For many low-income, limited-English, or elderly individuals, accessing needed services can often be difficult. Having someone available to make the process easier is always appreciated.
That’s where Thomas and Barbara Britt come in. Since 2004, they’ve helped those in need. And, they’ve done it side-by-side through the RSVP program.
“We have always enjoyed doing things together and believe it is good to have mutual interests which help to strengthen our marriage,” Barbara said. “By volunteering together, we are able to do more by utilizing each other’s strengths.”
The RSVP program is a volunteer service organization for individuals over age 55. Volunteers choose activities based on their skill sets, and they dedicate up to 40 hours per week. Thomas currently serves on the advisory board.
Since becoming involved, he and Barbara have recorded 2,863 volunteer hours through Meals on Wheels and VITA tax (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), a program serving low-income, disabled, or limited-English speaking individuals. They also work with Tax Counseling for the Elderly, a tax-assistance program for adults over 60. According to Barbara, they both prepare tax returns because the IRS is scary for many people. In 2016 alone, the Britts completed 900 tax returns.
Alongside their tax work, the Britts volunteer through their community Meals on Wheels program. To date, they’ve delivered 8,372 meals to home-bound senior citizens. Additionally, they give their time to their church in Pennsylvania, St. Vincent DePaul, and to their local Interfaith organization. Through Interfaith, they help older adults stay independent by taking them grocery shopping or to the doctor.
And, at every turn, they make the effort to engage their clients in conversation, prompting a smile or laugh.
“Tom and Barb Britt are two of the most giving and unselfish volunteers I’ve ever seen,” said RSVP program director Magan Aston. “They are dedicated to helping others who need it and expect nothing in return.”