John and Judy decided early on to use their retirement to give back to the community. Between January and April, they can usually be found roaming the halls of HSP, smiles on faces, ready to assist the next customer waiting for their free tax return.
John began volunteering with HSP’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program about nine years ago. VITA programs help those making less than $54,000 annually file a tax return for free, allowing the customer to keep more of their return. Using his tax preparation knowledge and IRS-training, John has assisted hundreds of customers with their annual income tax return – free of charge! He enjoys meeting new people and getting to know them in the short time they spend together. He likes hearing the stories they tell about their families, jobs and circumstances.
Judy began volunteering three years ago. She is the “face of the program,” working the front desk, greeting customers as they arrive and answering calls to set up appointments. She loves interacting with the families who come in and seeing repeat customers. Last tax season, Judy spent four days a week at the front desk. Having only signed up for two days a week originally, she generously stepped up when another volunteer could no longer help.
For her efforts, Judy was nominated for the Maryland Community Action Partnership (MCAP) “Volunteer of the Year” award, and, not surprisingly to any of us here at HSP, she won! She had the opportunity to be recognized, along with her husband John, in front of the entire Maryland Community Action Partnership, receiving her award from Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor, Boyd Rutherford.
But Judy doesn’t volunteer to get rewards. She gives her time from the kindness of her heart. Judy also volunteers at the Marriage and Relationship Education Center in Carroll County, and even though her duties there are much different than her duties at HSP, the people receiving services are what motivates her to keep coming back.
John and Judy love helping together at HSP. Maybe that’s why they’re always smiling around here. Working together as a team assisting hundreds of people each year. Thank you, John and Judy, for your time and dedication!
Pictured Left to Right are Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Judy Schlehr (HSP VITA Tax Prep Volunteer and MCAP Volunteer of the Year Award Winner), John Schlehr (HSP VITA Tax Prep Volunteer and Judy’s husband), and Jennifer Graybill (HSP’s Director of Shelter & Housing Program).