Program: ASK! Community Information Centre
Position: Income Tax Filer
Elizabeth has been volunteering with ASK! Community Information Centre since 1999.
What brought you to LAMP?
I figured that volunteering was the fasted way to get over the blues. In 1998 I ended up on Ontario Disability Support Program. I was not working at that time. I had to get out and do something with my life. Since I lived in the neighborhood I came to LAMP and met with Cathy Wallace. This is how I started my journey volunteering at LAMP.
What other causes or issues are you passionate about?
I am passionate about seniors issues, housing issues, basically about life and helping people. I really like helping people.
Do you have a favourite memory or accomplishment from your time volunteering with ASK! Community Information Centre?
Yes, I do. When I started volunteering I did not have much experience with computers but Ernie French that was running the income tax clinic suggested to me that I should help with the income tax. I became a copier, that was the time there were no programs and you had to do everything from scratch. I was copying and Ernie was doing the income taxes and I was copying his work for clients. I did that work for a couple of years. Ernie then encouraged me and told me that I should try doing it on my own, that I should start with the simple ones. I followed his advice and I did just that. That how I have been doing income tax for more than 15 years now. I saw how everything was progressing from the simple copying to doing it on a computer. In 15 min you can complete two income taxes.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I am very busy. I sing in a church choir. I take classes with Learn 4 Life Toronto District School Board either its computer classes, and now its Bridge. I attend art classes. I love photography. I am passionate about life altogether. I often go to Village Mosaic which is the senior center on Lakeshore and they have excellent crafts workshops. The Toronto Library has great crafts workshops as well.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have received was from a volunteer at LAMP. Her name was Judy Wallace. She was supportive of me. One day I asked her for advice and she told me that the worst someone could tell you is “no”. From then on, I was not afraid to ask for something because honestly that is the worst they could say. That was the best advice I have received over 18 years of volunteering for LAMP.