Volunteer Spotlight: Fresh out of College, Diny Huang Finds Her Role in the Community as a Volunteer Coordinator

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Volunteer Spotlight: Fresh out of College, Diny Huang Finds Her Role in the Community as a Volunteer Coordinator

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As a member of LISC AmeriCorps working at the Easy Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Diny Huang as helped more than 60 low-income clients from families to individuals obtain over $85,000 in tax refunds. But for her, volunteering is not about the statistical impact—it’s about the qualitative difference she makes in the community and the growth it has created in her.

Monday, September 26, 2011 - 10:00am

Diny Huang is sitting with tax documents in front of her and one of her many different clients to her right. Maybe it's a math teacher who hasn't filed taxes for the last two years, or a student who is filing for the first time because of a summer internship. Perhaps it's a single mother with two kids to support, or a retired grandmother who comes back to do her taxes here year after year.

This one room is filled with voices, with stories of families and their financial setbacks and triumphs. Words spoken steadily in English are mingled with rapid-fire Chinese, because they are located in the heart of Chinatown in Oakland.

Welcome to a typical day at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), which provides free quality tax preparation for low-income Bay Area clients.

Diny serves as EBALDC's Volunteer Coordinator for two programs, Money Savvy Youth and VITA. So far this year, these programs have taught financial education to over 700 students in 15 schools, and completed tax returns for 1,200 families, bringing them $1.7 million in refunds.

"Of course, this wouldn't be possible without the support of over 125 volunteers, who have contributed well over 2,000 hours of service," Diny says.

Diny herself is technically a volunteer—as a LISC AmeriCorps member, she has a living stipend and serves over 1,700 hours for a one-year term. "LISC" is a special branch of AmeriCorps that provides support specifically to community development corporations.

Diny joined AmeriCorps after graduating from UC Berkeley last year, because, as she says, "I wanted to be engaged in public service."

At one point, Diny was at work every weekend hosting five-hour trainings for volunteers so they could become IRS-certified VITA tax preparers. VolunteerMatch has been useful for recruiting these volunteers, which tend to come from all walks of life, from college students to professors, mothers, young adult professionals, and retired seniors.  Continue reading…

Click here to read the rest of Diny's story | Read more stories of engagement & social change

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping great people and great causes to connect. Our award-winning online service, www.volunteermatch.org, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation's most recognized businesses, campuses and organizations with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels. As the #1 ranking for "volunteer" on Google and Yahoo!, the VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 190,000 visitors each week and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for tens of thousands of participating nonprofits across the country.



Robert Rosenthal
Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Americorps | VolunteerMatch | financial education | nonprofit | tax assistance | volunteer engagement | volunteer management | volunteer training