FYFB Connects had some taxing questions for volunteer John Roussos. When John's not volunteering, he teaches personal and corporate tax at the University of Toronto. Here's what he had to say about his work with FYFB.
What is your role as an FYFB volunteer?
I prepare tax returns for FYFB clients who would otherwise be burdened with the cost of paying another agency to do so. I've been volunteering at the FYFB for four tax seasons and counting.
How has volunteering with FYFB impacted you?
At the completion of a tax return, the smile, handshake and word of thanks from a client is all I need to know that I have had a positive impact on an individual's life. I have been fortunate enough to be blessed into a loving and generous family. Many people are not so fortunate. Volunteering is my way of giving back.
FYFB has also taught me not to be judgmental. Each individual has a story. I'm fortunate enough to know many life stories, which I would not otherwise know were it not for FYFB. I have the gift of gab, and many people feel comfortable talking to me and can tell me -- and have told me -- almost anything. This connection is what keeps me coming back to FYFB.
So far, 2007 has been my most fulfilling year. I can't wait to see what 2008 has to bring. In the end, I have realized that we are all alike, despite our ethnic differences, financial status or employment situation - we all just want to be happy.
What experiences from volunteering with FYFB will always stick with you?
FYFB has its slow days and its busy days. I especially like the busy days when a truckload of food is delivered because everybody is in a hustle and everything is chaotic but the volunteers make it work. FYFB thrives when it is busy and this energy is contagious.
I have had an opportunity to get to know several volunteers and they're all great.
Why should others consider volunteering with FYFB?
The "returns" that you will get - no pun intended - will far outweigh the cost of your time.
On behalf of everyone at FYFB, we want to thank you for your contributions to the organization.