Volunteer of the Week: Sharon Dodson, of Elkhart, Indiana
Sharon Dodson, of Elkhart, Indiana, is a volunteer with the Cass County Council on Aging’s Tax-Aide Team, which helps area senior citizens prepare their tax returns. From Feb. 4 until April 11 the team will be working Monday through Wednesday at the COA’s Lowe Center in Cassopolis and on Thursdays at Front Street Crossing in Dowagiac. The COA is currently scheduling appointments at (269) 445-8110.
What do you do as a Tax-Aide Team member?
I’m one of the volunteer tax preparers here at the Council on Aging. We like to support Cass County seniors by doing free, simple tax returns. It’s quite the commitment. I go through the full certification of training. It’s many hours of training, and we are here in Cass three days a week and in Dowagiac once a week. Plus, we have a lot of homework to do.
How long have you been doing it?
What do you like about volunteering as a Tax-Aide?
This is a very rewarding program. I like the reward I get from happy clients. I’ve gotten to meet so many wonderful people from the Greatest Generation. The Greatest Generation clients are always on time and just have good stories. You’d be surprised by how rewarding it is to have a happy client at the end of the hour.
Why do you think volunteering is important?
It’s all about an attitude of giving. Everyone on the [Tax-Aide] team has an attitude of giving. We are giving our time and talent.
How would you encourage others to volunteer?
I would start with the COA. The COA has many opportunities to give back. They have Meals on Wheels. They have classes and so many wonderful programs, many of which are led by volunteers. It’s about an attitude of gratitude.