By Jessica Silvis, 2015 Get It Back Campaign Intern
Genevieve Anderson, VITA Coordinator for the North Texas Area United Way, is intimately familiar with the challenges that come with being a military spouse. After working many years in the Air Force with her husband, Gen retired from duty. Suddenly, Gen found herself facing unexpected difficulties as an unemployed military spouse.
Eventually, Gen visited a temp agency to find a job. Although the agent was impressed by her wide breadth of experiences and skills, she was unwilling to hire a military partner who would relocate as soon as her spouse was transferred. Many military spouses move around so often that it’s difficult to put down roots and hold a steady job.
Luckily, Gen found she could keep her résumé fresh by working as a VITA volunteer at her husband’s Air Force base. After becoming the VITA coordinator, Gen began reaching out to other military spouses to share her experience and encourage them to volunteer as well.
In her current role at the North Texas Area United Way, Gen continues to recruit military spouses to volunteer, often through social media. Military spouse communities often have location-based Facebook pages that VITA coordinators can search for online. These groups are usually closed to non-members, but coordinators can message the group administrators on Facebook to establish contact.
Gen also reaches out to Spouses’ Clubs at local Airman and Family Readiness Centers (contact your local base’s family resources office for more information). These groups often have monthly meetings where she speaks about VITA volunteer opportunities and promotes the EITC and VITA for eligible families.
The transience of military life poses a challenge to spouses’ careers. Volunteering at VITA helps military spouses to update their résumés, provide a service to their communities, and keep their friends and families up to date about free tax services.
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