Volunteer of the Week: Robert Burgess, of Stevensville

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Robert Burgess, of Stevensville, is a volunteer for the United Way of Southwest Michigan’s VITA program

How long have you worked with VITA?

This is my 13th year volunteering.

Robert Burgess

What is your role with VITA?

My first two years, I was a volunteer tax preparer, and that was my sole role at the time. My third year. I became the volunteer coordinator for the program and the site coordinator.

Why did you first volunteer with VITA?

I’m a retired CPA, and that was my whole career. I retired as the chief financial officer with Lakeshore Public Schools.

Why do you continue volunteering with VITA?

For a wide variety of people, I work with, the common denominator is they don’t have a lot of money. It’s a joy to me and pleasure to me to see returning tax clients every year, to catch up on how the year went, how their family is, and at the same time assisting them with their taxes.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer work?

You meet a lot of nice people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. The people part is what I enjoy the most.

Why is it important for people with extra time and resources to volunteer?

There’s a philosophical and religious reason why people should volunteer. “Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me,” is one of the reasons I enjoy helping people. There are many folks less fortunate, and it’s a privilege to help.