April 11, 2019
When we originally reached out to Larry and Phyllis Rudisill to interview them about their commitment to United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, the couple turned us down – and not because they weren’t interested in sharing their story – but because they were too busy volunteering when we asked if they could stop by our office!
As if their passion for tax services and helping the residents of Central Indiana weren’t enough, Larry and Phyllis have also helped us understand why volunteering, especially following retirement, means so much. Rather than fall into a pattern of watching television all day or wasting their time doing mindless activities, the couple prefers to continue making an impact on their community, one day at a time.
When we chatted with Larry and Phyllis, we were happy to hear their perspectives as both volunteers and retirees, and how that’s kept them connected to the United Way program that benefits Hoosiers every year.
Why did you choose to volunteer with United Way?
Larry: I started as a volunteer income tax assistant about 21 years ago. Organizations that I had been previously been involved in were looking for people who could help with tax assistance at the time. It was something I knew how to do, and it was a way for me to give back to the community.
What inspires you to serve?
Larry: It was something I was comfortable doing and it was a way for me to give back. Phyllis started as a volunteer back in December after she decided she wanted to retire.
What other volunteer organizations are you involved with?
Phyllis: I volunteer with Community Hospital, where I get to cuddle babies. Next month, I begin with Indy Honor Flight. I’m glad United Way offers the VITA program to the public – there are people that appreciate this so much and it’s for a good cause.
Larry: I volunteer with my church’s facilities maintenance.
What advice would you give to someone interested in volunteering?
Larry: There are so many places and things you can do. If you’re into taxes, VITA is a good start. If you enjoy babies or children, get in contact with hospitals and see how you can help them. 2-1-1 is always looking for volunteers as well.
If you feel inclined to volunteer, just do it. Especially when you hit the retirement age – it’s important to stay active.
Phyllis: United Way has a lot of different avenues and ways to volunteer. Even if you’re new to volunteering, there’s usually some sort of training involved, especially with VITA.
Check out more information on the VITA program on the VITA website.
Are you a recent retiree? United Way’s RetireUnited program might be of interest to you. Let us know how we can help you get involved.