax returns through the VITA Free Tax Prep program. Individuals and families have received more than $137 million in tax credits and refunds during this same time period. As he reflects on some of the people he’s helped, one client really stands out to Blair.
“One of my most memorable clients was a retired teacher; she was very grateful for the work I put in to prepare her tax return. After thanking me profusely, she proceeded to the exit, then stopped and turned around. Demanding everyone’s attention, she made a speech thanking all the volunteers at the site for the wonderful work we were doing in the community. It was very touching.”
The 2017 tax season is right around the corner, and Blair is asking others to join him as a VITA volunteer.
“The personal satisfaction and fulfillment derived from helping others, as well as the outpouring of gratitude that goes along with the job makes it all worthwhile. Remember, one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time.”
Anyone who is comfortable with computers, has a desire to learn an important financial skill and has a passion for giving back to their community can become a VITA volunteer. United Way is offering free training in December of 2016 and January of 2017. Consider making a difference in someone’s financial future by volunteering with the VITA Free Tax Prep program.
To volunteer with the VITA Free Tax Prep program, please visit: www.volunteerforvita.org