Ariva staff and clients benefit from the dedication and expertise of 200 volunteers every year in our programs. We salute some of our wonderful volunteer leaders.
Trevor, also known as “Team Leader Extraordinaire”, has volunteered with Ariva’s South Bronx site since 2006 and has also donated his time at Ariva’s mobile tax site. Trevor enjoys seeing new volunteers feel comfortable preparing returns and reuniting with veteran volunteers. He goes out of his way to make volunteers feel comfortable and is known for his Saturday “wake up” breakfasts. When he’s not working in advertising, Trevor travels from Kew Gardens, Queens to Ariva’s South Bronx tax site. He is known to be the first volunteer there on Saturday mornings and the last one to leave.
Trevor is patient with clients, always does his best to help them, and especially looks forward to seeing returning clients. Trevor volunteers with Ariva year after year to experience clients’ excitement when they’re told how much they’ll get back in refunds.
Trevor suggests others consider volunteering with Ariva because of the collaboration between the knowledgeable and supportive Ariva staff and volunteers. He notes the staffs’ desire to help as many people as possible is “positively infectious”.
The collaboration between site managers and volunteers is unparalleled.”
Robin Burton D’souza
A busy software specialist from lower Manhattan, Robin has used his knowledge about personal finance to benefit Ariva’s clients at the 167th Street site since 2006. He exhibits patience and understanding with clients and always volunteers to handle more advanced tax situations. Ariva Site Managers note this is especially helpful because Robin’s expertise and generosity allows Ariva to serve more clients expeditiously.
Robin keep coming back to serve Ariva’s low-wealth tax clients for many reasons. First and foremost, he enjoys the direct interaction with the clients and positively impacting their lives. Robin loves to see the looks on clients’ faces when they realize they are getting refunds. He especially recalls a family of four that received a refund of more than $6,000 – a sizeable portion of their annual income. The mother was so excited when thinking about how that could help her family.
Robin also notes the Ariva staff and volunteers always have a great time, even during the busy weeks when they serve more than a hundred clients a day. Robin says he also appreciates learning new skills and enjoys the perks – he can now do his own taxes instead of paying someone else to prepare them.
It was quite thrilling to be able to help them out.”
—Robin Burton D’souza
Imogen, a Bronx resident who works in brokerage operations, has volunteered at Ariva tax sites since 2007 and also recently volunteered with Ariva’s financial education program. Ariva Site Managers note she is very knowledgeable about taxes, reliable and treats clients with respect and warmth. A hard worker, she is always on time and assists other volunteers with any questions they have.
Imogen began volunteering after she had an awful experience with a commercial tax preparer and enjoys when express their appreciation for the services at Ariva. Several share stories of their negative experiences with paid services, and are very thankful that Ariva is there to help. She adds clients are sometimes astonished that so many volunteers take the time to help them.
Volunteering with Ariva is an awesome way to give back to the community and can improve a person’s sense of purpose.”
A resident of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with professional experience in the government sector, Yvonne has volunteered with Ariva since 2006 at the South Bronx and Brooklyn sites. Yvonne’s expertise and dedication was in helping Ariva’s Brooklyn-based tax site achieve success. She excels at checking tax returns for quality and explaining the tax process to clients in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
Yvonne has had many rewarding experiences with Ariva’s free tax program. She especially recalls working on a tax return for a young college student that yielded a refund of over $2,000 because of a new education tax credit.
Yvonne encourages others to volunteer with the tax program so they can help fellow New Yorkers in meaningful ways, even if they have a busy schedule. She said volunteers will receive all the training, tools and support they need to maximize he positive impact on low-income New Yorkers.
Ariva provides quality services to the communities they serve and appreciates the work that volunteers do.”
Jim Wong is a dedicated volunteer team leader at Ariva’s South Bronx free tax preparation site. Jim demonstrates flexibility by helping with whatever is needed and has demonstrated his skills in reviewing returns for accuracy. Jim actively encourages clients to take advantage of other asset-building opportunities Ariva offers, such as SaveUSA accounts and public benefits.
Ariva staff note Jim’s engagement and enthusiasm in welcoming and orienting volunteers. He goes out of his way to make others feel comfortable and puts others first. He’s the first volunteer here on the Thursday volunteer shift and the last one to leave at the end of a long day of free tax preparation. Jim is also well known for his generosity and making sure his volunteers eat well!
Always the altruist, Jim enjoys giving back to the community and feeling good about the people he helps. Jim thinks any volunteer will have an enjoyable and rewarding experience with the clients of Ariva.
I have fond memories of the entire volunteer experience at Ariva for the past six years.”
Ariva works closely with New York Cares to schedule, train and manage the scores of volunteers who contribute to our programs and serve our clients. If you are interested in volunteering with Ariva’s tax or financial education programs, sign up today at www.newyorkcares.org.