VITA volunteer spotlight
Pat Ganz, Tax Wiz
Pat Granz is the definition of a life-long volunteer. She started accompanying her mother to volunteer opportunities as soon as she could walk and it has become a tradition of a life devoted to serving her community. When I first met her, her spirit and can-do attitude were among the first things I noticed. She stands firm in her convictions and always talks positively about her family and friends. I sat down with Pat to learn more about her fascinating story and to help celebrate the successful wrap up of the Volunteers in Tax Assistance program.
Born in 1940, She’s stayed in the Greater Sacramento area most of her life. Even met her late husband at Folsom Lake! 25 years a mother, PTA and Camp Fire Girls, 20 years with the Internal Revenue Service and through all of this working with different parts of the community.
Pat is no stranger to United Way, either. All through her time with the IRS she worked on the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), now the Our Promise campaign; helping her coworkers and others fill out their paperwork and even working as a loan executive once or twice. United Way also worked with her and her daughters’ Camp Fire group.
She began her work in Tax assistance even before the VITA program came to Sacramento, helping people check their forms when they arrived at the Post Office to mail them. She used her more than 20 years experience with the IRS to help people fill out their return correctly and get the return they deserved.
You have an incredible list of accomplishments, both as a volunteer and as a professional, what do you enjoy in your free time?
My life is so full. I have 2 daughters and a son that live within an hour of me. Prior to going to work for the IRS, they were my full-time job and all of my hobbies. Now I enjoy sewing, traveling, working in the yard and spending time with my three grandkids. I love country music, actually we all do! We’re going to a George Strait Concert soon.
What’s your favorite quote?
“If there’s anything worth doing, it’s worth doing right” My grandmother drilled that worth ethic into us and I still strongly believe in it. You’ve got to complete the job you start. It applies to my work with the VITA program as well. Just because it’s free does not mean that these customers don’t deserve our best.
Can you share with us something else that inspires you?
I’m very inspired by the older people who come in here to get their taxes right. They have a different outlook on life; they feel like the country is still worth saving. They don’t want to cheat anyone, and never would in a million year. Another person who inspires me is Diana [Clay]. Her great leadership has made this program run so smoothly and has helped us serve some many more people than we have in the past.
We want to thank all of our awesome volunteers, especially those who helped us make VITA such a success. All the VITA volunteers have to go through hours and hours of preparation and training to help in this program, so we truly appreciate all they do.
For more information on how to volunteer in United Way programs, please contact us at Volunteer@uwccr.org.