January 20 at 4:55pm

Volunteer Spotlight: Dennis, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program

OriDennis Volunteer Spotlightginally from St. Louis, Dennis and his wife moved out to California when he retired from a 10-year stretch at H&R Block. After settling down in Del Mar, they visited Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center and fell in love with the area, prompting them to eventually move inland. Following their relocation to Valley Center, Dennis started volunteering with Interfaith as a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. For the last three years, has been a vital asset to the team.

“The clients here are fantastic,” said Dennis. “People have all sorts of feelings about the IRS – they’re scared, they’re intimidated, they don’t know what to do. But I tell them this program is sponsored by the IRS and it’s designed to help you.”

When tax season is in full swing, Dennis dedicates an incredible amount of his free time to the VITA program, coming in from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday. He says that his extensive background in technology, information systems, banking and insurance has given him all the tools to be comfortable, connect with clients, and ultimately exceed expectations in his role as a volunteer.

“I love doing taxes,” said Dennis. “I know it’s crazy, but I love it.”

Outside of his work with Interfaith, Dennis is also extremely active with additional organizations. Before his move to San Diego, he was a dedicated volunteer with United Way in St. Louis and today, he volunteers with local non-profit Voices for Children, as well as at the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Dennis has also spent considerable time in Tijuana, building classrooms for school-aged children.

“The atmosphere here at Interfaith is just great,” said Dennis. “I come home from a day of volunteering and am happy. There are usually two to three times a year when I can really make a difference in someone’s life, getting them back thousands of dollars they didn’t know they were owed, and that makes it all worth it.”