Gagandeep’s journey with the Centre for Newcomers started 13 years ago. Gagandeep was a client and participated in a bridging program geared at preparing new immigrants with an accounting background for work in the same sector in Canada.
Later, she found out about the CFN tax clinic program (formally known as CVITP) and decided to sign up as a volunteer. CVITP is a seasonal program which runs in March and April, utilizing volunteers to provide, free of charge, tax preparation for low income people with a simple tax situation. Many of the clients who utilize the program are newcomers for whom this is their first time to do taxes in Canada. Little did she realize that this volunteer opportunity would lead to multiple years of connection with CFN.
The year 2021 marks Gagandeep’s 10th season of volunteering with CVITP, and when asked to supply the reasons why she comes back, year after year, the answer was straightforward: Connection.
Whether it was connection with the clients, some of whom are repeat users of CVITP, or the volunteers who are part of CVITP, Gagandeep relishes the connections she makes each year. She likes meeting people from different cultures and is a bit surprised when some people remember her from previous years!
Tax preparation this year has all been required to be performed virtually. There have been some new things for Gagandeep to learn so that she can prepare taxes in the virtual sphere, but she has done so with grace and determination. Once again, she has brought her calm and gentle demeanour to the CVITP program, and like many of us, Gagandeep is looking forward to next year’s tax clinics when we will all, hopefully, be able to support our tax clients in person, and she can renew these cherished connections with clients and volunteers alike.
For more information on how you can volunteer with CFN, visit www.centrefornewcomers.ca/volunteer